The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the latest set of measures designed to rebuild global consumer confidence, reduce risk and encourage the return of Safe Travels.
The latest protocols for the global Travel & Tourism sector focus on measures to ensure the reopening of adventure tourism, which should see an increase in popularity as travelers seek more unique experiences post COVID-19.
The measures help to set clear expectations of what travelers can experience in the ‘new normal’ which offer safe environments as travel restrictions are eased.
Backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the WTTC protocols also take into account guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the WTTC Safe Travels stamp recognizes those destinations, countries, businesses and governments worldwide which have adopted them.
Protocols for the adventure tourism industry were compiled on the basis of insights and frameworks developed by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), in collaboration with a number of key tour operators in the segment such as Abercrombie & Kent, Eurotur, Intrepid and The Travel Corporation (TTC), to support the restart of adventure tourism around the world.
Within these protocols, the adventure tourism industry refers to a wide variety of adventure tourism experiences including cycling, rafting, trekking, skiing, snowboarding, wildlife safaris and culinary tours, among others.
Not only are these activities mostly outdoors, thus limiting time spent in indoors; but group sizes can be managed to allow for physical distancing. It is expected that this type of tourism will see growth in the post-COVID landscape.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Adventure tourism is becoming increasingly popular amongst travelers and will represent a key component to travel in the new normal. It is also one of the fastest growing segments, which is why it is vital to establish measures allowing safe travels for adventure travelers. Consumer confidence is crucial for Travel & Tourism to resume. We know travelers will want to explore the world around them once more, so long as they are confident in their safety.”
The welfare of travelers and the people employed throughout the Travel & Tourism sector are at the heart of WTTC’s package of Safe Travels protocols.
They avoid the emergence of multiple standards, which would only confuse the consumer. They provide consistency to destinations and countries as well as guidance about the new approach to health and hygiene in the post COVID-19 world.
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WTTC divided the new guidance into four pillars including operational and staff preparedness; delivering a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; and implementing enabling policies.
Measures announced today include:
- Reduce participant capacity limits for activities as appropriate to allow for physical distancing.
- Ensured activity difficulty levels do not exceed guest ability and skill, thus decreasing the need for a possible rescue.
- Provide clear, consistent, and up-to-date communication on new health & hygiene protocols.
- Promote contact tracing apps if required by local legislation.
- Inform guests about support available if questions or concerns arise.
- Share guest guidelines ahead of trip or activity digitally and in person upon arrival.
- Encouraged guests to purchase tickets online if possible.
- Keep the same households, families, or members of group bookings together for all activities to lower risk of exposure for those outside of that unit.
- Ensure that each guest can handle their own equipment for the duration of the trip. Where possible, guests should be encouraged bring their own equipment.
- Limited physical contact and queuing.
WTTC has previously issued details safe travel protocols for aviation, airlines, MICE, tour operators, hospitality, outdoor retail, attractions, car hire and short-term rental, which were widely endorsed and supported by top CEOs and business leaders globally.
It has also unveiled its landmark new global safety stamp to encourage Safe Travels and the reopening of the Travel & Tourism sector.