Image credit: GOPASS Global
For nearly two years now, businesses of all types have suffered economic losses, as states and municipalities impose restrictions designed to help protect the public against the ravages of COVID-19. Businesses including restaurants, entertainment venues, retail stores and more had to revamp their operating models to keep the doors open while minimizing human contact.
Restaurants shifted operations to accommodate grab-and-go and home delivery options. Music halls had to become creative, reducing crowd size, requiring masks, or shifting performances to outdoors. And in an effort to reduce the number of customers in their locations at one time, retail stores restricted traffic and allowed a specific number of people inside, requiring patrons to stand in line and wait to be admitted.
Like other industries, the travel sector has taken quite a hit from the lingering pandemic. Unlike retail, entertainment and restaurants, however, the travel and tourism industry has unique challenges. Simple tweaks to operations to boost business aren’t possible.
About a year ago, vaccinations were available in many countries and international borders began to open up. The Delta variant then reared its ugly head and countries once again began to close their borders. After infection rates began to drop, borders opened up, restrictions lifted and a travel-hungry public began to once again get on planes, trains and automobiles to go to new places for business and pleasure. Then the Omicron variant emerged in November 2021, causing new travel bans and tightening borders. But the news isn’t all bad.
Recovery Mode for the Travel Industry
According to travel industry research firm Skift, US hotels boasted a 44.3 percent occupancy rate, just about eight percent lower than for the comparable, pre-pandemic week of 2019. While travel recovery is uneven–at best–across US regions, it’s clear that there’s a strong correlation between the number of new COVID-19 cases and the travel industry’s recovery, says the Skift research. As cases increase, borders start to close, lockdowns go into effect, and travel rates drop.
Generally, the public has become apprehensive about traveling, and individuals need to have the latest information about the risks and safety considerations to feel secure enough to travel. To aid in that information, GOPASS rolled out a smart technology solution that compiles global, accurate, up-to-date travel risk information. It aims to help assess COVID-19 travel risk, so people can plan the safest possible trips possible.
Risk Assessment Processes
GOPASS Global’s Covid-19 biosecurity risk analytics platform solution uses more than 35 sources of data, paired with sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. The platform analyzes a combination of relatively static information, including the details and management of 730 different airlines and aircraft and thousands of airports. It also includes continually updated information about COVID-19 infection rates and travel rules, along with regulations and restrictions for countries and regions worldwide. The solution distills the information to come up with a safety rating for specific flights, based on the most timely information available.
Image credit: GOPASS Global
The cloud platform is based on Microsoft Azure and uses various Azure services, including Azure API Management. Data sources are accessed via APIs and stored in an Azure-managed MySQL database. The GOPASS platform’s unique algorithms score and interpret data to provide insights in the form of a direct-to-customer dashboard. It also has an API to allow the data to be integrated within a travel agency or corporate travel software system.
The system can alert travelers if the risk assessment changes right before travel is scheduled, and it also can trigger reminders, so travelers know when to get a COVID-19 test or fill out paperwork to meet current rules and regulations. Specific features include:
- Pre-travel analysis, which enables a snapshot of trip capability with combined information of flight and country risk;
- Country risk data, which combines COVID-19 infection rates, country mobility, government policy, infection trending, data reliability factoring and more;
- Country conditions, including detailed regulations, social information, rule change forecast, VISA information, and COVID-19 trending data detail;
- Corporate office status, the capability to manage corporate thresholds on risk levels for destination country, air route, airline and aircraft type parameters to manage duty of care limits;
- Flight route, which offers detailed risk analysis on specific routes, aircraft types and airport transit risk;
- Corporate travel risk thresholds, which integrates office status, access rules and compliance as part of an employee’s itinerary.
Although the platform was originally conceived as a COVID-19 specific travel risk tool, GOPASS states that it can be expanded to assess geo-political or environmental risks, for instance. But in the meantime, it’s helping travelers feel more confident that their travel plans will not expose them to significant risks of COVID-19 infection–and helping the travel industry to stay in motion during very trying times.
Want to learn more?
- Find out about GOPASS Global.
- See how the GOPASS Global platform analyzes risks of pandemic-impacted travel using AI-infused analytics.
- Watch this video to see the GOPASS Global solution in action.