The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has produced a set of COVID-safe travel protocols based on guidelines published by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The new protocols are intended to lead the Australian land supply sector through the travel and tourism industry’s journey to recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Supported by medical evidence, CATO’s protocols have been developed with the help of governments and public health authorities, along with leading tour operators from around the world.
The detailed protocols focus on three key areas: operational and staff preparedness, delivering a safe experience, and rebuilding trust and confidence.
The protocols describe recommendations around signage, staff training and sanitation, health and hygiene, social distancing, contactless payment, contact tracing, and communication.
CATO managing director Brett Jardine (pictured above) said the protocols developed and deployed by tour operators and the land supply sector will play a key role in ensuring the safety, health and security of travellers and the industry’s workforce alike.
“By their nature as travel experience creators, tour operators and wholesalers weave all of the industry’s moving parts together in their bespoke consumer offerings – airlines, hotels, ground transport, attractions, guides, government regulations and more,” he said.
“And while all CATO member businesses and their offerings are unique, we believe it’s essential that a closely-aligned, global approach to COVID safety is the best way to navigate our way through the industry’s recovery.
“The protocols see the land-supply sector lead the definition of industry best practice as we move from crisis management to recovery, and put the health and security of travellers and the industry’s workforce at their core.”
Jardine said CATO’s new protocols will be subject to change as borders begin to re-open and restrictions ease to ensure it remains relevant through every stage of recovery and beyond.