Now that we’re on the ‘new normal’ road out of COVID-19 with international border reopenings being announced by the day, The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp. But will it give travellers confidence to book in this complex new world?
WTTC says that the specially designed ‘Safe Travels’ stamp will allow travellers to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols.
To qualify to be part of the scheme, eligible businesses such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports, will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene protocols, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.
Destinations will also help to award the stamp of approval to local suppliers.
The move by WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, has also received the backing of the influential United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
WTTC says the launch of global protocols to boost the Travel & Tourism sector have been embraced by over 200 CEO’s including some of the world’s major tourism groups.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We are delighted that UNWTO are supporting the private sector global protocols and our efforts as public-private collaboration are critical to ensure a faster recovery.
“We have learned from past crises that global standard protocols and consistency provide confidence for the traveller. Our new global safety stamp is designed to help rebuild consumer confidence worldwide.”
“Now travellers will be able to recognise the businesses and destinations worldwide which have adopted the new set of global protocols that will encourage the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world. It will, in turn, help the Travel & Tourism sector to reopen for business and move in a coordinated approach.”
Just another decal?
Despite travel companies scrambling by the day to implement and communicate appropriate COVID-19 health, safety and social distancing restrictions, there is still, unfortunately, no vaccine on the horizon to guarantee complete traveller and community safety.
So will the new WTTC approved ‘Safe Travels’ stamp give travellers the confidence needed and make it a differentiator in choosing who to book with? And who will manage and guarantee standards are maintained?
With ‘trust’ being the fundamental challenge and opportunity for every travel organisation, any form of accreditation will need to be managed carefully and firmly to ensure Its acceptance and success.
Here’s hoping it makes a difference.
Last week WTTC’s launched the first of a range of new worldwide measures that were part of its Safe Travels protocols to rebuild consumer confidence and encourage the restoration of the global Travel & Tourism sector.
They provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and social distancing, in the post-COVID-19 world.
WTTC has divided the new guidance into five pillars, including Restarting operations; ensuring the traveller experience is safe and secure; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.
Detailed discussions took place with numerous key stakeholders and organisations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, to set clear expectations of what travellers may expect travelling in the “new normal” before the vaccine is available.
Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew Upchurch said: “Restoring consumer confidence will be the single biggest barrier the travel industry needs to overcome in a post-pandemic world. The Global Hospitality Standards from the WTTC will help provide a source for reliable cleaning protocols that applies universally, providing Virtuoso clients and all travellers a higher degree of assurance before booking their next trip.”
All of WTTC’s new initiatives also follow guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Find out more: www.wttc.org
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