96% of UAE travellers would be comfortable using digital health passports to help restart travel, according to new traveller research

The study, commissioned by Amadeus and delivered by Censuswide, provides encouraging news for the industry, with 51% of travellers from the UAE keen to book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting

Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont

Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont

  • The study also demonstrates the importance of understanding traveller concerns around privacy, ease of use and security

As governments and the travel industry explore the benefits of digital health passports, the message from travellers is clear: digital health passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel. An Amadeus commissioned study has found that that just over 9 in 10 (91%) travellers surveyed globally would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future trips.

This encouraging research provides an incentive to accelerate plans for digital health passports that will help to address traveller concerns. The study provided further good news for the industry as just over half of UAE travellers (51%) said they would book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting, demonstrating that the appetite to travel remains high.

The survey of 9,055 travellers in France, Spain, Germany, India, UAE, Russia, Singapore, UK and US also contained a note of caution for the industry with over 9 in 10 (93%) travellers having some concerns around storing their health data for travel.

When asked about the receptiveness to storing and sharing digital health data survey results for the UAE show:

  • Over 8 in 10 (82%) would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it enabled them to pass through the airport faster with fewer face-to-face interactions.
  • 78% of travellers from the UAE would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it meant it enabled them to travel sooner.

Although receptiveness to sharing data is high, the travel industry needs to consider traveller concerns around the use of data. The three main concerns of UAE travellers are:

  • Security risks associated with personal information being hacked (39%)
  • Privacy concerns around what health information needs to be shared (38%)
  • A lack of transparency and control over where the data is shared (30%)   

The survey also explored what solutions might alleviate concerns around digital health data and travel in the future and results showed:

  • Almost 3 in 5 (58%) of UAE travellers would be comfortable using a digital passport if it was accepted by most countries and was regulated by international standards, while 47% would be comfortable if only COVID-19-specific data was included in any health passport.
  • Just under 8 in 10 (78%) would be more likely to store health data on an app where a travel company has partnered with a trusted healthcare company. 
  • 52% of UAE travellers said a travel app that could be used across the whole journey would greatly improve their overall travel experience and a similar number (51%) said it would reassure them their information is all in one place.
  • 55% of travellers agree a travel app would reduce their stress around travel.

The research is the second in a series of traveller surveys, where Amadeus takes a regular checkpoint on traveller sentiment and concerns to help the industry rebuild travel in the most effective way. The 2020 Rethink Travel survey revealed how technology can help to increase traveller confidence and Amadeus revisited this question to see how traveller confidence has changed since September 2020. Globally, 91% of travellers now say that technology will increase their confidence to travel, an increase from 84% in September 2020.

When asked which technology would increase confidence to travel in the next 12 months, mobile solutions were highlighted as a popular option among UAE travellers, with the top three technologies including:

  • Mobile boarding (e.g., having your boarding pass on your mobile phone) (52%)
  • Contactless mobile payments (e.g., Apple or Google Pay, Paypal, Venmo) (49%)
  • Mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts (49%)

Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf, says, “The realities of living alongside COVID-19 will continue to shape the way we travel for some time, just as the pandemic has influenced other areas of daily living. But while there are still uncertainties, this research makes me feel optimistic that we will rebuild travel even better than it was before. Collaboration across governments and our industry is key to restarting travel, but we must also deliver on traveller expectations and work to allay their concerns as outlined in this digital health survey. Travelers in the UAE continue to look to technology to help make their journeys digitally connected, safe and frictionless, and Amadeus is fully committed to playing its part in making this a reality.”

Christophe Bousquet, CTO, Amadeus, comments, “This study highlights once more the key role that technology will play in rebuilding travel. We’ve seen a shift since our last survey, as travellers now place more focus on mobile and touchless technology, crucial areas that will clearly strengthen traveller confidence. It’s also very relevant to see that travellers are open to digital health passports and sharing their data as they move through the journey, once the right safeguards are in place. At Amadeus, we’re committed to rebuilding a better industry, together with our customers and partners.”

To gather more insights into how the travel industry can rebuild, Amadeus, a global leader in travel technology, commissioned research to learn more about travellers top concerns around digital health data, their comfort levels with sharing and storing their data, and the solutions that may help to alleviate their concerns for future travel. To learn more about the results of the survey, read our global and country reports and infographics here.


Research methodology 

The survey was conducted in late February 2021 by global insight-driven research firm Censuswide to explore traveler sentiment in light of COVID-19 towards digital health data and technology to help rebuild travel. The findings were based on 9,055 respondents residing in France, Germany, Spain, UAE, Russia, India, Singapore, UK and US who have traveled abroad in the last 18 months (with a minimum of 1,000 respondents per market). Fieldwork was carried out between 18th – 26th February 2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. For reference: Generation Z = 16-24 year olds; Millennials = 25-39 year olds; Generation X = 40-54 year olds; Boomers = 55-74 year olds; 75+ Silent Generation 

About Amadeus  

Travel powers progress. Amadeus powers travel. Amadeus’ solutions connect travelers to the journeys they want through travel agents, search engines, tour operators, airlines, airports, hotels, cars and railways.  

We have developed our technology in partnership with the travel industry for over 30 years. We combine a deep understanding of how people travel with the ability to design and deliver the most complex, trusted, critical systems our customers need. We help connect over 1.6 billion people a year to local travel providers in over 190 countries. 

We are one company, with a global mindset and a local presence wherever our customers need us.  

Our purpose is to shape the future of travel. We are passionate in our pursuit of better technology that makes better journeys. 

Amadeus is an IBEX 35 company, listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange under AMS.MC.  

To find out more about Amadeus, visit www.amadeus.com.  

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