In an effort to revive the travel industry in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, Israeli company Pangea announced today a platform and a process that will enable governments to reopen their borders and airports.
A survey by GlobalWebIndex in 17 countries found that 58 percent will start traveling “when I feel it’s safe to travel.” Thirty-one percent plan to travel in their local area.
Another survey by IBM among more than 25,000 US adults in April found conferences and trade shows had 75 percent indicating that they are unlikely to attend an in-person conference or trade show in 2020.
Pangea seemed to may have a solution for the dead tourism industry. The company plans to release a smart card that facilitates visitors’ access to terminals and aircraft, while also protecting the population from spreading the virus.
The new card has a profile photo, a signature, a chip, and a hologram, includes up-to-date encrypted data on the passenger’s coronavirus profile, and can be securely linked to any country’s medical database.
The issuance of Pangea’s card will require close coordination of the countries whose citizens will travel between them.
The issuing of its card in each country would be observed by all authorities in charge including health ministry, tourism, airports, airlines, and insurance companies.
According to the company, Israel is currently in the process of developing a protocol for the smart card.
Pangea said its search engine will review each case and determine whether the traveler meets the necessary entry requirements in each country. The engine would be able to make real-time updates as countries revise their requirements to cope with a changing health environment.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said “Travel is down, fear is up, and the future is uncertain,” while he explained why it is so important to start traveling again: “Tourism can be a platform for overcoming the pandemic,” he said, “By bringing people together, tourism can promote solidarity and trust—crucial ingredients in advancing the global cooperation that is so urgently needed at this time.”
Uzy Rozenthal, Pangea EVP and general manager of the government division, explains: “The need to open up the economy is critical and existential, but it requires that each and every country adopt advanced solutions for reducing the danger of mass infection.
“For example, the 14-day isolation after a flight is not practical, both in the case of mass tourism involving tens of millions of people and in the case of business people whose time is expensive,” Rozenthal added.
He said that the immunity ‘passport’ will create sterile areas where thousands of people would feel safe to conduct any activity without fear.