By the end of March 2005 Lufthansa will indroduce new check-in machines which will allow to scan passengers' passports. Due to legal obligations the Airline has to collect passengers' passport data for each flight to USA, Canada, Korea or Mexico. Up to now these data have beeen collected manually. The new machines will be a further step towards self-service by passengers.
The Governing Council of Unidroit at its 80th Session has approved the issue of hotel contracts being put on its reserve list with a view to future work on it if resources are available. It now appears on the reserve list for the Unidroit Work Programme for 2002-2004.
The WTTC released a series of reports on 8.11.02 predicting a strong forecast for the last quarter of 2002 and strong growth in 2003. “The relative strength in consumer spending in many countries compared with expectations earlier in the year has helped maintain personal Travel and Tourism spending”. Despite the Bali bombings and uncertainty caused by potential military action against Iraq the WTTC/Oxford Economic Forecasting reports a forecast of 4.1% real growth in 2003.
IATA Director General, Pierre J Jeanniot, stated in letters to the Vice President of the European Commissioner and Commissioner for Transport, Mme Loyola de Palacio and US Secretary of Transport, Mr Norman Mineta, "At the present time, there is no conclusive medical evidence supporting the alleged connection of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) with long distance travel. Nonetheless, a number of further studies are underway and IATA Members are very much aware of the need to minimise any potential risks". IATA is organising a worldwide conference on cabin health in Geneva 17-18 May 2001.
The tourism sector is recovering from the doldrums brought about by the Asian economic crisis. The WTO's preliminary figures show international tourist arrivals in 1999 at 665-670 million, a growth of 4-5%. There has been robust growth in the European outbound travel to other European destinations, North America, North Africa and Asia. The Asian outbound market is also recovering. Tunisia and Morocco have both experienced growth rates of 12%, Southern France 10% and Spain 9%. The Latin American outbound market remains in the doldrums, however.
Pierre Jeanniot (DG of IATA) stated on 16 November 1999 "There is no question that the air transport industry will continue to liberalise. Our main concern is that liberalisation proceeds in a manner which produces the best balance of benefits to consumers, airlines and the public interest". IATA has issued a discussion paper on Air Transport and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). At present GATS covers repair and maintenance, provision of computer reservation systems and sales and marketing of air services.