Published On: Wed, Jun 13th, 2018

IATA asks governments to eliminate barriers to the free movement of people

According to the International Air Transport Association in the next 20 years, the number of passengers will double, so it is urgent that the border processes be simplified.

IATAThe International Air Transport Association (IATA, for its acronym in English) called on governments to intensify their efforts to disseminate economic and social benefits of aviation to remove onerous barriers to the free movement of persons across borders.

"In the next 20 years, the number of passengers will double, which is excellent news for the global economy, since air connectivity is a catalyst for job creation and GDP growth, but we will not obtain the maximum social benefits. economic growth if the barriers to travel are not addressed and processes are simplified, "said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.

There are many barriers to travel, ranging from visa restrictions and government information requirements to the capacity of current facilitation processes to absorb the growing number of air travelers. IATA has developed a comprehensive open border strategy to help governments work with the industry to maintain the integrity of national borders and eliminate the inefficiencies that prevent the industry from meeting travel demand.

The research of the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) on the impact of visa facilitation indicates that $ 89 billion in tourism revenue will be created and 2 , 6 million jobs in the Asia Pacific region only with the reduction of barriers to travel

The IATA Open Borders strategy has four main components:

Review visa requirements and eliminate unnecessary travel restrictions: the goal is to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel. Existing visa regimes are too restrictive, expensive and inefficient, and will not be able to cope with the expected travel demand. The solution to this lies in unlocking the potential of shared information in a reliable framework. This will improve safety, while easing passenger flows and decreasing the demand for new infrastructure to accommodate the predicted doubling of air travel over the next two decades.

Including facilitation of travel as part of bilateral and regional trade negotiations: free trade agreements have seen an expansion of goods and services across borders. This has stimulated the economic growth of the participating countries. Restrictive visa requirements are non-tariff barriers to trade, however, they are not normally addressed in commercial discussions. IATA believes that eliminating restrictions on the free movement of travelers should receive as much priority as other barriers to liberalized trade in goods and services. One way is for governments to include liberalized visa requirements in trade agreements.

Linking registered passenger programs: several states already operate registered passenger programs. The research shows that a large majority of travelers are willing to provide personal information in exchange for an expedited processing in the travel process. Registered traveler programs are a key component of risk-based security measures that help governments use scarce resources with maximum efficiency. Where these programs are linked (Canada-US For example) efficiencies grow. But these are still rare cases. IATA encourages more governments to build links between their programs.

Use API data more effectively and efficiently: airlines spend millions of dollars on passenger advance information (API) as required by governments. Governments must process API data efficiently. For example, since governments have information before boarding, inadmissible passengers must be notified before their journey begins, rather than when they arrive, which is costly for airlines and disappointing for passengers. Similarly, arrival procedures should be simplified for passengers whose data has been previously investigated.

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