As you think about traveling again you undoubtedly have been going through an abundance of data on the protocols and guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and the governments and destinations you’re considering including resort and border reopening dates. And for good reason as there are so many touchpoints for every area of travel.
Remember when you used to search ‘WHO’ and you would get The Who and listen to ‘I Can See for Miles’ or ‘My Generation’? Sorry, I couldn’t get those songs out of my head!
Safe and Seamless Traveler Journey (SST)
The new guidelines, part of WTTC’s Safe and Seamless Traveler Journey (SST), were set up to help governments and private businesses work together to include aligned testing and contact tracing programs, including contactless technology – a benefit to both travelers and travel and tourism industry workers. This also provides governments alternative policies to eliminate harmful procedures such as mandatory quarantine periods. They’re also aligned with medical evidence provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
So there are five critical calls to action for governments around the world including the removal of blanket travel advisories and recommendations against non-essential international travel. The WTTC is also in support of a global standard of traveler health insurance. They also support travel ‘bubbles’ or ‘tourism corridors’ between low-risk COVID-19 areas/zones – these ‘bubbles and corridors’ could help to limit testing requirements and support travel recovery.
Traveler Confidence and the ‘Stamp’ of approval
In addition, there is also a special ‘stamp’ to help travelers identify the governments and companies (globally) that have adopted the health and hygiene standardized protocols. The eligible companies (hotels, airlines, tour operators, restaurants, airports, transfers) will use this (green) stamp once they’ve implemented the ‘Safe Travels’ protocols.
To put this in greater perspective, some WTTC members and partners include Cancun tourism, Riviera Nayarit, Baja California Sur, United Airlines, Palace Resorts, Melia Hotels & Resorts, and AmResorts. Cancun, Isla Cozumel, Aruba, and a number of other destinations are already using the Safe Travels Stamp. Good to know since there are so many amazing all-inclusive resorts in these areas!
Even though these guidelines are to help travelers, the responsibility is still on each traveler to decide what’s best for their safety as we navigate our way through travel recovery and a ‘new normal’ that is safe, joyful, and brings us back to the places we love and the ones yet discovered.