Though much of the ill-effects the pandemic wrought is mostly behind
us now, the risk of contracting Covid-19 while abroad still lingers in
the back of travellers' minds and continues to affect some of their
decision-making. To reassure travellers of their safety, Blake McKeown,
commercial director AMEA, Business Solutions at Reckitt contributed his
opinions on how the travel sector as a whole can work together to do so.
Blake McKeown, commercial director AMEA, business solutions, Reckitt
How has the science and understanding of hygiene and safety changed in the new era of travel?
The pandemic has reinforced the importance of upholding hygiene
standards and safety measures, especially in the travel and tourism
industries. Airports and airlines, with their large volumes of people
transiting from all corners of the globe, are often seen as higher risk
when it comes to transmission of infectious diseases.
As the world learns to live with Covid-19, new and emerging pathogens
(disease causing bacteria and viruses) will continue to appear.
Therefore, hygiene practices and protocols remain of paramount
Are there still lingering misconceptions around hygiene and
safety (e.g., wiping down, mask wearing) in post-Covid travel landscape?
One of the key lingering misconceptions that people have is that one
hygiene measure is more or less effective than another and so if you
remove one but keep another you will still provide the same level of
No one hygiene measure may work in isolation but, by using the ‘swiss
cheese’ model of multiple interventions, hand hygiene, surface
disinfection and other hygiene measures can work in combination to
reduce the risk as much as possible.
In this regard, the travel and aviation industries play a crucial
role in educating and guiding the public on proper hygiene and safety
measures, given that places such as airports and airlines see massive
human traffic volume every day.
What do travel agents and meeting planners need to look out for, whether at a destination, hotel, attraction, or event venue?
During the pandemic, the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and
Exhibitions), industry, alongside the travel and aviation sectors were
Heightened understanding around the risks large scale events posed,
often being held in enclosed spaces with large groups of people from
around the world led to a dramatic fall in such events. The risks to
executives attending these events always existed, and businesses will
likely have taken precautions previously, but the increase in the number
of infections and how easily these now spread has brought a greater
spotlight on hygiene protection protocols.
In this new era of travel, with large in person events restarting,
hygiene and safety remain paramount. Travel agents and meeting planners
need to stay informed of the ever-changing regulations and the latest
hygiene protocols to help ensure that events can run smoothly with
suitable hygiene standards in place.
One of the first large global in person events was the 2022
Birmingham Commonwealth Games. As Official Hygiene Partner, Reckitt’s
Dettol developed scientifically backed hygiene protocols and messages to
help break the possible chain of infections for athletes, officials and
Given the manpower constraints that’s afflicting the tourism
and hospitality sectors right now, do you have any advice how they could
overcome these challenges while keeping hygiene at the forefront of
their service and operations?
Targeted hygiene, using the right disinfectant products at the right
time in the right places is a great way to maximise efficiencies whilst
minimising infection risk. Dettol hygiene protocols are built to support
businesses in knowing when and where to disinfect the key hotspots and
moments to break the chain of infection.
This approach ensures cleaning staff are not wasting precious time
and resources cleaning and disinfecting places and spaces where there is
no value or impact. Multi-purpose and ready-to-use products can also
help drive efficiencies as cleaning staff no longer have to spend time
diluting chemicals or changing between products.