Governments and travel companies urged to improve data-sharing

Intercept and prevent terrorist attacks.

Governments and travel companies must improve data-sharing to prevent and intercept terrorist attacks, a travel council has urged. Governments are not ‘very good’ at sharing data with other countries; while travel industry data are held by airlines, travel agents, tour operators and booking system providers, said David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). This makes it hard to join the dots, he explained. "One of the things as an industry we've got to get better at is getting to a point where we will share data when it needs to be shared to allow the authorities to intercept and prevent these terrorist attacks," he told Reuters. "At some point as an industry we have to move towards a system where that data can be aggregated and shared and assessed by people in the intelligence services”, he said. Analysis by WTTC of crisis events showed that tourist destinations on average take around 13 months to recover from an attack; and 21 to 26 months to bounce back from diseases, environmental disasters or political turmoil, he said. Scowsill addressed the issue a day after the United States issued a travel alert to Americans travelling to Europe, calling their citizens to take precaution against potential terrorist attacks.