The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp. According to the news, the special stamp will help travelers know which governments and businesses have adopted health standards deemed safe by the organization.
The specially designed stamp will allow travellers to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’. In a landmark move by the WTTC, the organization has also gleaned the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The announcement says eligible hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports, will be allowed to use the “Safe Travel” stamp once the health and hygiene protocols, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.
Touristic destinations will also help to award the stamp of approval to local suppliers, according to WTTC. Already, 200 CEOs have adopted the scheme of protocols to aid the world’s tourist groups. Trip.com and Expedia have also supported WTTC’s initiative to reassure travelers and bring back confidence to Travel & Tourism. 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 is critical to ensure a faster recovery.“
She went on to praised Saudi Arabia, Cancun, Portugal, Barcelona, Seville, and other destinations for backing the new “Safe Travel” stamp program. According to Guevara, travelers will be able to identify those destinations and businesses so that a reboot of safe travel around the world can be accomplished more quickly. Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, also commented:
“We welcome WTTC’s global safety stamp and Safe Travels protocols and its contribution to restoring confidence. This is key to build trust and we will only succeed if we work together. Public and private sector collaboration is of the essence here and we are happy to be working together with WTTC on the post-COVID-19 recovery, and value their contribution to UNWTOs Global Crisis Committee, where we gather other leading private sector bodies, our members and key UN agencies.”
Pololikashvili says that trust is the key common denominator for tourism to return to any semblance of normality, and for investments and jobs to return to the sector. Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism also iterated how it would take public and private sector cooperation to set things right. Marian Muro, Tourism Barcelona Director-General, said Barcelona wants to lead the way with their through the establishment of the BCN Safe City project and other innovative tools.
Other key spokespersons mirrored the forward thinking sentiments of the initiative. Carlos Joaquín, Governor of Quintana Roo; Rita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State; and Antonio Jimenez, The Congress, and Tourism of Seville Managing Director all spoke about the urgent need for such a “Safe Travel” brand.
Just 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 physical distancing, in the post-COVID-19 world.
Detailed discussions took place with numerous key stakeholders and organizations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, to set clear expectations of what travelers may expect traveling in the “new normal” before the vaccine is available.
The protocols are also being defined following the experience of WTTC members in dealing with COVID19 and based on the best available medical evidence. They follow guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The WTTC has been leading a task force with industry associations and international organisations such as ACI, CLIA, DFWC, ETC, IATA, ICAO, OECD, PATA, USTA, UNWTO and WEF. Evidence from WTTC’s Crisis Readiness report, which looked at 90 different types of crises in the last 20 years, highlights the importance of public-private cooperation and the implementation of standardized protocols.
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.
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