WTO and IATA prepare for restart of international travel
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have announced a destination tracker in preparation for the restart of international travel.
It is the result of both organisations joining efforts to boost confidence and accelerate recovery of the tourism sector when borders reopen.
The UNWTO-IATA Destination Tracker is a new free online tool for governments to provide information on COVID-19 requirements for travel and the measures in place at the destination.
The tool is available through the websites of both organisations and will provide information on: COVID-19 indicators including infection rates, positivity rates, and vaccination roll out by destination/country; air travel regulations, including test and quarantine requirements, provided by IATA’s timatic solution; and destination measures, including general health and safety requirements such as use of masks, transit through a country, curfew, or regulations related to restaurants and attractions, provided by national tourism organisations.
The Destination Tracker will fulfil a key need by providing clarity on COVID-19 measures affecting tourism. The situation for travellers is complex with UNWTO data showing that one in three destinations remains closed to tourists. Moreover, restrictions and in-country measures are continuously being revised.
Governments can use the Destination Tracker to post COVID-19 travel information so that potential travellers will know what to expect at their destination.
When fully populated with updated destination information, travel stakeholders including Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) and travel agencies, will be able to obtain the latest destination information, enabling travellers to make informed decisions when borders reopen and travel resumes. –
The development of the tracker framework is completed. Up-to-date information on COVID-19 indicators and air travel regulations is available and systematically updated. Destination information is being progressively uploaded, expanded and updated with official sources as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “UNWTO is pleased to reinforce its partnership with IATA, a UNWTO Affiliate Member, to provide this important tool. Travelers and companies will be able to check requirements in place for air travel, as well as what measures will be in place at the visited destination. We trust this tool is also critical for governments to track existing travel restrictions and support the safe restart of our sector.”
The UNWTO-IATA Destination Tracker builds on the existing partnership between the two parties. In October 2020, UNWTO and IATA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to restore confidence in international air travel.
The agreement will also see the two agencies partner to foster innovation to drive the restart of tourism, promote greater public-private collaboration in the field of aviation and the tourism sector in general, and advance progress already made towards achieving greater sustainability and resilience.
“It has been more than a year since the freedom to travel was lost as COVID-19 measures saw borders close. When governments have the confidence to re-open borders people will be eager to travel.
And they will need accurate information to guide them. With the support of national tourism organisations, the UNWTO-IATA Destination Tracker will help travellers and travel companies obtain the latest information for travel planning,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General.