The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled a range of protocols for the global travel industry to operate safely when restrictions are lifted.

Its Safe Travels measures have been designed to rebuild confidence among consumers, provide consistency to destinations and countries and guidance to tour operators and travellers.

The health and hygiene designed for the post Covid-19 world have been drawn-up using guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and chief executive, said: “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.

“Coordination and alignment within the travel and 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.

“We are delighted that for the first time ever, the global private sector has aligned around these new Safe Travels protocols which will create consistency across the sector. Now we are calling on governments to adopt them so that they can be implemented globally and restore much-needed confidence in order to restart the travel and tourism sector.”

The WTTC’s protocols were devised following 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) and will apply to hospitality, aviation, airports, cruise operators, retail, transportation, MICE and tour operators among other sectors.
Measures include:

Hotels/Hospitality

  • 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 Food and Beverage outlets and Meeting and Events spaces with specific actions to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety

Retail

  • Deep cleaning regimes
  • Staff should be fully familiar and trained in the new policies, including social distancing, the use of thermal scanning and the wearing of face masks
  • Social distancing should be observed in stores through special visual markers
  • Minimise touch points by introducing digital maps, digital queue management, e-menus, virtual personal shopping and roving concierges
  • Promote contactless payments and email receipts wherever possible by providing complimentary WIFI to encourage take up
  • Hand sanitisers at shop entrances and exits, as well as at intervals inside premises and in bathrooms.
  • In cafes, restaurants and other food outlets, all menus to be available digitally
  • Special attention placed to seating and queue management in line with social distancing requirements
  • Capacity limits should be introduced in retail car parks to prevent overcrowding

Additional and separate measures for the aviation and cruise sectors will be announced in due course.