As Europe prepares to implement a digital registration and entry system for visitors to the block, with several delays and problems, the Dutch Caribbean destination of Aruba has showcased a stress-and-document-free way to travel to the island.
Secure passport on your device
The Aruban government, working alongside SITA, the leading IT provider to the air transport industry, has created a way to digitally verify passenger credentials, removing the need for passengers to show their physical passport when arriving on the island.
Passengers can now create a secure digital version of their physical passport on their mobile device in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards – a development hailed as a “transformation” by Andrew Hoo, Director of Immigration for the Government of Aruba.
A stress-free Caribbean holiday
Speaking with Jeremy Springall, SVP of SITA AT BORDERS, at the ICAO TRIP conference in Montreal, Hoo emphasised the way the new procedure can enhance the holidaymaker experience.
As an island where tourism is fundamental to our economy, we want to make the immigration process as easy as possible for passengers.Jeremy Springall, SVP of SITA AT BORDERS
SITA is excited to collaborate with Aruba Tourism Authority and Indicio to offer seamless travel to Aruba through the use of verifiable digital credential technology. Our team was in Aruba this week to officially launch the drive of the new technology. #DTC #Digitaltravel #Aruba pic.twitter.com/E57kzKQGK3— SITA (@SITAonline) March 31, 2023
“With a Digital Travel Credential, we now have a way to make entering the country as easy as scanning your face while meeting our security needs. This is just the start of our digital transformation journey. We want to use this technology so that visitors will never forget they are on vacation when they arrive on the island,” Hoo said.
Springall described the Digital Travel Credentials as “the biggest innovation in the travel industry in at least a decade.” It will fundamentally simplify how we travel, allowing governments to approve passengers ahead of travel so they arrive at the airport ready to fly. To be identified, all passengers need to do is scan their face.”
Arrivals at Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad in March had the opportunity to try out the seamless arrangements. All they needed to do was apply for travel authorisation without paper documents, by consenting to “share any of their relevant data” from a digital wallet on their mobile device to multiple recipients across journeys, “from the government at the port of entry to other touchpoints such as hotels or car rental.”
Following the trials, Hoo said Aruba is now set to expand and permanently roll out “its vision for a seamless traveler experience” for all visitors to the island, making it one of the first countries to do use digital passport verification globally.