Can Digital Covid Passports Save Travel?
Listen to a thought-provoking interview with Travelocity founder and industry entrepreneur Terrell Jones in this episode
of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals.
Hyatt Hotels Corp. plans to incorporate the VeriFLY + Stay mobile health passport into its events programs. The hospitality company would use the VeriFLY app, which is currently being used by American Airlines and other travel suppliers to verify Covid-19 status and travel guidelines. Attendees coming to Hyatt properties could use the mobile solution prior to travel, to verify Covid-19 test results and any other health or safety criteria required by the meeting's organizers.
Daon, the biometric authentication company that provides the VeriFLY mobile solution, is continually updating the app to meet changing local guidelines and requirements.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have believed that accessibility to testing and resources would play a critical role in the travel industry’s recovery,” said Frank Lavey, Hyatt's senior vice president of global operations. “Collaborating with Daon, a leader in identity assurance, to test VeriFLY + Stay for colleagues and meeting attendees furthers our commitment to our guests’ and colleagues’ well-being, and represents an important step in providing peace of mind to meeting attendees before, during and after an event.”
Hyatt will first work closely with planners to identify the health criteria they require from attendees, such as presenting a negative Covid-19 test. That criteria would be communicated to all participants through the VeriFLY app prior to arrival, guiding travelers through the requirements and forms necessary to attend. The app will then display a green checkmark for all who satisfy the requirements.
Personal health information won't be shared directly with the hotel; rather, Daon will keep that data private, green-lighting the attendees and sharing only aggregated and anonymized data with Hyatt or the individual properties.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have stayed close to our customers to understand what’s most important to them and focus on solutions that meet their needs,” said Steve Enselein, senior vice president of events for Hyatt. “In listening to our customers, we know attendee safety and well-being remain top priorities for meeting planners, and we look forward to exploring VeriFLY + Stay with meeting planners to provide a new resource that assists with event execution.”
The announcement comes as the airlines and other industry leaders call for more standardization in travel and meetings requirements, and among digital-passport data compatibility. VeriFLY has been gaining traction in the marketplace and claims more than 300,000 active users in 55 countries.