The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has introduced more safety measures that are intended to protect tourists and improve trust in the travel industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest Safe Travels protocols focus specifically on attractions, car services, and short-term rentals like hotels and Airbnb listings.
“Worldwide attractions, car hire and short-term rentals represent key components of many family holidays, so it’s vital we establish measures which allow safe travels to take place,” said WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara. “Consumer confidence is crucial to create a climate in which Travel and Tourism can resume.”
The new guidelines were developed in collaboration with a number of different private travel industry stakeholders, including rental operators and the Global Association for the Attractions Industry. The goal is to create a uniform set of standards, which would in turn restore consumer confidence because it would let visitors know that every attraction is following the same health, safety, and social distancing protocols.
The recommendations for admissions-based attractions like museums, theme parks, and zoos include advance online ticketing systems, timed entry restrictions, and reduced capacity. Operators should also provide employees with PPE equipment, clean common touchpoints more frequently, and provide hand sanitizer in high-traffic areas like food courts and gift shops.
Car and room rental companies are similarly advised to commit to more frequent cleanings, and to use temperature checks to help ensure the health of guests and employees. Those cleaning protocols extend to steering wheels, keys, and other shared items. Operators in all three industries are encouraged to adopt contactless identification and payment solutions, and to implement safety measures like curb-side pickup and self-checkout to minimize the number of interactions between customers and staff.
The new guidelines echo the Safe Travel protocols that the WTTC has already issued for the air travel and events industries. However, it is worth noting that many of the attraction protocols appear to be recommendations rather than official regulations, so it is not yet clear how many venues will adhere to the stricter standards.