Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 10 July 2020

World’s first global safety and hygiene stamp will help tourists recognise safe destinations and operators

Emirates and Etihad are among the airlines to help advise on safety measures

Emirates was among the airlines to help devise new guidelines alongside the WTTC. AP Photo
Emirates was among the airlines to help devise new guidelines alongside the WTTC. AP Photo

Emirates and Etihad are among the businesses to help devise a new global safety and hygiene stamp unveiled by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The new certification, backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), will allow travellers to recognise governments or businesses that have adopted globally recognised health and safety standards.

The stamp, which is the world’s first global safety and hygiene indicator, is able to be awarded to businesses such as hotels, airlines, restaurants, cruise ships, shopping destinations, airports, tour operators and transport providers.

The guidelines were drawn up in consultation with WTTC members across sectors, with Emirates Group, Etihad and Oman Aviation Group among the businesses to advise on airline and airport measures.

Destinations will assist to award the stamp of approval to local tourism suppliers, with Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Barcelona, Seville and Cancun among the first to back the stamp.

“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,” says Gloria Guevara, WTTC rresident and chief executive officer.

“Now travellers will be able to recognise the businesses and destinations worldwide that 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 and Tourism sector to reopen for business and move in a coordinated approach,” adds Guevara.

WTTC divides the new guidance into four pillars. For airports, the globally recognised standards will including enhanced cleaning to all touchpoint areas including baggage trolleys and self-service equipment, providing PPE to staff, additional signage, possible pre-arrival health risk assessments and non-intrusive entry-exit scanning.

Airlines should provide PPE to all staff, reduce contact with online check-in and home-printed bag tags, provide additional sanitisers at boarding and check in areas, consider boarding planes from back to front, window to aisle, and limit movement in cabins as much as possible.

Tour operators should employ enhanced sanitation of all coaches and vehicles, offer pre-allocated seats with no rotation, limit queuing where possible, and explore staggered timings for access to venues, hotels and restaurants.

Finally, the guidelines offer new measures for convention centres, meetings and events, stating that physical distancing should be in place at all times, queues should be limited and pre-arrival risk assessment should be considered for all guests.

Updated: May 29, 2020 12:35 PM

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