The World Travel & Tourism Council unveils Safe Travel global protocols

Agreed by a board of travel professionals, the measures will help restart the hospitality industry

WTTC president & CEO Gloria Guevara
WTTC president & CEO Gloria Guevara

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the representative body for the global travel & tourism industry, has unveiled its list of protocols to help restart the hospitality industry and ready it for future crises.

Dubbed the ‘Safe Travel protocols’, the measures have been drawn up by WTTC Members including Hilton president and CEO Chris Nassetta, Radisson Hospitality president and CEO Federico J. González and IHG CEO Keith Barr. Measures have been drafted with health and safety at the forefront while also leveraging guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make informed decisions.

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.  Along with its Members, WTTC worked with industry associations like Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) to create measures which will bring back consumer confidence.

Key measures include:
•      Revisit guidance for cleaning teams for all areas of the hotel with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points, 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 hand washing 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
•      Safe reopening of F&B outlets and meeting and events spaces with specific actions to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety

WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara explained: “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. “

She added: “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.”

According to the latest figures from WTTC, the travel & tourism sector is responsible for one in 10 jobs – 330 million total, making it a 10.3% contribution to the world’s GDP. Right now, 100 million of these jobs are at risk.

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