LONDON—The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp.
The specially designed stamp will allow travelers to recognize governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols—so consumers can experience “Safe Travels”.
The landmark move by WTTC, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, has also received the backing of the influential United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
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.
Many Have Embraced New Protocols
The global protocols, launched to help the travel and tourism sector recover, 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 is supporting the private sector global protocols and our efforts as public-private collaboration is critical to ensure a faster recovery. We have learned from past crises that global standard protocols and consistency provide confidence for the traveler. Our new global safety stamp is designed to help rebuild consumer confidence worldwide.
“We are excited that Saudi Arabia, which is Chair of the G20 tourism group, as well as popular destinations such as Cancun, one of the biggest destinations in the world, Portugal, one of the fastest growing countries in Europe and the holiday cities of Barcelona and Seville, amongst others, are among the first destinations to back the stamp and implement global standard protocols to recover faster,” Guevara added. “Now travelers will be able to recognize the businesses and destinations worldwide that have adopted the new set of global protocols, and this will encourage the return of ‘safe travels’ around the world. It will, in turn, help the travel and tourism sector to reopen for business and move in a coordinated approach.”
“For the first time ever, the global private sector has rallied around safe travels protocols which will create consistency across the sector,” Guevara said. “Implementation by governments around the world will restore much-needed confidence in order to restart the travel and tourism industry.”
UNWTO Welcomes New Protocols
Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, said: “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 are of the essence here and we are happy to be working together with WTTC on the post COVID-19 recovery, and value its contribution to UNWTO’s Global Crisis Committee, where we gather other leading private sector bodies, our members and key UN agencies.”
WTTC recently launched the first in 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 and tourism sector.
They provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers and travelers 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 when travelling in the “new normal” before the vaccine is available.
Based on Best Available Medical Evidence
The protocols are also being defined following the experience of WTTC members in dealing with COVID19 and based on the best available medical evidence.
WTTC has been leading a task force with industry associations and international organizations 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 and tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3 percent contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.