Cautioning the travel agents community about the danger that is hidden behind countries working in silos in creating digital passport standards for their countries, Mr. Yossi Fatael, Vice President, UFTAA, has asked various travel associations across the world to engage their respective governments and alert them about the dangers of creating country-specific standards. Mr. Fatael addressed a webinar organized on 22nd February 2021 by UFTAA for its members globally on ‘How Digital Passports can change the global Travel & Tourism industry’.
Although vaccination has begun the world over, countries have started discriminating against people based on the vaccines. American FDA recognizes the efficacy of only a few vaccines. The same is for many European countries. This will discriminate between people and countries, he said. When people are not equal, there will be no unity. Travel agents have to have a deeper understanding of the various standards being adopted in different countries before sending their guests there, he said.
The key problem is when everyone recognizes the safety and health challenges, there is no uniformity as far as standards are concerned, said Mr. Fatael. Similarly, there are a lot of concerns about the privacy of data while sharing personal information to various digital applications. There will also be a lot of fake certifications, he said talking about the various mobile applications that the airline companies and IATA itself are planning to introduce to induce travel. A lot of agencies are developing applications without knowing the country specific standards, he said.
He asked travel agents associations across the world to engage with their respective governments and sensitize them about the danger of acting in silos on the standards.
Mr. Sunil Kumar R, President of UFTAA also addressed the delegates and briefed them about the various activities undertaken by the global agency to “zero risk” the travel agency business due to the uncertainties in the aviation market.
Representing NATTA, Senior Vice President, Mr. Binay Basnet participated in this webinar program.