The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released guidelines for reopening the travel industry and called on the various sectors to embrace one set of standards to expedite a recovery.  

“We have learned from the past, especially after the tragedy of 9/11, where the lack of coordination among governments and with the private sector caused long-lasting travel disruption, higher costs and a longer recovery time,” stated WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara. 

WTTC released global protocols and measures titled “Safe Travels” for the hotels/hospitality and retail sectors. It plans to release guidelines for other sectors including aviation, cruise and tour operators in the coming weeks.  

WTTC said the guidelines are designed to “rebuild confidence among consumers so they can travel safely once the restrictions are lifted.” They were drawn up by WTTC members following guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Chris Nassetta, WTTC chairman and Hilton CEO, said, “We know that travelers will only venture out into the world again when they feel it is safe to do so, making it critically important that we give them the confidence and peace of mind they need.”

WTTC divided its guidance into five pillars: restarting operations, ensuring a safe traveler experience, rebuilding trust and confidence, innovation, and implementing enabling policies. 

Protocols for hotels/hospitality

• Revisit cleaning procedures with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points such as room key cards.

• Ensure social distancing for guests through signage and guidelines.

• Retrain staff in infection control, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, including hand washing and the use of masks and gloves.

• Integrate technologies to enable automation, such as contactless payments where possible.

• Offer room service using no-contact delivery methods.

• Have clear, consistent and enhanced communication with customers on new health and hygiene safety protocols, both digitally and physically at hotels.

• Reopen food and beverage outlets and meeting and events spaces with actions to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety. 

Retail protocols 

• Minimize touch points by introducing digital maps, digital queue management, e-menus, virtual personal shopping and roving concierges.

• Promote contactless payments and email receipts wherever possible by providing complimentary WiFi.

• Observe social distancing in stores through visual markers.

• Place hand sanitizers at shop entrances and exits, as well as at intervals inside premises and in bathrooms.

• In cafes, restaurants and other food outlets, make menus available digitally.

• Seating and queue management in line with social-distancing requirements.

• Capacity limits should be introduced in retail parking lots to prevent overcrowding.

• Train staff in the policies, including social distancing, the use of thermal scanning and the wearing of face masks.

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