The World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ stamp shows travellers which companies and destinations have upgraded their health and hygiene protocols. Rose Dykins reports

In a move to restore traveller confidence, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched a Safe Travels stamp.

The idea is to give travellers peace of mind by revealing which governments and destinations have adopted Safe Travels – WTTC’s global standardised health and hygiene procedures following Covid-19.

These are based on experience and guidelines from the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

All kinds of travel companies can apply for the industry stamp, including hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, attractions, short-term rentals, car rentals, outdoor shopping providers, transportation, airports, and national and regional tourist boards.

Once they have implemented the Safe Travels health and hygiene protocols outlined by the WTTC, travel companies can use the stamp publicly.

Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of WTTC, says: “The number of global destinations adopting our private sector protocols is growing at a rapid pace.

“The stamp is vital to re-establish worldwide consumer confidence in travel and tourism and so travellers can be sure that enhanced standards of hygiene are in place for them to be able to travel safely.”

Bulgaria, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, Ontario (Canada), Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Mexican destinations of Baja California Sur and Yucatan, are among the destinations that have adopted WTTC’s new protocols.

Popular city destinations for tourists that have been given the stamp of approval include Barcelona, Cancun, Madrid and Seville.WTTC Safe Travels stampNajib Balala, minister for Tourism and Wildlife in the Republic of Kenya, says: “It’s time that the world realises that tourism is key as it’s not just about employment, but about survival. That’s why reopening while guided by co-ordinated and collaborative protocols, we not only save lives in terms of health but also livelihoods in terms of the economy.

“We commend the World Travel and Tourism Council for their commitment, effort and strategic global leadership in designing and developing the WTTC’s global safety stamp and Safe Travels protocols. The protocols shall ensure that tourism and travel continue to globally impact the world populace livelihoods and sustain lives.”

Kenya, along with Rwanda and Tanzania, reopened its borders on August 1. Elizabeth Gordon, co-founder of Extraordinary Journeys, says: “To make up for lost travel time, we encourage guests to take advantage of the low crowds in Kenya this fall.

“Not only has Kenya been awarded the Safe Travel stamp by the WTTC, but this might be the best opportunity in our lifetimes to experience the breathtaking Great Migration on Kenya’s Maasai Mara with an unusually low number of crowds, making an already unforgettable experience even better.”

Rita Marques, state secretary for Visit Portugal, says: “Portugal has been committed in reassuring our tourists they will always have the best experience in our country. This stamp, together with our Clean and Safe programme, is one step further in reassuring everyone that we take care, our destination is focused on recovery and trust is at the core of our business.”

However, it’s worth noting that just because a certain country doesn’t have the Safe Travels stamp, that it is unsafe. Globetrender predicts that this could cause confusion for some people.

Click here to see which travel companies have gained the WTTC’s Safe Travels stamp.

Meanwhile, the Qatar National Tourism Council has announced the launch of a new “Qatar Clean” initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health. The project will ensure strict standards of hygiene and cleanliness in public places across the country. Sheraton QNTC Qatar CleanThe multi-phased Qatar Clean programme has been created as Qatar prepares to welcome international visitors back to the country, reassuring them that they will have a safe and comfortable experience.

Phase one, which was rolled out in May and June and focused on hotels and tourist accommodation, is now being extended to other sectors such as restaurants and shopping malls. Since its introduction, almost 100 hotels have been certified.

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