The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has laid out a new series of guidelines as part of its Safe and Seamless Traveler Journey (SSTJ).
The organization has identified five critical calls to action to governments around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including supporting a rapid testing and contact tracing strategy to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
The WTTC is also urging collaboration to allow “approved travelers” to visit multiple destinations via a single process and risk assessment framework and advocating for travel “bubbles” or “tourism corridors” between low-risk areas and regions, which it believes could help to limit testing requirements and support the industry’s recovery.
As it has in the past, the council is calling for the removal of blanket travel advisories and recommendations against non-essential international travel. Finally, the WTTC is encouraging support for a global standard of traveler health insurance.
“The safety and hygiene of travelers are paramount. This is why our new guidelines for Safe and Seamless Travel including testing and tracing, are designed to assist in the recovery of travel and tourism through the identification and/or isolation of infected travelers,” said WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara in a statement. “This is consistent with advice from WHO and other leading health authorities that the best way to control and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, is through early identification of carriers to ensure they don’t travel.”
“The new WTTC guidelines mean that we can now replace the confusing mix of different measures including highly-damaging quarantines, which currently exist, to offer confidence to travelers and governments alike while protecting public health,” she added. “Travel ‘bubbles’ or ‘corridors’ between low-risk COVID-19 areas/zones or countries will also help limit testing requirements for travelers and support efforts by governments and private businesses working in partnership together to stimulate traveler demand.”
The latest guidelines come at a time when demand for travel is on the rise. According to a recent survey conducted by medical, security, evacuation, travel risk and crisis management service provider Global Rescue, nearly 80 percent of members expect to return to the airways and roadways, while 91 percent of respondents said that they are willing to share personal medical history and their travel plans as a pre-condition to resuming travel.