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MAJOR MILESTONE:100th country awarded WTTC Safe Travels stamp

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has marked its first major milestone with its 100th destination earning the organization’s “Safe Travels” stamp – a designation designed to enable travellers to recognize destinations around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols.

The latest designate, The Philippines, took the three-month-old program to the century mark, joining destinations such as Bermuda, Cancun, Jamaica, Dubai, Turkey and Egypt. Canadian members include The Yukon, Cariboo Chilcotan Coast, Vancouver Island, Penticton, and the Tourism Association of Ontario

The stamp, which has been embraced by over 200 CEO’s, including some of the world’s major tourism groups, was developed by the WTTC to help revive the ailing Travel & Tourism sector by restoring the confidence of travellers through a series of standardized global health and hygiene protocols that address concerns about travelling during the pandemic. The program has received the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

WTTC president & CEO Gloria Guevara said, “We are delighted to see our innovative initiative is proving such a great success and is being used by destinations from all corners of the globe. The 100 destinations which now proudly use the stamp are working together to help rebuild consumer confidence worldwide.

“As the stamp continues to gain in popularity, travellers will more easily be able to recognize the destinations worldwide which have adopted the new set of global protocols, encouraging the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world.”

The protocols follow guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as considering best practices from WTTC’s members.

The industry protocols are being launched in phases, with nine industry protocols now available, notably for hospitality, outdoor retail, aviation, airports, tour operators, short-term rental industry, attractions, car rental, and convention centres, meetings & events. Protocols for the insurance and cruise are under development.

The WTTC notes that the Safe Travels stamp is “based on self-assessment and it is not a certification,” and that countries, destination authorities and companies using the stamp have confirmed that they have implemented, and will ensure ongoing compliance with, the Safe Travels protocols.

First published at Travel Industry Today

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