Tourism

WTTC launches ‘Safe Travels’ protocols for aviation, MICE and tour operators

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the second phase of measures aimed at rebuilding global consumer confidence, to encourage the return to travel.

According to the private tourism sector’s peak body, the latest protocols are designed to drive the return of safe travel and enable the aviation industry, tour operators, convention centres, and meetings and events to thrive once again.

Detailed discussions took place with key stakeholders and organisations – including the likes of Japan Airlines, Travelport and the Intrepid Group – to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, to set “clear expectations” of what travellers may experience in the ‘new normal’.

Those relating to airports and airlines have been devised following close consultation with WTTC members such as Iberia, Emirates Group, Etihad and Oman Aviation Group, among others.

While insights from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) were incorporated to “rebuild trust” and “provide reassurance” that airports and airlines will offer safe environments in which to fly once travel restrictions are relaxed.

“For the first time ever, the global private sector has rallied around our Safe Travels protocols which will create the consistency needed to allow a re-invigorated travel and tourism sector re-open for business,” WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara said.

“Among the most important of these measures are those which will enable the aviation sector to take-off. Aviation’s return is critical to help repower the global economic recovery.”

Some of the measures announced for aviation include incorporating enhanced cleaning of high-frequency touchpoints. While for airlines, emphasis should be placed on limiting movement in the cabin as much as possible, as well as considering boarding from the back of planes to the front, and window to aisle.

Tour operators are also advised to ensure partners and suppliers – including shops, showrooms, tasting venues or shops, museums, shows theatres, concert halls, factories and farms – follow the Safe Travels protocols.

“Safety and collaboration have never been more important, so its outstanding to see the travel industry work together as one, to ensure the health and wellbeing of travellers, workers and community members,” Intrepid Group chairman Darrel Wade said.

For the MICE sector, implementing physical distancing, limiting event numbers and providing isolation units for patrons showing COVID-19 symptoms are among the measures advised.

The news follows the unveiling of WTTC’s landmark new global safety stamp to encourage safe travels and the reopening of the travel and tourism sector, off the back of the release of the council’s protocols for hospitality and outdoor retail.

To check out WTTC’s Safe Travels protocols for aviation, airports, MICE and tour operators in full, click here.


Featured image: iStock/ArtMarie

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