The covid passport or digital green certificate to be validated by the European Commission (EC) by the end of January has sparked a lot of debate. Although the EC is late with all standardized protocols at the EU level, including the introduction of digital green certificates, they should be seen in a broader context only this summer season. Unfortunately Covid will be present for some time to come, and the so-called Covid passports will be a tool to facilitate international travel.
First of all, it should be clearly emphasized that Covid passports are not and should not be the only condition for travel, and you will still be able to travel, as now, with a negative test. So we can’t talk about discrimination. Of course, the problem with the delivery of vaccines in Europe, and thus the slow pace of vaccines for citizens, requires a big problem, both in general and in starting tourism. If the situation was as planned, surely by the summer we could talk about a large vaccination rate (over 60%) in all European countries.
But let’s get back to the topic of the article. The study he commissioned Amadeus, a global travel technology company, and produced by Censuswide, provides encouraging news for the tourism industry, as 91% of global travelers support the idea of a digital vaccination passport and would use it for travel purposes.
Also, the study shows the importance of understanding passengers around privacy, ease of use and security.
While governments are debating digital green passports, travelers are sending a clear message - digital passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel. The study showed that something more than 9 out of 10 (91%) surveyed passengers said they would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future travel.
This encouraging research provides an impetus to accelerate digital passport plans to help address travelers ’health problems. The study provided further good news for the tourism industry as just over 2 out of 5 (41%) said they would book international travel within six weeks by lifting the restrictions, showing that appetite for travel remains high, as all other surveys say.
On the other hand, passengers focus on data confidentiality. A survey of 9.055 passengers in France, Spain, Germany, India, the UAE, Russia, Singapore, the UK and the US says passengers are concerned about how their health data is because the trip would be stored. Thus more than 9 out of 10 (93%) passengers have concerns about this challenge.
When asked by Fr. the acceptability of storing and sharing digital health data, the results of the survey show:
Just under three-quarters (74%) of passengers surveyed would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it would allow them to pass through the airport faster with less face-to-face interaction. Over 7 out of 10 (72%) surveyed passengers would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it would allow them to travel to multiple destinations. Also, 68% of passengers agreed that they would be more likely to share their health data with the airlines they travel with most often if they were offered a way to store data.
Although the receptivity to data exchange is high, the travel industry must take into account passenger concerns about the use of data. Three main concerns which passengers have are: security risks with hacking personal data (38%), health privacy concerns about what information should be shared (35%), lack of transparency and control over data sharing (30%).
The research also explored which would solutions in the future could alleviate concerns around digital health data and travel, and the results showed:
42% of travelers said a travel app that could be used throughout the trip would greatly improve their overall travel experience and reassure them that their data is in one place. 41% of passengers agree that a travel app would reduce their travel stress. 62% of travelers would be more likely to use the app to store their health data if a travel company teamed up with a trusted health company.
This coincides with the IATA narrative, which has been highlighting the benefits of Covid passports for travelers and the industry as a whole for more than half a year. Primarily due to airlines and faster border crossings and checkpoints at airports, which is directly linked to a better and faster travel experience.
Digitization as the key to the solution
The research is the second in a series on travel activation, where Wolfgang Amadeus regularly explores travelers ’thoughts and travel concerns with the aim of helping to activate travel in the most effective way.
A previous Rebuild Travel survey in 2020 revealed how technology can help boost self-confidence, and Amadeus Traveler has again done research on the issue and found that passenger confidence has changed from September 2020 to the present.
So 91% of passengers now say they will technology increase their confidence for travel, an increase of 84% in September 2020.
When asked which technology would boost travel confidence in the next 12 months, mobile solutions were highlighted as the first option, among three main technologies which include: Mobile applications which provide information and warnings during the trip (45%), contactless mobile payment (e.g. Apple or Google Pay, Paypal, Venm) (44%) and mobile boarding (eg digital boarding tickets via mobile phone) (43%) or to round off with one common denominator - full digitization.
Decius Valmorbida, president of travel, Amadeus, points out that there is no doubt that COVID-19 will continue to shape the way we travel in the months to come, just as it affects so many other areas of our lives. “Yet, although there are still uncertainties, research like this reinforces my optimism that we will plan our trip better than before. Cooperation between governments and the tourism industry is key to relaunching travel, as we meet the travel expectations set out in this digital survey, applying the right technology that enables truly connected and contactless travel. "
Christophe Bousquet, technical director, Amadeus, commented that this study once again highlights the key role that technology will play in rebuilding travel. “We have noted a shift since our last survey, as passengers are now focusing more on technology as a key area that will obviously strengthen passenger confidence. It is also very important to see that passengers are open to digital passports and share their data as they move through the journey, once appropriate safeguards are in place. At Amadeus, we are committed to rebuilding a better industry, together with our customers and partners. "
In the end, it is important to point out that four out of five Germans (82%) support the idea of a digital vaccination passport and would use it for travel purposes.