Nassau, Bahamas, October 16, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / Peru, Bahamas and Puerto Rico are the latest destinations to use the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp, launched earlier this year by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, recently announced that in just three short months, 100 destinations are now using its ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, with the Philippines becoming the official 100th destination.
The stamp, which was developed to help restore confidence in travellers and aims to revive an ailing Travel & Tourism sector, is now also being used by many more major holiday destinations such as Paraguay, Gambia, Zambia, Guatemala and El Salvador.
The stamp enables travellers to recognise destinations around the world which have adopted standardised global health and hygiene protocols – so they can experience ‘Safe Travels’.
This landmark move by WTTC also received the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The launch of global protocols to recover the Travel & Tourism sector have been embraced by over 200 CEO’s, including some of the world’s major tourism groups.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Our Safe Travels stamp continues to go from strength to strength and we are delighted with its success so far. More than 120 destinations now proudly use the stamp, all of which are working together to help rebuild consumer confidence worldwide.
“As the stamp continues to grow in popularity, travellers will more easily be able to recognise the destinations worldwide which have adopted these important global protocols, encouraging the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world.
“The success of the stamp shows its importance not only to countries and destinations, but also to travellers and the 330 million people around the world who work in and depend on a thriving the Travel & Tourism sector.”
Carla Campos, Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s (Government of Puerto Rico) Executive Director said: “Puerto Rico was one of the first destinations in the Western Hemisphere to design and implement an industry-specific safety and health program for the entire destination with the creation of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company Gold Star Health and Safety Seal Certification back on May 4. Today, we are proud to join WTTC’s Safe Travels global protocols and stamp program.
“Operating guides and certification programs such as these are vital for the reopening of the travel and tourism sector at both a global and regional level, as well as an important recognition that will place Puerto Rico in a highly competitive position as the travel and tourism market reopens. As a destination, we acknowledged early on that consumers will consider the destinations best prepared to provide them with the necessary measures and resources to protect their health and our destination-wide program was developed using the most rigorous standards, best practice cases, as well as guides and recommendations from the agencies and organizations that specialize on the subject.
“Ensuring collective participation and compliance of the recommended protocols, both by companies and customers, will be key in facilitating the safe restart of leisure and business travelling”.
Hamat NK Bah, Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture, the Gambia said: “As destinations all over the world are gradually reopening their tourism sectors, the Gambia, the smiling coast of Africa is at the forefront of these efforts. Tourism plays a pivotal role in the economic growth of the Gambia, and as we strive to recover from the devastating impacts COVID-19 has on our economy, tourism is integral in this process.
“We are delighted to be part of the WTTC Safe Travel stamp and protocols and therefore committed to protecting the health and safety of all players in the travel and tourism sector.”
Felix S. Chaila, Zambia Tourism Agency CEO said: “Tourism is very important for Zambia, especially its contribution to revenue generation, job creation and poverty reduction among many other benefits to be accrued from the sector. As Zambia begins its road to tourism recovery, we are pleased to be associated with the WTTC’s Safe Travels global protocols.
“We are committed to meeting COVID-19 safety requirements that promote restarting tourism without inhibiting our tourism business sector. In this light, we have put in place simple and practical safety protocols for the tourism sector with the intention to enhance the visitor experience as they create their travel memories during this difficult time. The Safe Travels stamp will give travel consumers the confidence to travel to our destination.
“We pledge to remain compliant with the safety measures, in partnership with the private sector, to ensure both the hosts and travellers are safe and subsequently restore the tourism sector to where it was before the pandemic brought it to a halt.”
Morena Valdez, Minister of Tourism of El Salvador said: “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism of El Salvador led the development of eight biosecurity protocols for the entire Tourism Industry and the Safe Travels stamp recognises the work of our Government and gives a message of confidence to all travellers who decide to come again or visit our country for the first time.
“Together with our National Seal for the Verification of Biosafety Protocols in Tourism, the WTTC Safe Travels stamp supports El Salvador’s commitment to offer a tourist operation in line with the expectations of the new normal.
“Tourism is the industry that allows us to move around the world and we are focused on offering visitors the best destination experience, but above all, safe. I invite you to cross borders and discover that El Salvador is an ideal place to visit, establish tourist operations, do business and live.”
The widespread adoption of the stamp demonstrates that WTTC and all its Members from around the world have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.
The protocols follow guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as considering best practices from WTTC’s members.
Evidence from WTTC’s Crisis Readiness report, which looked at 90 different types of crises in the last 20 years, highlights the importance of public-private cooperation and the implementation of standardised protocols.
WTTC has been at the forefront of leading the private sector in the drive to rebuild global consumer confidence and encourage the return of Safe Travels.
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.