WTTC lays out health protocols to regain traveller confidence

As part of WTTC’s efforts to restore consumer confidence in travel, the council has released standardised protocols for hospitality and retail operations worldwide to be adhered to presently as well as post-Covid-19.

Drawn up using existing medical evidence and World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, the protocols were designed to “provide consistency” for destinations, countries, travel providers, and travellers themselves, shared WTTC in a press statement.

WTTC wants its health and safety protocols to be adopted by governments to enable a coordinated approach to recovering travel and tourism; tourists exploring Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok

Measures laid out for the hospitality and retail sectors include retraining staff in infection control and new policies, employing technology to reduce contact (such as making digital menus compulsory, using digital maps and queue management to advise guests on areas to avoid in retail) and removing unnecessary items from hotels.

WTTC said similar standards for aviation and cruise sectors are being developed and will be released in due course.

Guidelines for each sector will be categorised across five pillars: restarting operations; ensuring the traveller experience is safe and secure; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies, including advocating for financial aid.

Gloria Guevara, president and CEO, WTTC, said: “We have learnt from the past… where the lack of coordination among governments and with the private sector caused long-lasting travel disruption, higher costs and a longer recovery time.”

According to Guevara, the “global private sector has aligned (themselves with)” the new protocols, and the ball is now in the governments’ courts to adopt them. While awaiting governments’ action, WTTC is engaging in ongoing discussions with key private sector stakeholders to promote maximum buy-in and guide practical implementation.

WTTC had previously shared that it was developing these protocols in consultation with global and regional travel bodies, such as the International Air Transport Association, Cruise Lines International Association. The intention was to put forth the protocols to governments worldwide, so that the standards can be translated into public policies that would allow travel to restart even before a vaccine is widely available.

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