MANILA – The Philippine government is considering the use of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) travel pass as part of the country’s preparations for the resumption of international travel amid the pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.
“This move is parallel with the steps undertaken by other countries that have successfully relaxed borders to visitors amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
“Albeit on its testing stage, the IATA Travel Pass, which offers safe and convenient travel, has so far been helpful to airlines that have adopted it for trial,” she added.
Puyat raised this possibility during a meeting with the IATA and local tourism industry leaders to explore the adoption of the pass for passengers visiting the Philippines as she highlighted Manila’s push for the gradual reopening of tourist destinations with health and safety as top priorities.
The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile application that helps people travel with ease while meeting government travel requirements for Covid-19 tests or vaccines.
It can be used by users to create a digital passport, verify their tests or vaccinations with regulatory authorities, and submit requirements such as test results or vaccination certificates to facilitate travel.
The initiative also features a “Lab App” to allow authorized Covid-19 testing centers and laboratories to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers.
The DOT, however, did not provide any timeline when the IATA initiative will be adopted in the Philippines.
“Once the country’s adoption of the IATA Travel Pass is put into motion, the DOT hopes to safely reopen our tourist destinations to international visitors and revive the tourism industry as a whole. But this will be done only when the time is right,” Puyat said.
As of April 4, the DOT said over 20 airlines and airline groups have adopted the IATA Travel Pass on a trial basis.
The IATA represents a total of 290 airlines or 82 percent of the world’s total commercial air traffic. Its members from the Philippines are Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. PNA – northboundasia.com