Security and Travel Facilitation

Security & Travel Facilitation

WTTC Members have identified security and travel facilitation as a top priority.

According to WTTC’s 2019 data, the Travel & Tourism sector accounted for 10.3% of global GDP and supported the livelihoods of 330 million people in 2019, outpacing the growth of the global economy for nine consecutive years. As one of the fastest-growing industries in 2019, responsible for one in four new jobs created worldwide over the last five years, the slowdown of Travel & Tourism has had devastating ripple effects beyond the sector itself. The benefits of Travel & Tourism spread far beyond its direct impacts on GDP and employment. Indirect benefits apply throughout the supply chain and interlinkages to other industries, such as agriculture, retail, arts, and construction. Additionally, the Travel & Tourism sector is highly inclusive, employing and offering opportunities to people from all walks of life, including minorities, youth, and women.

Increasing political risks and geopolitical instability require more stringent security checks and processes, putting pressure on often outdated systems which are already strained.

WTTC’s work in this area demonstrates that improved visa facilitation and a safe & seamless traveller journey with the deployment of innovative technologies, such as biometrics, can continue to drive economic growth and job creation, while addressing security concerns to ensure that travel is safe, secure and seamless.


Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey

WTTC's global vision for the Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey is to enable a seamless, safe and secure end-to-end traveller journey encompassing both air and non-air traveller touchpoints.

Seamless Traveller solutions enabled through biometrics, provide the mechanism to increase security while enhancing the traveller experience across the air and non-air touchpoints. Additionally, contactless biometric technology can assist in the prevention of pathogens’ transmission between passengers. These solutions will capitalize on several opportunities including improving the customer experience, creating a frictionless experience at touchpoints, improving security, health safety, and promoting commercial benefits to travel providers.

If you would like more information on the Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey initiative, contact Helena Bononi Helena.Bononi@wttc.org.

Global Guidelines for SSTJ: The adoption of innovative digital technologies to enable seamless travel

Our new SSTJ report, in partnership with Oliver Wyman, and Pangiam as one of the advisors, brings a set of recommendations and best practices aiming to assist in the establishment of globally interoperable, technology agnostic, biometric-enabled solutions, which cover the end-to-end traveller journey from booking to trip completion.

Download the new guidelines:

Why are these guidelines important for the sector?


Gloria Guevara
WTTC President & CEO

“WTTC’s new report comes at a time when Travel & Tourism is struggling to stay afloat. We believe that the Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey will not only be paramount in aiding a swift recovery to the sector, but also in shaping the new normal of Travel & Tourism for years to come. This important initiative enables mobility and increases safety and security, while always putting the passenger at the very centre.

WTTC congratulates ICAO for endorsing the specifications of the Digital Travel Credential (DTC) Type 1, bringing digital identity-based travel one step closer to reality.

There is no doubt that international coordination is necessary, which is why our guidelines aim to bring clarity to a recovery process that has been disjointed and confused. We hope that this, along with our many other guidelines for Safe Travels, will help usher in further consumer confidence.”


Scot Hornick
Oliver Wyman Partner Transportation and Travel

“WTTC's Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey represents a unique opportunity for the travel industry to use biometric and digital identity technology to not only assist in the industry’s recovery from COVID-19, but break the silos which have historically existed across travel sectors.

Allowing a traveller to use their biometrics and digital identity across all travel providers, regardless of sector, will reduce many common friction points. For travel providers, the Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey will enable increases in efficiency and allow for a greater personalized customer experience. Most importantly, the Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey creates a safer and healthier journey for all travellers and employees of the Travel and Tourism Industry.”

Sean Donohue
CEO Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

“DFW Airport is committed to ensuring it is ‘Clean. Safe. Ready.” for everyone coming to our facilities. Providing that seamless, enhanced experience means innovative efforts to expand the use of biometric technology, smart restrooms that provide contactless service and heightened sanitization, and going the extra mile to become the first airport in the world to earn Star accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC).

Our efforts align with the WTTC’s coordinated efforts and commitment to a seamless, safe and secure end-to-end journey for everyone.”


