HotelsHospitality industry urged to rebuild business on these five pillars

WTTC shines a light on path to recovery

WTTC’s five pillars for recovery include a call to rebuild trust among consumers.
WTTC’s five pillars for recovery include a call to rebuild trust among consumers. Photo Credit: FeverPitched/iStock/GettyImagesPlus

LONDON - The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled a range of consumer confidence-building protocols it believes will provide a pathway for restarting the travel and tourism sector worldwide.

The new Safe Travels protocols will provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers, operators and travellers about the new approach to health and hygiene in the post-Covid-19 world.

The protocols are based on medical evidence and guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in addition to consultation with its members, as well as industry associations like Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA).

These will apply across the main industries within travel and tourism including hospitality, aviation, airports, cruise operators, retail, transportation, MICE and tour operators.

WTTC has divided the new guidance into five pillars, including restarting operations; ensuring the traveller experience is safe and secure; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO, said, “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.

“Coordination and alignment within the Travel & Tourism sector is vital to ensure that robust global measures are put in place to help rebuild confidence and which are jointly embraced by the governments and private sector.”

Measures for hotels and the hospitality industry include:
•    Revisit guidance for cleaning teams for all areas of the hotel 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 handwashing and the use of masks and gloves
•    All extraneous items should be removed throughout the hotel
•    Integrate technologies to enable automation, such as introducing 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
•    Safe reopening of Food and Beverage outlets and Meeting and Events spaces with specific actions to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety

Chris Nassetta, WTTC Chairman and Hilton’s president & CEO, said,  “We see green shoots of hope emerging as our global community turns its attention toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But we know that travellers 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 measures for the aviation and cruise sectors are still in development and will be announced later.

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