(Oranjestad)—Last week Thursday, the minister of tourism, public health, and sports for Aruba, Dangui Oduber, announced the successful trial of a pilot program for a new mobile application called the Aruba Happy One Pass (HOP). The app is the first of its kind for travelers, designed to hold and share personal travel data in a way that preserves their privacy while delivering a frictionless, seamless travel experience when coming to Aruba.
The underlying digital travel credential (DTC) technology was developed jointly with the Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA), Immigration Aruba (the Aruba Immigration), SITA, and Indicio, and represents a ground-breaking development in travel where passengers will be able to avail of seamless verification for embarkation, immigration, and border crossing–all before boarding their flights.
The Aruba HOP enables a passenger to turn their physical passport into a digital credential whose authenticity, integrity, and ownership can be automatically and repeatedly verified with the passenger’s consent. The new app streamlines the arrival and border control process at airports, while reducing the risk of error, identity theft, or fraud. The resulting efficiencies will cut wait times and create a seamless travel experience for passengers, getting them to their destination quicker.
What makes the Aruba HOP unique is that it is designed to eliminate third-party data storage. With the Aruba HOP, passengers hold their own data and share it by consent. They do not need a third party to manage access to their data. This “privacy-by-design” approach simplifies data privacy compliance and provides passengers with assurance that they control their personal information. This is a significant development on current technology and represents a “passenger-first” approach to travel.
Minister Oduber has always strived towards innovative projects and processes, and as such, has made it the focal point of his strategy and his vision. His aim is to foster cooperation and partnerships with different stakeholders to ensure that this project reaches the whole Hospitality Industry on Aruba, giving all participants within this industry the opportunity to benefit from this project while offering a more efficient service to their guests. The main objective of the “Seamless Travel Experience” is to enhance the traveling experience by transforming it to a fully digital and hassle free to and from Aruba.
The project builds on extensive trials of verifiable digital credential technology in Aruba from 2021 onwards that were conducted by SITA and Indicio to manage traveler health data from Covid testing and vaccination. The design of Aruba hop was based on principles set forth by One ID and from the DTC standard from International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and was built on Hyperledger Foundation open-source technologies for maximum interoperability.
“The Aruba Happy One Pass is intended to transform the traveler experience, creating a more efficient security process where travelers have everything they need right on their personal devices,” said Ronella Croes, CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority. “Aruba is proud to be a trailblazer in innovation within the tourism industry, delivering an exceptional experience for visitors from our airport and accommodations to our world-class beaches and vibrant culture.”
Jeremy Springall, SITA’s Senior Vice-President, SITA AT BORDERS, said: “The Aruba Happy One Pass is driving forward the use of digital identities in travel, to ensure secure and seamless journeys, in a privacy-preserving way with arriving travelers pre-cleared and ‘ready-to-go’. Digital identities will enable travel from anywhere to everywhere – by air, land, or sea – without needing to show our physical travel documents. The Aruba HOP project brings this vision closer to reality.”
“Biometrics and verifiable credentials are the key technologies for a secure and seamless traveler experience,” said Heather Dahl, CEO of Indicio, a global leader in verifiable data and decentralized identity technology. “SITA and Aruba’s commitment to privacy-preserving innovation means that passengers can store information on their devices and share it as needed for a truly touchless and happy experience. This is a clear market indicator that technology built on open standards and open- source code produces the contactless passenger journey that the travel industry needs and a seamless experience that passengers expect.”
To see how Aruba HOP, using the SITA DTC, creates a secure travel credential, watch this video.