Dr. Dee K. Waddell
IBM Global Managing Director Travel & Transportation

“IBM is proud to be a proactive contributor to the Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey global initiative. Digital travel credentials such as identity, biometrics, and health certifications are a critical part of transforming and emerging even stronger from the devastating impacts from the pandemic. Travel & Tourism is a resilient sector and ensuring a rapid return to growth will be enabled by next-generation technologies.”


Pierfrancesco Vago
Executive Chairman MSC Cruises

“MSC Cruises greatly welcomes this Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey initiative from WTTC.  Leveraging technology to improve the movement of guests through the various stages of travel will make our industry more efficient, more secure, and more adaptable.  Use of this type of technology will enhance the guest experience at MSC Cruises and enhance our operations.  Where both things can be done simultaneously, that is a winning combination. 

We appreciate that WTTC has undertaken this project for the collective benefit of the travel community.”


Kim Day
CEO Denver International Airport

“Clearly this pandemic has influenced the way we travel today and in the future. Limiting contact through technology and other changes to allow for a more efficient travel experience are more critical than ever. This report offers several recommendations for a safer, seamless journey. Biometric technology and digital identity solutions are a key part of the travel industry’s recovery and future.”


Kevin McAleenan
Chief Executive Officer of Pangiam

“The travel and tourism industry is currently facing an unprecedented challenge in restoring traveller confidence and maintaining its commitment to safety amidst a pandemic. WTTC’s report brings together the best practices from across the globe that demonstrate the value of robust investments in seamless travel and the benefits from security to facilitation to passenger experience.”


Luis Maroto
President & CEO Amadeus IT Group

“Amadeus supports WTTC’s efforts to create a globally aligned approach in the implementation of biometrics in travel. We see the Global Guidelines for the Seamless Traveler Journey as an important milestone in paving the road to recovery and rethinking our industry. Multilateral collaboration is required to build a framework for contactless travel that considers the entire traveler journey from door to door making it safe and secure though advanced touchless technology.

This SSTJ initiative helps to develop clear testing and tracing practices while leveraging contactless technologies enabling a touchless environment and faster processing, which are key in restarting travel safely.”


Barbara Dalibard
CEO SITA

“SITA strongly supports the move towards biometric-enabled identity solutions that allows travelers to move securely and easily across every step in their journey while maintaining control of their identity in a fully ethical manner. This is an approach we have long advocated. The benefits of speed, safety and improved security are significant. With the additional benefit of limiting touch and maintaining distance, these digital identity solutions take on new relevance in the COVID era.

As the air transport and hospitality industry, we now can make tremendous strides in implementing these solutions that have long been accepted by other industries such as the finance sector.”

Jamie Rhee
Commissioner Chicago Department of Aviation

“The Chicago Department of Aviation is committed to the highest standard of safety for the traveling public and our employees. The proposed Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey (SSTJ) system will assist us and our airline partners in our collective effort to provide a more efficient and secure travel experience with a touchless environment through technological advancement.

Implementing these solutions will not only help the aviation industry alleviate the strain on fundamental infrastructure as demand recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic but will also promote health-conscious practices for both travelers and employees alike.

As we join industry leaders at a critical moment where innovative digital solutions are being developed and applied to serve travelers across the globe, we are confident that these improvements will allow travelers to feel an unprecedented level of safety and security as they navigate our airports.”


Amena Ali
CEO Airside Mobile

“The pandemic has upended lives and livelihoods, and nowhere is that more apparent than the significant hit taken by the travel and tourism industry. Technology can and must revive travel safely and quickly. Airside strongly supports the use of biometrics and digital identities to enhance security, facilitate travel, and drive a contactless experience. Our platform and team stand ready to partner with the travel industry to deliver an open, interoperable and seamless experience that covers the traveler’s journey from booking to completion.”


