The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled a range of new protocols it believes will lead to the restarting of the travel and tourism sector worldwide. The measures are intended to rebuild confidence among consumers, so they can travel safely once the restrictions are lifted.
The new Safe Travels protocols will provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers, operators and travelers about the new approach to health and hygiene in the post-COVID-19 world. The protocols are based on medical evidence and guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in addition to consultation with its members, as well as industry associations like Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA). These will apply across the main industries within travel and tourism including hospitality, aviation, airports, cruise operators, retail, transportation, MICE and tour operators, among others.
WTTC has divided the new guidance into five pillars, including: Restarting operations; ensuring the traveler experience is safe and secure; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies. Measures being announced today for hotels and the hospitality industry 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
- Retrain staff in infection control, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, including handwashing 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 Food and Beverage outlets and Meeting and Events spaces with specific actions to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety
Additional and separate measures for retail have been announced, while the aviation and cruise sectors are still in development and will be announced in time.