The World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and AOKpass have officially partnered to support coordinated global efforts to more safely and efficiently restart travel.

Under the collaboration agreement, the partners will work closely to support the rebuilding of travel, tourism and related sectors, which have been profoundly devastated by the global pandemic.

“Countries and workers reliant on tourism for jobs and economic survival have been hardest hit and conditions will only worsen without a safe and coordinated return to domestic and international tourism. Working with ICC and AOKpass, we are focused on the use of leading-edge digital innovation to help restore traveller confidence and facilitate a return to safe, secure and seamless travel.” said UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili.

Tourism has been one of the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19, and no country has been unaffected. UNWTO data suggests that up to 120 million direct tourism jobs are at risk. The UN Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) forecasts a staggering loss to global GDP of USD $1.2 to $2.2 trillion.

Supporting UNWTO’s efforts to rebuild tourism, ICC and AOKpass have developed the ICC AOKpass mobile app, a production-ready and privacy-preserving COVID-19 health status verification system. With active pilots already deployed worldwide, travellers on specific routes can already use ICC AOKpass to easily and securely verify they have obtained mandatory negative PCR test results required for entry by a growing number of countries. The app will also help restore confidence among travellers that other co-passengers have tested negative for COVID-19 and potentially allow them to avoid long quarantine periods at point of destination.

“Working with UNWTO, we are issuing a call to action to catalyse global efforts for rebuilding vital travel and tourism related industries and to protect both lives and livelihoods. As a standardised interoperable global solution for health status verification, ICC AOKpass prioritises traveller health and safety while also ensuring strict personal data protection for users.” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO.

Key partners in the app’s development include International SOS (world’s largest health and security services firm) and SGS Group (world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification firm). Leveraging the extensive networks of all partners, AOKpass is designed as a powerful new tool to complement emerging laws, medical science and industry best practice at both local and international levels, as they evolve.