New stamp will reassure tourists that countries, cities and businesses are safe
The World Travel & Tourism Council has launched a set of hygiene standards for tourism - with a stamp of approval for those who comply - to help lure travellers back safely
As lockdowns lift and parts of the world cautiously reopen for tourism, a major industry concern is people's fears - making them reluctant to stray far from home, stay in hotels or even eat in restaurants, thanks to lingering worries about health.
To address that, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the first global safety and hygiene stamp, which will allow travellers to recognise countries, cities and businesses that have adopted a standardised set of health and hygiene protocols to ensure people's safety.
The WTTC, which represents the private sector in global travel and tourism, says the new set of protocols "will encourage the return of 'safe travels' around the world".
Businesses such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor markets, transportation companies and airports will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene measures, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.
WTTC president Gloria Guevara said: "We have learnt from past crises that global standard protocols and consistency provide confidence for the traveller. Our new global safety stamp is designed to help rebuild consumer confidence worldwide."
Guevara said Saudi Arabia and Portugal, as well as the cities of Cancun in Mexico and Barcelona and Seville in Spain, are among the first destinations to back the stamp.
The initiative also has the support of the UN World Tourism Organisation.
The council has published specific protocols for several areas, including hospitality, outdoor shopping, tour operators, and aviation, though it notes that they are still being updated as new information about Covid-19 becomes available.