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Safe Travels: WTTC Unveils New Global Tourism Protocols to Restart Sector

The protocols are suggested to be applied across the main industries within Travel & Tourism including hospitality (hotels), aviation (airlines), airports, cruise operators, retail, transportation, MICE and tour operators amongst others.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on Wednesday unveiled a range of new worldwide suggested measures to restart the Travel & Tourism private sector in the post Covid-19 world.

According to the WTTC, the new measures have been designed to rebuild confidence among consumers so they can travel safely once the restrictions are lifted.

The new Safe Travels protocols provide consistency to destinations and countries as well as guidance to travel providers, operators, and travellers, about the new approach to health and hygiene in the aftermath of the coronavirus.

As underlined by the WTTC, the health and safety of travellers and workers is put at the heart of the new global protocols, which have been drawn up by its members.

“…We are calling on governments to adopt them so that they can be implemented globally and restore much-needed confidence in order to restart the Travel & Tourism sector,” WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara said.

WTTC is devising the new Safe Travels protocols following close consultation with industry associations like Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), to bring confidence back and set clear expectations of what travellers may front in their next trip.

The WTTC says the protocols will apply across the main industries within Travel & Tourism including hospitality, aviation, airports, cruise operators, retail, transportation, MICE and tour operators amongst others.

Detailed discussions are taking place with key stakeholders and organisations in each industry within the sector to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, with hospitality and retail guidelines being released today.

According to the WTTC, its initiative has been backed by top CEOs and business leaders from across the Travel & Tourism sector.

The new guidance has been divided into five pillars including restarting operations; ensuring the traveller experience is safe and secure; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.

The protocols are based on the best available medical evidence, following guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they also avoid the emergence of multiple standards, which would only delay the sector’s recovery.

Leading Global Protocols for the New Normal

The proposed measures announced today by the WTTC are for hotels and the retail sector.

Additional and separate measures for the aviation and cruise sectors are still in development and will be announced in due course.

According to the WTTC, both sectors, which have always had high health and safety standards, are reassessing their protocols, with new measures around hygiene, deep cleansing and social distancing being analysed.

WTTC protocols

Hotels/Hospitality

Key measures include:

  • Revisit guidance for cleaning teams for all areas of the hotel with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points, such as room key cards
  • Ensure social distancing for guests through signage and guidelines including lifts
  • Retrain staff in infection control, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, including hand washing and the use of masks and gloves
  • All extraneous items should be removed throughout the hotel
  • Integrate technologies to enable automation, such as introducing contactless payments where possible
  • Offer room service using no-contact delivery methods
  • Have clear, consistent and enhanced communication with customers on new health and hygiene safety protocols, both digitally and physically at hotels
  • Safe reopening of Food and Beverage outlets and Meeting and Events spaces with specific actions to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety.

 

Hospitality - Global Protocols for the New Normal

Retail

Key Measures include:

  • Deep cleaning regimes
  • Staff should be fully familiar and trained in the new policies, including social distancing, the use of thermal scanning and the wearing of face masks
  • Social distancing should be observed in stores through special visual markers
  • Minimise touch points by introducing digital maps, digital queue management, e-menus, virtual personal shopping and roving concierges
  • Promote contactless payments and email receipts wherever possible by providing complimentary WIFI to encourage take up
  • Hand sanitisers at shop entrances and exits, as well as at intervals inside premises and in bathrooms.
  • In cafes, restaurants and other food outlets, all menus to be available digitally
  • Special attention placed to seating and queue management in line with social distancing requirements
  • Capacity limits should be introduced in retail car parks to prevent overcrowding.

 

Outdoor Shopping - Global Protocols for the New Normal

WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3 percent contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

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