The Canary Islands will be the destination of the first test flight with a digital health passport


The Tourism Minister of the Canary Islands received this Friday the call from the director-general of the World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili, to confirm this news which is the result of the collaboration started between both institutions.

A mobile application, developed by a Canarian company, called Hi + Card, has been selected by UNWTO to launch this project that becomes a true digital health passport that stores medical records and will allow passengers to travel safely, offering the possibility of traceability.

The Canary Islands will be the destination of the first pilot flight, with passengers monitored by a secure health application called Hi + Card and free of Covid-19. This was transmitted this Friday by the Director General of the World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili to the Tourism Minister of the Canary Islands Government, Yaiza Castilla, who thanked him for this “great news” that occurs in the framework of collaboration initiated between both institutions to share and develop measures that support the tourist recovery of the Canary Islands as a safe destination.

Yaiza Castilla points out that "the necessary steps are being taken so that passengers can travel with ease and airlines can, in turn, increase the capacity of their flights, since this application is configured as a digital health passport, covering an expected need for the Canary Islands as a destination, but also for travelers and airlines, who need to have the peace of mind of safely carrying their medical data that certifies them as free of Covid-19.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has pointed out that “in these exceptional times, in which the Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world economy and threatened our tourism sector, innovation becomes the cornerstone of the recuperation. The trips will no longer be as before. Rather, they will become safer and more sustainable to continue providing benefits to nations and communities.”

The travelers of this pioneering flight in the world, which will take place next July, will have a unique digital profile on their smartphones, where a health entity, accredited by the Ministry of Health, uploads medical information. "Thus, the possibility of creating false profiles or manipulating medical records is avoided," explains Antonio López de Ávila, co-founder of hi + Card and CEO of TDDS. Users ask these entities to directly store the information, encrypted and secure, in their profiles.

UNWTO collaboration with the Canary Islands

The Minister of Tourism of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla, thanked the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization for this important support for his strategy of reopening tourism in the face of the crisis caused by Covid-19.

This commitment materialized after a telematic meeting with the UNWTO to present the archipelago's project to recover tourism as soon as possible and which involves converting the Canary Islands into a redesign laboratory for processes of the entire value chain of tourism activity, creating and verifying protocols for each service and minimizing any risk in order to transmit health security to tourists.

Castilla, who was accompanied at this meeting by the director of the laboratory project, Cristina del Río Fresen, received from Zurab Pololikashvili the support needed for this strategy, as well as the collaboration for the project in the future.

The representative of the UNWTO has acknowledged that the Canary Islands were the first region to present them a project of recovery of the activity so complete, which is "very interesting for any destination because it takes into account the entire tourist value chain ”.

In this regard, Yaiza Castilla informed the international representative that the intention of the Canary Islands is to become a global laboratory for redesigning security tourism protocols, applying them on all the islands in the archipelago and sharing them with other tourist destinations in the world.

Zurab Pololikashvili also reported that the Organization's Digital Innovation and Transformation department is working on a project to minimize risks against the disease on the part of travelers through traceability systems and technology.

Hi + Card

Hi + Card is part of the solutions that the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is supporting based on the commitment made with the Government of the Canary Islands to help the recovery of tourism in the world.

It is a Canarian initiative, global in scope, linked to Turisfera - the Canary Islands Business Innovation cluster, and launched by Air Institute and Tourism Data Driven Solutions (TDDS) in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Source: Gobierno de Canarias

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