WTTC and ICC releases COVID-19 restart guide for travel and tourism sector

Published on : Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) along with The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) recently published a set of recommendations for the safe reopening of customer facing businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused widespread damage to global supply chains and businesses of all sizes. The entire travel and tourism sector around the world have been largely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak due to global travel restrictions, decreasing passenger travel demand and declining traveller confidence.

Therefore, WTTC and ICC came together to release a ‘Quick Restart Guide for Employers’ in recognition of the challenges faced by the travel and tourism industry to provide businesses with recommendations for ensuring operational readiness, preparing staff and limiting risk of exposure to the virus within workplaces. The guidance was released following a virtual meeting between ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO and WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara. It was decided that the travel and tourism sector will need to implement new measures, such as the WTTC Safe Travels protocols, fortify knowledge sharing and institute careful plans, in order to ensure that businesses can operate safely amid the COVID situation.

During the session both the leaders decided to collaborate on digital platforms with the aim of reopening economies and borders for international travel. An update on ICCAOKpass, the risk mitigation tool that facilitates cross-border travellers to present digitally authenticated and secure medical records to border authorities was provided. ICC also mentioned that it would provide more support to promote WTTC’s Safe Travels Protocols and Stamp the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp. 

The ICC-WTTC guidance has been divided into clear categories to help travel and tourism businesses restart their operations safely. It provides travel and tourism businesses with a checklist of considerations for reopening from rebuilding trust and confidence with customers to preparing staff returning to workplaces. John W.H. Denton, Secretary General, ICC said in a statement that with over 150 million travel and tourism jobs lost since the COVID-19 outbreak, more needs to be done to address the challenges faced by the businesses –many of which are SMEs with limited resources.

He also shared that it is critical for ICC and its global network to engage with travel and tourism businesses as people are coming together to reinstate consumer confidence, protect employees and safely re-open economies. Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC said in a statement that travel and tourism is a highly interconnected sector and hence the devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses across the global travel & tourism sector,  is also causing extraordinary damage outside of the sector. She shared that the virus outbreak has impacted millions of jobs and livelihoods around the world and mentioned that the latest guide provides recommendations for businesses around the world, from large enterprises or SME’s, to ensure that employees are able to return to their workplace safely and are in line with WTTC’s Safe Travels protocols.

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