WTTC, CBP to Use Biometrics to Streamline Travel

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The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have begun working together through a public-private partnership to increase security and improve the traveler experience by making travel more efficient and seamless to passengers with the use of technology.

Both WTTC and CBP said they are committed to the application of facial biometrics in the travel journey as a means of maximizing security while ensuring that tourists can visit the country to create jobs and drive economic growth.

Through its Seamless Traveler Journey initiative, the WTTC is working to bring the entire sector together- via a friendly approach, interoperability, and some common standards- to use facial biometric technology in travel and tourism, which can be applied on a country-by-country basis throughout the travel journey.

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Research shows that almost one million jobs could be created in the United States travel industry by using biometric technology, the two organizations said.

Currently CBP is testing biometric exit at 15 major airports across the United States. The facial recognition verification process takes less than 2 seconds, with a 90 percent matching rate. The organization has also implemented facial comparison technology, which is universally recognized as the best solution for a seamless experience for the traveler and increased security.

In the early 2019, WTTC is coordinating with support from its members and leaders, the first end-to-end, round trip biometric pilot covering the entire journey. This begins at the point of booking with a travel company and continues at the airport through airline check-in, security, boarding, border management, car hire, hotel check-in and at returns.

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