The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recently unveiled its latest protocols for the global Travel & Tourism sector which focus on measures to ensure the reopening of adventure tourism.
“Adventure tourism is becoming increasingly popular amongst travellers and will represent a key component to travel in the new normal,” said WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara.
According to the WTTC’s recently launched COVID-19 Travel Demand Recovery Dashboard, adventure tourism is also one of the fastest growing segments, as travellers seek more unique experiences post COVID-19.
Backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the WTTC protocols also take into account guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the WTTC Safe Travels stamp recognises those destinations, countries, businesses and governments worldwide which have adopted them.
WTTC divided its new guidance into four pillars including operational and staff preparedness; delivering a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; and implementing enabling policies.
Within these protocols, the adventure tourism industry refers to a wide variety of adventure tourism experiences including cycling, rafting, trekking, skiing, snowboarding, wildlife safaris and culinary tours, among others.
Not only are these activities mostly outdoors, thus limiting time spent in indoors; but group sizes can be managed to allow for physical distancing. It is expected that this type of tourism will see growth in the post-Covid-19 landscape.
Measures announced for adventure travel include:
- Reduce participant capacity limits for activities as appropriate to allow for physical distancing
- Ensured activity difficulty levels do not exceed guest ability and skill, thus decreasing the need for a possible rescue
- Provide clear, consistent, and up-to-date communication on new health & hygiene protocols via the organisation’s channels, both digitally and physically through clear signage
- Promote contact tracing apps if required by local legislation
- Inform guests about support available if questions or concerns arise
- Share guest guidelines ahead of trip or activity digitally and in person upon arrival on the basis of advice from health authorities, which may include the wearing of face masks or coverings, guidance on hand hygiene and avoiding physical contact. Consider having consumers acknowledge guidelines
- Encouraged guests to purchase tickets online if possible
- Keep the same households, families, or members of group bookings together for all activities to lower risk of exposure for those outside of that unit, wherever possible
- Ensure, where possible, that each guest can handle their own equipment and gear for the duration of the trip. Where possible, guests should be encouraged bring their own equipment or gear, such as bikes, skis, and helmets among others
- Limited physical contact and queuing where possible
Protocols for the adventure tourism industry were compiled on the basis of insights and frameworks developed by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), in collaboration with a number of key tour operators in the segment such as Abercrombie & Kent, Eurotur, Intrepid and The Travel Corporation (TTC), to support the safe, healthy and responsible restart of adventure tourism around the world.
Protocols have also been issued for aviation and airlines, hotels, outdoor shopping and retail, MICE, tour operators, attractions, car hire and short-term rental,which were widely endorsed and supported by top CEOs and business leaders globally.
The WTTC’s detailed report on protocols can be downloaded here: