Seamless travel to become a reality through cooperation and technology
Seamless travel to become a reality through cooperation and technology How automated and biometric solutions can make travel safe, easy, and hassle-free
The tired executive landing at Luxembourg Airport sighs as she mentally prepares herself for a lengthy queue at passport control. But thanks to facial biometrics, she is pleased to pass through the automated border control gates in under 14 seconds. Automation and digitalization of certain processes enhance the traveler’s experience. Cooperation among players including airlines, airport operators and government agencies combined with the latest technological advances, such as contactless biometric capture and biometric corridors,, are ensuring that passengers are increasingly enjoying a seamless travel experience.
What do we mean by “seamless travel”? The World Travel and Tourism Council describes it as the following, “Seamless travel is defined as a journey during which the traveler no longer needs to present travel-related documents (e.g., boarding passes) or identification documents (e.g., passports) multiple times to a variety of stakeholders at different checkpoints in their journey.”
Temporarily held back by the COVID-19 pandemic, passengers are once more flowing into airports, with pent-up demand and the lifting of restrictions boosting passenger numbers. In fact, in the first nine months of 2022, arrivals reached 63% of pre-pandemic levels. As crowds continue to increase, it is key for authorities to turn to automation and innovative technologies to main security and manage crowds efficiently.
More contactless services and tighter security
COVID-19 travel restrictions catalyzed the implementation of measures to minimize physical “touchpoints” and thereby increase passenger confidence. Now, contactless services are here to stay.
”Digital solutions, such as eGates and kiosks, are being introduced to streamline verification and border checks”, says Corinna Schindler, Global Vice President Business Line Verification at Veridos. “Progress in this area has been rapid, with the adoption of facial biometrics particularly strong since the mid-2000s.”
Beyond automation, seamless travel can start even before the traveler leaves their home when submitting a digital travel credential application, for example. However, we are still ways away from a fully seamless travel universe that maintains or even enhances the level of security that we have now.
Major obstacles remain
“Fast progress is underway towards seamless travel, as more and more cost-effective digital technologies become available. That said, bottlenecks remain, with key opportunities to streamline border checks still under development,” says Schindler.
Remaining obstacles include the need for greater cooperation between the various stakeholders. “More work needs to be achieved in terms of the sharing of data between different border authorities while respecting sensitive issues such as data sovereignty and divergences in national privacy laws.”
Ready to offer travelers a fully seamless travel experience
In recent years, the international travel community has demonstrated that it is ready to offer travelers a fully seamless travel experience. However to make this more of a reality than ever before, all stakeholders, including airlines, airports, NGOs and governments need to adopt an integrated approach to tackling facilitation and standards across border control processes. Partnering with Veridos, which provides expertise in secure identities and border control solutions, can help establish a more seamless travel experience.
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