WTTC Unveils Global Protocols to Restart Travel & Tourism

LONDON—The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, has unveiled a range of new worldwide measures to restart the sector.

The measures have been designed to rebuild confidence among consumers so they can travel safely once the restrictions are lifted.

The new “Safe Travels” protocols 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 health and safety of travelers and workers is put at the heart of the new global protocols, which have been drawn up by WTTC members. Based on the best available medical evidence, following guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they also avoid the emergence of multiple standards, which would only delay the sector’s recovery, according to the organization.

Gloria Guevara, president/CEO, WTTC, 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 the governments and 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,” she added. “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.”

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 and tourism sector.

WTTC is devising the new Safe Travels protocols following close consultation with its members, as well as industry associations like Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the 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.

Detailed discussions are taking place with key stakeholders and organizations in each industry within the sector to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, with hospitality and retail guidelines being released.