DOT: Adopting digital travel pass for tourists a possibility
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is eyeing the possibility of adopting a COVID-19 digital travel pass for visitors to the Philippines.
“This move is parallel with the steps undertaken by other countries that have successfully relaxed borders to visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement on Wednesday.
Puyat said that she brought up the possibility of a digital travel pass during a meeting with representatives from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the local tourism industry leaders. IATA created the travel pass.
“Once the country’s adoption of the IATA Travel Pass is put into motion, the DOT hopes to safely reopen our tourist destinations to international visitors and revive the tourism industry as a whole. But this will be done only when the time is right,” she said.
Although the travel pass is still in its testing phase, Puyat said that it has already proven beneficial to airlines that have tried it.
As of April 4, Puyat said over 20 airlines and airline groups had tested the IATA Travel Pass.
According to Puyat, the IATA Travel Pass has these four open-sourced and interoperable modules which could be combined to achieve an end-to-end solution:
• A Travel Pass App that will enable passengers to create a digital passport, verify their tests or vaccinations with regulatory authorities, and submit requirements such as test results or vaccination certificates to facilitate travel;
• A Registry of Health Requirements where passengers can get information on travel, testing, and vaccination requirements;
• A Registry of Testing/Vaccination Centers which enables passengers to find COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories at their departure or arrival locations; and
• A Lab App that will allow authorized COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories to send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers securely.
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