digital health passports

92% of business travelers eyeing digital health passports

Business travel has largely ground to a halt. Digital communication has now taken over corporate interactions and our daily lives. Yet the expectation and the desire from travelers that business travel will return is high, as the value of face-to-face meetings and talking via screens has its limits. When we look back on this period, we will see it as being pivotal; a catalyst for some of the fundamental changes as to how we travel for business. Find out more about digital health passports below.

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Today 84% of frequent travelers are telling us that they are ready to take to the skies assuming the conditions to travel are safe. What does this mean? I believe we can expect, in some shape or form, the emergence of a digital health passport or certification to ensure that travelers can confidently go back to travel and corporations can once again enable this to happen.

To look into this in more depth, we asked travelers about their sentiment on digital health data, their comfort levels with sharing and storing their data electronically, and the solutions that may help to alleviate their concerns for future travel and rebuild confidence. Here’s what we found:

Digital health passports will make business travelers more likely to travel digital health passports

The eagerness to travel is high, with 60% of business travelers suggesting they would book international travel within three to twelve weeks once travel restrictions have been lifted. Digital health passports may just hold the key to opening the industry, as 92% of these travelers say they would accede to some form of digital health passport for future travel. For most business travelers, the benefits of storing travel health data electronically are clear. 71% are willing if it enabled them to pass through the airport faster with fewer face-to-face interactions; 73% would be willing if they received perks such as upgrades or airport lounge access and 68% are keen if it enabled them to travel sooner.

The challenges with digital health passports and how to address them

Although the receptiveness to sharing data is high, the travel industry needs to consider business traveler concerns around the use of data protection and privacy. With no big surprise, business travelers highlighted three concerns around data sharing: security, privacy, and transparency. While 28% of travelers are afraid of their personal information being hacked, 27% are worried about the privacy of the data and where it is shared. 27% on the other hand are concerned about the lack of transparency and control over where the data is shared.

In this context, it is important to look at what solutions may improve and reassure travelers. We also explored what solutions might alleviate concerns around digital health data. 68% of the respondents said that they would be more likely to use an app to store their health data where a travel company had partnered with a trusted healthcare company. 42% of them agreed that they would be more comfortable sharing health data in an app if the airline they most frequently traveled offered a way to store their health data. And 43% were inclined towards a travel app that could be used across the whole journey, which would reassure them that all of their information was in one place.

Harnessing other technologies, the final piece of the puzzle

Interestingly, the survey found that it’s not just digital health passports that are going to play a key role in the future of business travel. Other technologies are also critical to opening up the sector again and should be used in conjunction with digital health passports. For example, the top three technologies that we found would increase business travelers’ confidence to travel in the next 12 months are mobile applications, contactless payments, and contactless mobile boarding. 39% of business travelers felt that mobile applications can provide on-trip notifications, like a change in government guidance or change in restrictions in the destinations. In another recent Amadeus survey, business travelers ranked contactless payments as important as mandatory test/vaccines (7.7 out of 10) when asked to rate the measures reassuring them to travel again.

Embracing technology for travel momentum digital health passports

Yet there is another paradigm shift with the changing nature of work; we see more companies looking to increase ‘work from anywhere’, with some choosing to close sites and offices. Without an office, companies are considering real estate savings and how this can be reinvested into the business. Measures include aspects such as group business travel, from meeting twice a month in a hotel or taking more regular company retreats where colleagues can bond in person. A new type of business travel which has come to the forefront is the ‘workation’ trend. This stems from a new generation of digital nomads who have left the office behind for a work-from-anywhere model. Reserved before to a few adventurous types, our data shows that plenty are already doing this. Globally, we saw a 41% increase in the number of searches for 30-day stays, though regions varied significantly.

The global survey results provide us with cause for optimism and a pathway to rebuild business travelers’ trust ensuring the future of business travel. The coming together of the industry to enable this to happen, fueled by embracing technology to help travelers get on the road again, will create the confidence to ensure we are back out there traveling safely and efficiently.

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Driven by wanderlust and a passion for tech, Sandra is the creative force behind Alertify. Love for exploration and discovery is what sparked the idea for Alertify, a product that likely combines Sandra’s technological expertise with the desire to simplify or enhance travel experiences in some way.