WE NEED A DATA REVOLUTION NOW TO HELP GET THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY BACK ON ITS FEET

"A big part of living with Covid has been the need to share our health data digitally with increasing frequency. This all came to an incredibly stressful peak for me when going abroad. Previously, getting to the airport and having my passport were my biggest concerns, now it is entry/exit forms, vaccination status, testing, locator forms and potential quarantine - worrying if I had the right forms to get there and come back. The volume of forms makes me question if my data is being managed ethically. Not to mention the cost!

Where is the data strategy to make it easy to share our Covid status safely and securely, whilst making travel a joyful experience again? And if I am struggling, how is it impacting those less used to the digital world or have difficult accessing it, either because of the cost, age, health, and digital literacy. McKinsey research has found digitalisation has accelerated by a shocking seven years during the pandemic - it would seem the travel industry is lagging behind

Data strategy and governance is critical to its success. Without good data strategy, experiences will remain complicated and stressful, and travellers will be left wondering how their data is being stored and used.

Pre-Covid travel was estimated to be worth £237 billion to the UK and this fell by over half during 2020. If the industry is going to keep apace and start to make up for the catastrophic effect of the pandemic, we need to rethink the approach using the data already held, connecting existing digital eco-systems, and generating insight about the audience. What’s needed is an amazing experience which is accessible to all. Better still, we need to create a strong value exchange for the data shared via an easy and secure form, reassuring users that their health data will only be used to allow them safe travel.

So where do we start?"

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