Caribbean tourist destination Jamaica will adopt SITA’s Digital Travel Declaration solution allowing travelers to submit all immigration, customs, and health documentation required for entry into the country through one easy, efficient, and secure platform. Digital Travel Declaration will support Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) in clearing passengers for travel pre-departure, supporting a safe, streamlined return to international travel in a country where tourism is a key contributor to the economy.
After having seen visitor numbers plunge by more than half in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamaica is well on its way to a full recovery of its tourism sector. As passenger volumes surge across the globe, SITA’s Digital Travel Declaration will help travelers avoid long queues at the airport, automating verification processes and certifying that they have the right documents to travel before they even arrive at the airport.
Andrew Wynter, CEO, PICA, said: “We want to welcome visitors to Jamaica in the friendliest, safest, and most straightforward way possible, and we are delighted to see visitors returning in great numbers. SITA has provided us the opportunity to streamline our processes for entry to the country and offer a simpler experience to travelers while helping ensure the safety of everyone. Given Jamaica’s past successes implementing SITA’s innovative border solutions, I know the Digital Travel Declaration will be of great benefit to the Jamaican economic and governance strategies”.
The Jamaican government collects immigration and customs data from each traveler through a separate online platform currently, and the Digital Travel Declaration system will consolidate these processes and provide a single, simple platform for passengers to submit all required documents and data and receive travel authorization.
With the ability to verify information and assess risk levels, the Digital Travel Declaration system can provide validation to passengers pre-departure, ensuring clarity on whether or not they can travel well before they arrive at the airport. This will enhance travel facilitation and assist in reducing bottlenecks at airports from checks upon arrival. Furthermore, PICA will be able to easily adapt and reconfigure the Digital Travel Declaration solution when entry requirements to Jamaica shift.
As a longstanding customer of SITA, PICA pioneered the implementation of SITA’s automated border control (ABC) kiosks at Jamaica’s two major airports in Montego Bay and Kingston. While the use of Digital Travel Declaration will currently be limited to air travel, the system has the potential to be expanded to sea travel, the second main mode of entry to Jamaica.
Matthys Serfontein, President of SITA Americas, said: “We are extremely proud to support the Jamaican government in optimizing their systems for welcoming travelers just as visitor numbers rapidly catch up to pre-pandemic levels. The benefits of Digital Travel Declaration in terms of added efficiency and simplicity are sure to last well into the long term. We applaud the ways Jamaica has endeavored to continually refine its border processes with the help of new technologies, and we look forward to continuing our partnership.”