Vaccine passports are currently a hot topic in the travel sector. Various initiatives are being trialled to ensure the flow of travel between international destinations, but there remains a lack of collaboration. One simple app that can inform all travellers of the specific entry requirements for a destination, along with whether their current vaccination or test results match, will help diminish confusion, ensuring a more seamless and worry-free travel experience.

Whilst a form of digital vaccine passport is needed for the safe recovery of international travel, this should be looked at as more of an opportunity rather than a competition. Forming an internationally recognised system as a global standard for all destinations would help ensure a traveller’s journey is as smooth and easy as possible – an essential factor to help meet international travel demand.

There needs to be simplicity

Quarantine requirements and travel restrictions are the two main barriers facing international travel demand, according to GlobalData’s Live Verdict Poll (live since 17 November). Travellers are also likely to be just as confused about what is required of them to travel and the actual protocols of how they should act when they arrive at a destination.

The CommonPass, for example, is being trialled, an initiative of the Commons Project in partnership with the World Economic Forum. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also launched the Travel Pass, which uses global passport standards and its in-house system for verifying that air passengers meet visa and health requirements. The European Commission is now discussing the launch of a ‘digital green certificate’, allowing vaccinated and non-vaccinated citizens to travel to other EU member states and not be forced to quarantine on arrival. All of these different certificates and passes could create even further confusion amongst travellers, which is the last thing they need.

An opportunity for a united front

Covid-19 has been identified as one of the largest challenges ever faced by the global tourism sector, and airlines have been identified as one of the industries worst hit by this crisis. International organisations and governments must work together to ensure a smooth relaunch of international tourism activity as soon as possible.

Throughout last year, leading tourism bodies worldwide were urging people across the tourism sector to unite and collaborate to ensure the safe recovery of international travel. With separate entities now acting individually and seemingly not communicating with others, this could further delay the recovery of international travel.

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