International travel faces further challenges with overwhelming support for a COVID-19 travel pass but equal concerns about data security.
A survey by the International Air Transport Association found that while 80 per cent of respondents said they were encouraged by the prospect of the IATA travel pass app, almost the same number said they would only do so if they had full control of their data.
The travel pass will contain COVID-19 vaccine and testing results and can also be used to manage travel documentation digitally.
Of those surveyed, 60 per cent said they would not use the app if the data was stored centrally.
IATA director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said the travel pass was designed with the traveller in mind.
“Passengers keep all the data on their mobile devices, and they remain in full control of where that data goes. There is no central database,” he said.
“While we are making good progress with numerous trials, we are still awaiting the global standards for digital testing and vaccine certificates. Only with global standards and governments accepting them can we maximise efficiency and deliver an optimum travel experience.”
The survey also found that 84 per cent of people believed that COVID-19 would not disappear, and the risks need to be managed while living and travelling normally.
Almost 70 per cent said their quality of life had suffered with travel restrictions and half said air travel restrictions had gone too far.
The results of the survey showed that 40 per cent of respondents reported mental stress and missing an important human moment as a result of travel restrictions. Over a third said that restrictions had prevented them from doing business normally.
Looking into the future, 57 per cent expected to be travelling in two months of the pandemic being contained and 72 per cent wanted to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible.
But there are headwinds to travel with 81 per cent saying they would be more likely to travel once they were vaccinated. But 84 per cent said they would not travel if there was a chance of quarantine at the destination.
The IATA survey covered 5000 respondents in 11 travel markets across the globe and covered people who had travelled in the last 11 months during the pandemic.