The World Travel & Tourism Council has released a new set of Safe Travels protocols to facilitate the eventual reopening of the economy. The protocols apply to the airline industry, but also cover related industries like tours, convention centers, and events.
According to the WTTC, the new protocols were developed through talks with multiple travel industry stakeholders, including airlines, airports, venue operators, and technology providers. The protocols have the support of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, and the organizations that comply with the new protocols will be able to display the WTTC’s new global safety stamp, which was unveiled last week.
The WTTC believes that a uniform set of standards will improve customer trust because it will let people know that venues all over the world are taking the same health and safety precautions. The safety stamp is particularly important in that regard. The WTTC communicated with various stakeholders to make sure that everyone would be willing to adopt the new protocols and to build consensus in the travel industry.
“The global private sector has rallied around our Safe Travels protocols which will create the consistency needed to allow Travel & Tourism to re-open for business,” said WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara. “Aviation’s return is critical to help repower the global economic recovery. It is vital we restore consumer confidence to get people travelling and flying safely.”
The new safety measures are based on the latest WHO and CDC guidelines. They include more frequent cleaning of common touchpoints, and the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff. Convention centers and other venues are advised to reduce capacity and create more space in seating arrangements to enable social distancing, and to use better signage and announcements to reduce unnecessary queuing.
Unique safety measures for the air travel industry include biometric screening and self-screening technology. Contactless solutions like infrared thermal scanners will further reduce the need for physical contact. Passengers could also check in ahead of time and print baggage and boarding passes before they arrive at the airport.
June 4, 2020 – by Eric Weiss