LONDON, 25 June 2020: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled its third phase of measures designed to rebuild global consumer confidence, reduce risk and encourage the return of Safe Travels.
The latest protocols focus on measures to ensure the reopening of global attractions, drive business to car hire companies and enable short-term rentals to welcome guests.
WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, held detailed discussions with key stakeholders and organisations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation.
The measures help to set clear expectations of what travellers can experience in the ‘new normal’ which offer safe environments as travel restrictions are eased.
Backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the WTTC protocols also take into account guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the WTTC Safe Travels stamp recognises those destinations, countries, businesses and governments worldwide which have adopted them.
The Safe Travel protocols also take into account guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the WTTC Safe Travels stamp recognises those destinations, countries, businesses and governments worldwide which have adopted them.
WTTC president and CEO, Gloria Guevara said: “Worldwide attractions, car hire and short-term rentals, all represent key components of many family holidays, so it’s vital we establish measures which allow safe travels to take place for holidaymakers and travellers.
“Consumer confidence is crucial to create a climate in which Travel & Tourism can resume. We know travellers will want to explore and engage with the world around them once more and their return will also help power the world’s much-needed economic recovery.
“We would like to pay tribute to all those companies in the global private sector who have stepped forward and rallied around to support WTTC Safe Travels protocols. They create the consistency needed to allow a re-invigorated Travel & Tourism sector to reopen for business.
“The expertise from businesses large and small has contributed to defining the new experience for travellers, and these robust global measures have been embraced around the world.”
WTTC’s comprehensive Safe Travels protocols avoid the emergence of multiple standards, which would only confuse the consumer and delay the sector’s recovery.
The measures increase the focus on health, safety and physical distancing standards for venues such as amusement parks, aquariums, family entertainment centres, museums, science centres, theme parks, water parks, zoos and other entertainment and cultural attractions.
Car hire has become an essential provider of transport and mobility during normal times for anyone who needs to travel, and in the post-Covid-19 world could be vital for those who provide critical services, including healthcare professionals, emergency services and utilities.
The proposed Short-Term Rental protocols were designed for owners and operators who rent out lodging premises through intermediaries such as Airbnb. Leading companies and associations in the Short-Term Rental industry were consulted closely by WTTC. Many partnered with trusted experts in public health and governments to support the safe, healthy, and responsible reopening of this type of accommodation to travellers.
WTTC divided the new guidance into four pillars, including operational and staff preparedness; delivering a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence, and implementing enabling policies.
Encourage guests to buy advanced tickets online if possible, and considered timed entries and smaller groups
Identify realistic capacities for attractions based on queue length, waiting areas, pre-shows and vehicle capacity and adjust accordingly to allow for physical distancing
Use of virtual queue systems, contactless touchpoints and payment where possible
Personal protection equipment (PPE) available for all customer-facing staff
Enhanced cleaning at high-frequency touchpoints, such as handrails, common areas and lifts.
Sanitise strollers, electric buggies and wheelchairs between every use if applicable
Make available hand sanitisers in high-traffic areas such as entry, key walkways, food and beverage locations, merchandise shops and exits.
Consider increasing the number of performances and an end-of-show announcement to encourage guests to take their time exiting.
For water parks, evaluate closing or removing hands-on interactive features within play structures if they aren’t covered in treated pool water.
Encourage guests to reduce the number of personal items they bring into the venue.
Pre-arrival health declaration via email, if required and in accordance with GDPR
Enhance cleaning to all offices, including check-in, counters, desktops, washrooms and any high-frequency touchpoints
Encourage use of curbside pick-up and drop off. Consider moving to a fully digital process including payments and limit physical interaction with staff
Health/temperature checks, if recommended by legislation, and sanitation stations for customers through hand sanitisers in high-traffic areas
Limit the number of people allowed per vehicle collection, as well as decreasing the number of people allowed in the car rental establishment at any one time
All cars to be cleaned with a focus on high-frequency touchpoints such as keys, steering wheels, steering column, gear stick, seats, seat pockets, seat belts, door handles, gearboxes, gloveboxes, vents, key fobs, door interiors, areas between seats, dashboards, radio controls, centre consoles, rearview and side mirrors, cup holders and other surfaces.
Short-term home rentals
Use of contactless technology to enable automation at check-in and payment where possible.
Minimise physical interaction when providing guests with keys, ideally in a contactless manner by offering self-check-in and check-out, where possible.
Enhance sanitation, disinfection and deep cleaning practices as well as increasing their cleaning/disinfection frequency with a focus on high-frequency touchpoints, including bedrooms, common areas, washrooms and kitchens, including cutlery and utensil sanitisation.
Provide guests with physical distancing etiquette, including in elevators if relevant, through signage.
Make available hand sanitiser to guests at the entrance of the short-term rental.
WTTC has previously issued details safe travel protocols for aviation, airlines, MICE, tour operators, hospitality and outdoor retail, which were widely endorsed and supported by top CEOs and business leaders globally.
It has also unveiled its landmark new global safety stamp to encourage Safe Travels and the reopening of the Travel & Tourism sector.
Major tourist destinations such as Turkey, Egypt, Portugal, and Jamaica, among many others, have led the way to sign up to the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp.
Evidence from WTTC’s Crisis Readiness report, which looked at 90 different types of crises, highlights the importance of public-private cooperation to ensure that smart policies and effective communities are in place to enable a more resilient Travel & Tourism sector.
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, travel and tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.