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Clear health & hygiene protocols key to travel sector's recovery

To support the revival, there is a need for a coordinated, consistent and transparent approach to enable safe travel

Clear health & hygiene  protocols key to travel sector’s recovery

Clear health & hygiene protocols key to travel sector’s recovery

World travel and tourism council (WTTC) alongside our members, governments, health experts, and other industry associations are working together to achieve effective recovery protocols by developing meaningful action plans that optimise travel and tourism sector recovery efforts.

Part of our protocols includes providing the public & private sectors with insights and toolkits for interaction and implementation to ensure that people are and feel safe however WTTC, our members, and the sector cannot guarantee 100 per cent safety. It is paramount to have common rules. Ultimately, we envision a future of travel that is safe, secure, seamless and provides an authentic and meaningful experience to the traveller across the journey; one which supports the livelihoods of millions and contributes to sustainable economic growth.

The protocols align the private sector behind common standards to ensure the safety of its workforce and travellers as the sector shifts to a new normal. To support the sector's recovery, there is a need for a coordinated, consistent, and transparent approach to enable safe travel. In this context, WTTC, alongside its Members, governments, health experts and other industry associations, worked together to develop harmonised and effective Safe Travels protocols for 11 industries across the Travel and Tourism sector to accelerate the recovery.

Having harmonised and clear health and hygiene protocols supports the sector in rebuilding traveller confidence, by providing travellers with the assurances of a safe, secure, and seamless experience. Indeed, if every destination or company has different standards, travellers will find it difficult to keep up. In fact, more than 55 per cent of North American leisure travellers said that reassurance that the property is "doing extra sanitising" would be the most likely factor to persuade them to book a future vacation.

Ultimately, for travellers to have peace of mind, they will need to trust travel operators and feel that they have all the information they need to make a decision for themselves. As we look to the future, let's not compete on health and hygiene, but rather align and elevate the whole sector to turn wanderlust into reality for millions of travellers.

The Coronavirus pandemic introduced new traveller expectations for more hygienic, touchless, and digital experiences as well as new requirements from governments for proof of a travellers Covid-19 status and a greater focus on infrastructure relating to health and safety. In this context, WTTC's Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey (SSTJ) programme evolved to include initiatives such as Covid-19 testing, digital health passes for travel and risk-based frameworks for safe international mobility.

The SSTJ testing initiative focuses on the evaluation and promotion of rapid, low cost, and accessible tests for travellers. Given that it will take several years to vaccinate the world's population, testing for travel will need to co-exist alongside vaccination for some time.

Sydelle Fernandes
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