What will be the role of technology in the recovery of tourism? Perhaps its greatest contribution in these times will be the so-called “Green Digital Certificate” of which the European Commission presented yesterday its interim report to the European Council (made up of the 27 member countries) and the European Parliament.
Hopefully, after your contributions and those of the Economic-Social Committees and the Regions Committee, the final document will see the light as soon as possible. On May 9, Europe Day, it would be an exceptional and very important date for the EU to announce the standard of this fundamental document to reactivate the economy and recover jobs in Europe. A doubly historic date from that moment on.
Having the standard decided by May 9 would mean that the European authorities have understood the crucial importance of being really agile on this occasion, as it would allow countries to react in time and develop the necessary technological infrastructure so that everything was ready before the start of the 2021 summer season. With health mobility assured, the travel, tourism and leisure sector will do its part to overcome this crisis as soon as possible. And with them all the other productive sectors, since this crisis has made the driving nature of tourism in the economy and employment clearer than ever. For example, Spain in 2019 could boast of having a total consumer market (47 million Spaniards + 83.7 million tourists) of almost 130 million people.
Every day that we go by without an instrument certified by the EU and validated by all the countries of the Union, will be a day lost in the recovery of the economy, employment and of an European society that is already suffering from chronic pandemic fatigue. How long can we wait?
In addition, this document could be more than a safe conduct to cross borders while the pandemic lasts, it should be the germ of the so-called “European health card” with which we could all travel with greater safety, facing any incident or health emergency when we are outside our town of residence.
And, if we are most concerned about data security and control, any standard must guarantee absolute compliance with European Union legislation on data protection, the strictest in the world today. Therefore, it is essential that this digital certificate is endorsed and secured with BLOCKCHAIN technology. Currently the only technology that can guarantee 100% the traceability, security and validity of the “Green Digital Certificate”, which must be checked in an agile way at border crossings, airlines, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, concerts, etc.
We are envisioning a near future in which they can be carried on our mobiles, in a totally safe way and with control of who accesses the data: Vaccination certificates, PCR results, Immunity generated by having suffered and survived the disease and information that can be the difference between life and death in case of illness or accident when we are away from our place of residence. Always certificates issued in digital format by approved health centers and laboratories, within a secure European blockchain network, which is impossible to “hack” or falsify and whose information can be consulted in multiple languages. And everything in the “wallet” of our mobile!
I speak of an essential tool to be able to move forward guaranteeing the safety of travelers and improving the travel experience for all and that has been developed entirely in Spain with Spanish resources and talent.
A software that complies with the European standard and reinforces it, because it has been designed with the maximum guarantees of security and control of the data by the owner, interoperable and multilingual. I’m talking about hi + Card, software we’ve been working on for more than a year.
hi + Card is a reality and will be available in April in the “app stores” (iOS and Android) in version 1.0, with the possibility of saving the traveler’s medical information in multilingual format and with maximum control by the holder, and it is prepared to safely and reliably incorporate everything that the EU and governments want to request from us to guarantee public health and promote the recovery of travel and tourism on the continent.
The new normal is still somewhat confusing, but we will invent it as challenges arise, as we have always done. And although sometimes we will try to get ahead, now it has been out of sheer necessity.
By: Antonio López de Ávila Muñoz