MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Amadeus will integrate IBM’s digital health pass into its Traveler ID platform in a bid to simplify the verification of passengers’ health credentials during the boarding process, the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The aviation, tourism, and tech sectors have deepened their collaboration since the pandemic began, with a host of new digital applications and products springing up in response to a global patchwork of restrictions and requisites to travel.

IBM’s system – which uses encyryption and blockchain technologies to authenticate diagnostic tests such as antigen or PCR – assigns passengers a QR code which indicates whether they are fit to fly, rather than needing boarding-gate attendants to hand-verify the details of each traveller’s test.

“This approach helps airlines feel confident the health credentials added are valid and takes the expectation off of gate agents to verify health documents,” said Greg Land, head of IBM’s travel and transportation sector, told Reuters.

“It also protects individual privacy since only a QR code that reflects the individuals’ status – e.g. ‘ready to fly’ – is displayed when scanned.”

By integrating IBM’s Digital Health Pass into its Traveler ID system, Amadeus hopes to reassure passengers about the safety of their medical data, which the booking group says will neither be stored nor tracked – a concern shared by many would-be travellers. []

Amadeus had launched its Traveler ID platform earlier this year as a white-label product for airlines looking to include the use of health credentials on their website or apps, so that passagers could upload health documents directly within their reservation systems.

Amadeus says Traveler ID currently has 10 airlines as live clients, with six of those publicly announced including Air Canada, Norwegian, and Spain’s Air Europa – which British Airways owner IAG is in the process of taking over.

IBM’s newly integrated service will be available as an add-on for all 10 of Amadeus Traveler ID subscribers, a spokesperson told Reuters.

(Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Stephen Coates)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

New research from Amadeus has sought to examine how the hospitality industry has adapted to Covid-19, as well as the trends hoteliers think are likely to stay as the industry rebuilds.

Amadeus’ Demand360 business intelligence data shows that hotel occupancy levels are now on an upward trajectory.

Worldwide occupancy reached 46 per cent in April, up from the low point of just 13 per cent during the same month last year.

This means that global hospitality occupancy has climbed two-thirds of the way back to pre-pandemic norms of around 70 per cent for this time of year.

The data also shows the booking lead time is lengthening, indicating growing consumer confidence to plan ahead.

For much of the past year, nearly all reservations across the world were made within seven days of travel.

In recent weeks, bookings made on the same day of travel, which are the most problematic for the industry to accommodate, have shrunk globally.

These bookings have fallen from 39 per cent the first week of 2021 to 23 per cent in the last week of April.

Bookings made 31-60 days in advance increased from six per cent the first week of 2021 to 11 per cent at the end of April.

Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, president, hospitality, Amadeus commented: “The data and trends from this report are intended to draw together insights from hoteliers around the world as we work together as an industry to plan our recovery.

“With lower restrictions in place, the US market has provided some early indicators of traveller behaviour that could help other international hoteliers understand where they are in the stage of their own recovery.”

More Information

The Rebuilding Hospitality report highlights the opportunities for hoteliers to rebuild and thrive in 2021 by combining survey data of 688 hoteliers worldwide with the latest insight from Amadeus’ Demand360 business intelligence solution.

The survey was managed by Amadeus and conducted anonymously with global hoteliers in March and April.

Find out more here.