The survey conducted by Amadeus to explore traveler sentiment in light of COVID-19 towards digital health data and technology to help rebuild travel provides encouraging news for the industry, with 47% of Indian travelers keen to book international travel within six weeks of restrictions easing, 93% of respondents would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future travel.
As governments and the travel industry explore the benefits of digital health passports, the message from Indian travelers is clear: digital health passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel once again. The study found that 93% of Indian travelers would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future trips, as the appetite to travel remains high with nearly half (47%) expressing their interest in booking international travel within six weeks once the restrictions are lifted. The study further revealed that over the past three quarters, 79% of Indian travelers would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it meant it will enable them to travel sooner, and if it enabled them to pass through the airport faster with less face-to-face interactions with others.
The international study that included over 1,000 respondents from India, indicates that there is enough incentive for authorities and businesses to accelerate plans for digital health passports. In fact, 57% stated that they would be happy for a digital health passport to become the norm.
Despite an overwhelming response to digital health passports, when queried further, there are concerns about security and privacy such as 34% of respondents are worried about data security risks with their personal information being hacked, 28% of respondents are concerned about lack of transparency and control over how and where their data will be shared.
Surprisingly, the highest skepticism around digital health passports was reported among Gen Z, with 12% saying that they would not be comfortable using a digital health passport under any circumstances.
Even though receptiveness to sharing data is high, when asked about the technologies that would increase confidence in travel in the next 12 months, mobile solutions were highlighted as a popular option, with suggestions that include Mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts (51%), Contactless mobile payments (49%), Facial recognition technology (48%), Boarding pass on mobile (47%).
Mani Ganeshan, Head of R&D, APAC, Amadeus, says, “As businesses navigate out of the global pandemic, the future of travel looks optimistic. This study offers a clear roadmap for the industry, by acknowledging the appetite for technologies that can address the concerns of travellers, whether it is better to access information or reducing physical proximity. Innovations such as digital health passports can catalyse both traveller confidence and the opening of international borders once again. With the world racing towards digital transformation unlike ever before, sophisticated travel-friendly apps will help build the much-needed confidence for travellers both worldwide and in India.”
Christophe Bousquet, CTO, Amadeus, comments, “This study reinforces the key role that technology will play in rebuilding travel. We’ve seen a shift since our last survey, as travellers now place more focus on mobile and touchless technology, crucial areas that will clearly strengthen traveller confidence. It’s also very relevant to see that travelers are open to digital health passports and sharing their data as they move through the journey, once the right safeguards are in place. At Amadeus, we’re committed to rebuilding a better industry, together with our customers and partners.”
The travel industry needs to consider and explore the checks and balances to ease privacy concerns and build traveler confidence in digital health passports, to which the survey found that Over half of Indian travelers (53%) would be comfortable using a digital passport if it was accepted by most countries and was regulated as per international standards, 8 out of 10 (80%) would be more likely to store health data on a secured app where a travel provider has partnered with a trusted healthcare provider.
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