Delivering universal digital travel, from anywhere to everywhere

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When we gave a presentation on the world’s first successful international digital travel credential (DTC) air travel pilot during ICAO’s TRIP Symposium last year, the buzz around the industry’s digital directions was palpable. ICAO’s DTC, is one of the driving forces for universal and interoperable solutions for digital identities, bringing secure and seamless journeys around the world that are enabled by mobile and biometric technologies.

Digital identities allow us to travel from anywhere to everywhere – by air, land, or sea – without showing physical travel documents. They are the master key for unlocking every stage of the journey, from the earliest intention to travel, all the way to destination activities and the return journey. Digital Travel – harnessing digital identities – helps us to tackle the industry challenges, such as growth in traveler numbers, staff shortages, rising expectations for ‘joined up’ intermodal journeys, government austerity, and more.

Passengers get secure, stress-free travel, with the ability to complete processes securely before they get to the airport, allowing for fewer queues. The industry gets more efficiencies, including pre-cleared, ‘ready-to-go’ travelers, with faster approvals and risk assessment before departure.

Pioneering Digital Travel

At SITA, digital travel remains a critical area in our strategic focus. We provide the next generation of self-service technology infrastructure on which digital identities rely – with integrated data-driven, mobile, and biometrically-enabled self-service touchpoints for check-in, bag-drop, border control, boarding and more.

Our digital border solutions enable digital travel at the border for over 70 governments and all G20 nations, while our passenger processing solutions offer biometric and mobile-driven digital journey experiences for travelers, which can be untethered from fixed points in the airport.

We worked with the Aruba Tourism Authority and Indicio to pilot the preclearance of travelers visiting the island using the Aruba Happy One Pass (AHOP) mobile app and a secure SITA Trust Network. With a verified, secure and privacy-preserving digital identity on their mobile devices, travelers can enjoy a fast-tracking entry upon arriving at Aruba’s airport, as well as access to many of the island’s participating venues, such as restaurants, shops and clubs. Watch our video here.

SITA’s APP and passenger processing solutions also played a major role in the Qatar World Cup 2022, along with the integration of digital identities into the fan ID Hayya card.

As SITA develops and innovates, we recognize the need to evolve to a universal digital identity for travel, not parochial, standalone initiatives for one airport or transport operator. SITA stands with industry bodies such as ICAO, IATA and ACI, advocating for global standards and initiatives. We are honored to play our part in the Safe & Seamless Traveler Journey (SSTJ) initiative of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). That is why we work collaboratively on trials with airlines, airports, border agencies, industry bodies, and other partners across the world.

The challenges the travel industry faces represent a void that only digital travel can fill. Digital travel incorporates government-approved identities, delivers interoperability and integration between touchpoints, and is presented as a single service to the traveler. Significant work must be done for digital travel to become a reality. A community approach is essential to make it happen. We look forward to building completely joined-up, digitally enabled journeys with our travel industry; a community approach is essential if our industry is going to deliver the benefits of Digital Travel anywhere and everywhere, with interoperability and universality at its core.

SITA is 100% owned by the industry and driven by its needs. We are one of the most internationally diverse companies, providing services in over 200 countries and territories. Explore our pioneering solutions and innovations that are showcased on ICAO TV, which will shape a more connected and secure journey for all. For more information on digital travel, click here. To access the full report on our Digital Travel services, click here.


About the Contributor

SITA is the global specialist in air transport communications and information technology and the air transport industry’s IT provider, delivering solutions for airlines, airports, aircraft, and governments to power more seamless, safe and sustainable air travel. With 2,500 customers, SITA’s solutions drive operational efficiencies at more than 1,000 airports while delivering the promise of connected aircraft to customers of 17,000 aircraft globally. SITA also provides technology solutions that help more than 70 governments strike the balance of secure borders and seamless travel.