London, Great Britain, May 27, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp. Special safety and hygiene mark to provide consistency and reassurance for consumers to speed the Travel & Tourism recovery. Saudi Arabia, Barcelona, Portugal, Cancun and Seville among first destinations to adopt private sector protocols and stamp. UNWTO endorses and supports private sector global protocols.
The specially designed stamp will allow travellers to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.
The landmark move by WTTC, which represents the global Travel & 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.
The launch of global protocols to recover the Travel & Tourism sector have been embraced by over 200 CEO’s including some of the world’s major tourism groups.
Trip.com and Expedia have also supported WTTC’s initiative to reassure travellers 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.
We have learned from past crises that global standard protocols and consistency provides confidence for the traveller. 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.
“Now travellers will be able to recognise the businesses and destinations worldwide which have adopted the new set of global protocols that will encourage the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world. It will, in turn, help the Travel & 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. Implementation by governments
around the world will restore much-needed confidence in order to restart the Travel & Tourism industry.”
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 their contribution to UNWTOs Global Crisis Committee, where we gather other leading private sector bodies, our members and key UN agencies.
“We are united in the common goal of tourism’s come-back to generate benefits going far beyond our sector. Trust and tourism will catalyse consumer demand, investments and jobs, thus generating opportunities for all.”
His Excellency, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism, said: “As Chair of this year’s G20 Tourism Track, we are putting public-private cooperation at the heart of international efforts for a swift recovery. The WTTC’s new Safe Travels global protocols are an essential step on that path to recovery, by helping to provide consistency and reassurance for travellers.”
Marian Muro, Tourism Barcelona Director General, said: “First of all, we wish to congratulate WTTC for this initiative. Right now, Barcelona’s priority is focusing on the adoption of the appropriate security measures and protocols to make our visitors feel safe through the establishment of the BCN Safe City project and other innovative tools.
“Public and private sectors are working closely together to offer security and confidence to the tourism and travel industry in their activity at Barcelona. We are leaving a reactivation of demand and a great interest in traveling to our Mediterranean and innovative city.
“Therefore, and in order to strengthen that trust, we consider the global protocols designed by WTTC to be essential, which will allow the travel and tourism industry to align around the same global health and safety guidelines that will help protect travellers on their trips.”
Carlos Joaquín, Governor of Quintana Roo, said: “Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean have implemented the new safety measures for travellers that WTTC has recognised and approved through the Safe Travels stamp.”
Rita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State, said: “Portugal has been committed in reassuring our tourists they will always have the best experience in our country. This stamp, together with our “Clean & Safe” program, is one step further in reassuring everyone that we care, our destination is focused on recovery, and trust is at the core of our business.”
Antonio Jimenez, The Congress and Tourism of Seville Managing Director, said: “Seville supports and applauds the Safe Travel Stamp initiative of the World Travel & Tourism Council, presented to the sector as a series of global protocols with the aim of restarting Travel and Tourism, which, without a doubt, will restore the confidence of travellers, and above all, will make travel safe again.“
WTTC and all its Members from around the world have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.
Last week WTTC’s launched the first of 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 organisations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, to set clear expectations of what travellers may expect travelling 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.
It also follows guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
WTTC has been leading a task force with with industry associations and international organisations such 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.
World Travel & Tourism Council:
WTTC has created nine overarching principles & objectives for the Travel & Tourism Sector in the post-lockdown and recovery stage:
1. Have the sector lead the definition of industry regulation as Travel & Tourism moves from crisis management to recovery
2. Put the safety, health and security of travellers and the Travel & Tourism workforce at the core of the development of global standards
3. Ensure coherence in the approach and development of new global standards through a coordinated, collaborative, and transparent approach within the Travel & Tourism sector
4. Share harmonised and consistent standards and guidelines across destinations and countries.
5. Collaborate with key actors across the Travel & Tourism supply and value chain to ensure readiness to restart operations
6. Ensure standards and guidelines implemented are aligned with governmental and public health requirements and supported by medical evidence.
7. Rebuild trust and confidence with travellers through effective communication & marketing; letting them know the protocols and guidelines implemented and assurances available to keep them safe.
8. Relax and lift travel restrictions once the public health threat has been contained.
9. Advocate for the implementation of enabling policies from financial relief to visa facilitation and incentives to destination promotion to support the recovery and demand re-generation for the sector.