Gordon Wilson
President and CEO WorldReach Software

“The roadmap provides directional guidance for those navigating the challenges of COVID, while delivering on the goals of a safe and seamless traveller experience. We encourage pilots for those just starting while travel volumes are lower and a move to broader implementations for those already at pilot stages to best position for a full recovery.”


Caryn Seidman Becker
Chairman and CEO CLEAR

“CLEAR supports WTTC's tireless efforts to drive innovation and interoperability across the travel industry through the Seamless Traveler Journey Initiative. These latest 'Best Practices' recommendations highlight the importance of securely establishing a traveler's identity to enable a safer, more secure, and frictionless travel experience, which closely aligns with CLEAR's vision. We look forward to continued work with the WTTC to help the travel and tourism industry recover and sustainably grow.”


Miguel Leitmann
CEO Vision-Box

“The need for touchless identity management and seamless passenger flow management is the new reality. As air travel dynamics have evolved under the covid-19 pandemic, the importance of a safe contactless passenger experience is paramount to the industry’s revival. We are very proud to have such iconic institutions on board to implement seamless automated and contactless passenger travel experiences across the world. We are confident that our partnerships will be a huge success as everyone is looking to maximize the potential that seamless technology has to offer. It will also allow Vision-Box to deliver the very best strategies that will be uniquely conceived, designed and built for the next generation of transformative identity management platforms.”


Michael O’Connell
Founder and CEO - Critical Insights Consultancy

“We at Critical Insights, applaud the WTTC for their leadership and guidance during these most challenging times of the pandemic as we seek to reopen the travel and tourism industry in a safe and secure way that delivers trust and confidence. We are pleased to have contributed to the development of their Global Guidelines for the Seamless Traveller Journey that has great importance as the sector considers new policies, processes and technologies to bring about the new norm.

The customer expects protection, great service, efficiency and fun as they return to international travel, and the seamless journey – delivered as described by the STJ principles, can secure a positive future for all. We remain committed to advance both the digital and post-pandemic transformation of the STJ in partnership with the WTTC.”


Michael Thamm
CEO Costa Group & Carnival Asia

“As the tourism ecosystem, including the cruise industry, works to tackle the challenges posed by the global crisis and plans to reshape its future, it is clear that technological advancements and greater digitalization in the whole travel journey play a key role for a full recovery. In this sense, we welcome the work of the WTTC in producing thought leadership on this topic as well as promoting initiatives that can mark a further evolution in world travel and tourism.”


José Carlos Azcárraga
CEO Grupo Posadas

“Today, more than ever, it’s crucial for all businesses within the travel and tourism industry to collaborate with organizations such as the WTTC to implement global initiatives that align safety standards across all sectors, rebuild consumer confidence, and reactivate tourism.”


Hugo Desenzani
CEO Libertador Hotels, Resorts & Spas

“Tourism delivers prosperity and health to travelers and hosts. The COVID-19 crisis has halted that virtuous circle - putting hundreds of millions of families at risk. To recover, we must inspire confidence on the travel experience, as well as the destination. WTTC´s Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey initiative does exactly that. Using technology and improved processes, the SSTJ initiative will make traveling better, simpler, and safer for everyone.”


Tony Smith
IBMATA Chairman

“TWe are delighted to be associated with WTTC and this excellent report. We at IBMATA believe that the COVID Pandemic provides an even greater impetus for Border Agencies and the travel sector to work together in harmony in order to deliver a safe and secure seamless traveller journey; and to stimulate much needed economic growth in the international travel sector. We will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with WTTC on this important initiative.”

Further SSTJ Reports


Visa Facilitation

While millions of travellers cross borders every year without the need for traditional paper visas, millions more still find their travel plans restricted by complicated application processes and paperwork. Huge strides have been made in travel facilitation over the past decade, yet traditional visa policies remain an obstacle to both tourism and economic growth.

This barrier can, however, become an opportunity for growth and job creation for destinations around the world through the implementation of progressive approaches to travel facilitation and new technologies to aid the implementation of new, more efficient visa policies.

WTTC’s research highlights the benefits of visa facilitation in terms of increases in international arrivals as well as job creation.

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