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Reimagining the Future of Travel: 24 Hours to your destination

Imagine a future where you can apply for a visa…and travel within 24 hours!

Deloitte remains committed to transforming this vision into reality through the Future of Travel offering. Leveraging extensive experience with cutting-edge technology and innovative processing solutions, the aim is to automate, streamline and secure the end-to-end travel journey.

The challenge

Across the travel ecosystem, several barriers may stand in the way of realising this 24-hour “apply and travel” vision. Despite technology advancements, government agencies responsible for processing visa applications for both travellers and immigrants face growing backlogues. Applicants can sometimes wait weeks, months or even years   for processing of documentation, such as employment authorisations, travel credentials or replacement passports.

In the United States, our travel ecosystem agencies, such as the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, are critical to protecting national security, vetting travellers entering the country and ensuring the U.S. has access to the workforce  needed to generate economic growth. Adjudicating complex matters, such as citizenship naturalisation or traveller entry, can’t be rushed and must follow myriad and well-established laws, rules and systems. As technology advances, travellers’ expectations (especially for our “digital native” generations) are shifting, which can create challenges between user experience and the processes established to allow people to travel and immigrate.

The solution: reimagine the Future of Travel

To overcome these challenges, government agencies can collaborate with the private sector in new ways that champion a seamless, end-to-end traveller experience. Private sector collaborators  can help agencies identify and implement emerging technologies and modern tools to expedite processing, help identify high-risk cases and enable the rapid approval of low-risk travel. They can also share perspectives and lessons learnt from across the travel ecosystem, promoting a holistic, user-centred approach that benefits travellers, immigration officers and workers across the travel ecosystem.

What could the building blocks of reimagined travel look like? Here are four considerations:

The convenience of smart phones is making it easier and more common to capture biometric data via facial recognition or fingerprints to streamline check-in and accelerate applicant ID verification.  Remote biometrics collection and virtual ID verification, a precursor for digital ID , can enable the use of digital green cards and travel documents which can offer significant enhancements for applicant security and vetting processes while reducing processing times upon arrival at ports of entry.

Sorting millions of applications to ensure each goes through a risk-review adjudication process can be done through secure AI-driven workflows, with data interoperability at its core. The deployment of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) capabilities can enable government agencies to pull together disparate data from hundreds of national and international sources. This can enable immigration officers and adjudicators to make queries that are straight -forward and actionable, enhancing their decision-making and improving users’ experience. 

The proliferation of trusted traveller programmes may demonstrate that travellers are willing to provide their personal information in exchange for added travel convenience and efficiency. Trusted traveller programmes can be scaled to allow for more participation and integrated with airline travel apps to increase the seamless exchange of data via opt-in programmes. Similarly, employers with globally diverse and mobile workforces could be offered a “trusted employer” status   by complying with security, vetting and information sharing processes. Companies could self-certify their business travel and immigration cases while sharing data with a receiving government’s immigration system, enabling the agency to monitor immigration processes and visa issuance more easily via audits and rigorous compliance programmes. This convenience, predictability, accountability and efficiency could help to reduce agencies’ processing tasks and improve travellers’ experiences, while increasing security and trust in government processes.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic not only demonstrated that many government services can be provided digitally, but that digital access to government services is an important aspect of positive user experiences.  A ”digital first” mentality, with a single “one-stop-shop” portal, could improve users’ experience while helping to improve processing efficiency. As laws and regulations increasingly allow visa or immigration processing to be done virtually, a single portal could guide appropriate travel, visa or immigration pathways via GenAI guidance, video interviews, payment, application support and status updates on mobile and desktop devices.

Deloitte’s Future of Travel

Deloitte’s Future of Travel offering delivers customer-focused, secure AI-enabled solutions, wrapped into new business models and industry collaborations that are grounded in trust. We are leveraging our experience, cutting-edge technology and innovative processing solutions to help automate, streamline and secure the end-to-end travel journey. By leveraging the breadth and depth of our experience to tackle these challenges holistically, we are helping to make  travel more secure, seamless and customer centric.

As government agencies strive to enhance the traveller experience, Deloitte’s Future of Travel can help agencies realise their goal of safe, efficient and seamless travel processing today and in the future.

To learn more about our approach and solutions please visit

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