The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), has published a range of new worldwide measures to restart the travel & tourism private sector. The organisation has now called upon governments around the world to incorporate the measures and help restore confidence among consumers so they can travel safely once the restrictions are lifted.
Furthermore, the ‘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 post COVID-19 world.
Alongside WTTC members, the ‘Safe Travels’ protocols were created in consultation with influential industry organisations, such as the Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and International Air Transport Association ( IATA). And, are based on the best available medical evidence and following guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they also avoid the emergence of multiple standards, which would only delay the sector’s recovery.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said: “We have learned from the past, especially after the tragedy of 9/11, where the lack of coordination among governments and with the private sector caused long-lasting travel disruption, higher costs and a longer recovery time.
Coordination and alignment within the Travel & Tourism sector is vital to ensure that robust global measures are put in place to help rebuild confidence and which are jointly embraced by governments and the private sector.
“We are delighted that for the first time ever, the global private sector has aligned around these new ‘Safe Travels’ protocols which will create consistency across the sector. Now we are calling on governments to adopt them so that they can be implemented globally and Coordination and alignment within the Travel & Tourism sector is vital to ensure that robust global measures are put in place
Chris Nassetta, WTTC chairman and Hilton’s president and CEO, said: “We see green shoots of hope emerging as our global community turns its attention toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But we know that travellers will only venture out into the world again when they feel it is safe to do so, making it critically important that we give them the confidence and peace of mind they need.
“The global protocols WTTC has laid out are designed to align the travel and tourism industry around consistent health and safety guidelines that will help protect travellers wherever their journey takes them.”
Keith Barr, InterContinental Hotels Group chief executive, said: “As an industry, we have always made the safety and wellbeing of guests and colleagues our top priority. IHG is proud to support the WTTC in shaping this best practice guidance in areas such as cleanliness and hygiene, all underpinned by the most relevant training and preparedness for hotel teams. This important work illustrates how our industry can come together to provide the reassurance and confidence that will be so important as people return to travel.”
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.
Measures announced today
- Revisit guidance for cleaning teams for all areas of the hotel with a specific focus on high-frequency touchpoints, 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 handwashing 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
- The safe reopening of food and beverage outlets and meeting and events spaces with specific actions to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety
Additional and separate measures for the aviation and cruise sectors are still in development and will be announced in due course.