WTTC introduces global health and safety stamp

Virtuoso, Abercrombie & Kent, The Travel Corporation, IHG support new initiative

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp, backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The stamp recognises governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

Eligible businesses such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports, will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene protocols, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.

The initiative follows guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is supported by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to ensure alignment across the sector.

The launch of global protocols to boost the Travel & Tourism sector have been embraced by over 200 CEOs, including some of the world’s major tourism groups, such as Virtuoso, Abercrombie & Kent, Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Accor, The Travel Corporation, Travelport, Dusit and TripAdvisor.

Destinations will also help to award the stamp of approval to local suppliers.

“Our new global safety stamp is designed to help the rebuild consumer confidence worldwide,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO.

Destinations to already back the stamp include Barcelona, Seville, Saudi Arabia, Cancun and Portugal.

“Now travellers will be able to recognise the businesses and destinations worldwide which have adopted the new set of global protocols that will encourage the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world. It will, in turn, help the Travel & Tourism sector to reopen for business and move in a coordinated approach.”

Guevara said the implementation will restore “much-needed confidence” to restart the Travel & Tourism industry.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, said: “We are united in the common goal of tourism’s come-back to generate benefits going far beyond our sector. Trust and tourism will catalyse consumer demand, investments and jobs, thus generating opportunities for all.”

Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew Upchurch remarked: “Restoring consumer confidence will be the single biggest barrier the travel industry needs to overcome in a post-pandemic world. The Global Hospitality Standards from the WTTC will help provide a source for reliable cleaning protocols that applies universally, providing Virtuoso clients and all travellers a higher degree of assurance before booking their next trip.”

In a joint comment, Abercrombie & Kent‘s Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Co-Chairman/CEO, and Geoffrey J W Kent, Founder and Co-Chairman, said: “WTTC is playing an essential leadership role in our industry by establishing the best practices in health and safety needed to respond to this unprecedented crisis and rebuild consumer trust and confidence. Together we will set a new benchmark to guide operations as we restart and ensure the traveller experience is as safe and secure as we can make it.”

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