Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Indian travellers open to 'digital health passports', but have privacy concerns: Survey

Mumbai: About 47 per cent of Indian travellers interviewed in a survey by a travel technology company said that they are keen to book international travel within six weeks of restrictions easing. Indians ranked high then in their eagerness to travel abroad, the global average was 41%. What was more, 93% Indian respondents said they would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future travel.

The message from Indian travelers is clear; digital health passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel once again, said the survey by Amadeus. "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,’’ it said.

The survey was conducted in late February 2021 and the findings were based on 9,055 respondents residing in France, Germany, Spain, UAE, Russia, India, Singapore, UK and US who had traveled abroad in the last 18 months (with a minimum of 1,000 respondents per market), said Amadeus.

Despite an overwhelming response to digital health passports, when queried further, there were concerns about security and privacy. "34% of respondents are worried about data security risks with their personal information being hacked, while 28% of respondents are concerned about lack of transparency and control over how and where their data will be shared,’’ said the study. The highest scepticism 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.

The travel industry needs to consider and explore the checks and balances to ease privacy concerns and build traveler confidence in digital health passports, the study said. ``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 and 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,’’ the study found.. 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. These include, mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts (51%), contactless mobile payments (49%), facial recognition technology (48%) and boarding pass on mobile (47%)

Mani Ganeshan, Head of R&D, APAC, Amadeus, said: “ 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.”

07/04/21 Manju V/Times of India

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