Commissioned research to learn more about travelers’ top concerns around digital health data and solutions to alleviate their concerns for future travel
According to a study, commissioned by Amadeus, a travel technology company and delivered by Census wide, 47 percent of Indian travelers are keen to book international travel within six weeks of restrictions easing, compared to the global average of 41 percent.
As governments and the travel industry explore the benefits of digital health passports, the message from Indian travelers relays that digital health passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel once again. The study found that 93 percent 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 percent) 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 percent 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 percent stated that they would be happy for a digital health passport to become the norm.
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 travelers, whether it is better to access to information or reducing physical proximity. Innovations such as digital health passports can catalyze both traveler 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 travelers both worldwide and in India.”
Despite an overwhelming response to digital health passports, when queried further, there are concerns about security and privacy such as 34 percent of respondents are worried about data security risks with their personal information being hacked and 28 per cent 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 percent saying that they would not be comfortable using a digital health passport under any circumstances.
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 percent) would be comfortable using a digital passport if it was accepted by most countries and was regulated as per international standards. Additionally, 8 out of 10 (80 percent) would be more likely to store health data on a secured app where a travel provider has partnered with a trusted healthcare provider.
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 percent)
- Contactless mobile payments (49 percent)
- Facial recognition technology (48 percent)
- Boarding pass on mobile (47 percent)
The 2020 Rethink Travel survey revealed how technology can help to increase traveler confidence and Amadeus revisited this question to see how traveler confidence has changed since September 2020. 91 percent of travelers globally now say that technology will increase their confidence to travel, an increase from 84 percent in September 2020.