SITA is making its Digital Travel Declaration – which allows passengers to share required travel and health documentation with governments ahead of travel – available to governments free of charge globally. This is aimed at addressing the global challenge of submitting and verifying health documentation which remains a major impediment to the recovery of the global travel industry.
Recent research from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) highlighted that of 50 countries surveyed, 38 countries had some form of COVID-19 restriction on who could enter. For many countries, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic relies heavily on travel and tourism. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, in 2019 travel and tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs, making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs. However, inefficiencies and a lack of common standards around managing health documentation remain the single biggest obstacle to rebuilding the travel and tourism industry and supporting economic growth.
SITA has worked closely with governments, leveraging its Electronic Travel Authorization solution to deliver a health-oriented travel declaration that informs governments on passenger health status in advance of travel and optionally issues authority to travel. The Digital Travel Declaration has been operational and used by governments around the world since October 2020, making it possible for travelers to complete health declarations in a few quick steps. A response is shared as proof of approval to travel, so the passenger can demonstrate to airlines and airports that they have all the correct documentation.
While SITA’s Digital Travel Declaration addresses the current health documentation required during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be used to streamline the introduction of other travel requirements, such as future pandemics, local health concerns, or more traditional security and immigration travel authorizations.
SITA will offer the entry level configuration of its Digital Travel Declaration free of charge to all governments for a period of 12 months.