The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) released major guidelines, on Saturday, relating to integrating health and hygiene protocols into companies.
The guidelines focus on how private sector organisations can seek to implement health and hygiene protocols throughout their organisations, and improve public confidence in the Travel and Tourism sector.
The guidelines follow up on the health and safety protocols the WTTC released in 2020, in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They also come as a result of the Memorandum of Collaboration the WTTC signed with the IOSH.
The Safe Travels protocols were designed to rebuild confidence among consumers, so that they may travel safely once restrictions are lifted. They provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travellers, about the approach to health and hygiene in the post-COVID-19 world.
Organisations within Travel and Tourism aim to recover from a pandemic that has battered the sector. As part of this, they look to rebuild consumer confidence through health and hygiene protocols in all operations, which has emerged as one of the biggest priorities for the WTTC, and the wider sector.
Ensuring that health and hygiene protocols are adopted and ingrained into organisations is a key component of rebuilding consumer confidence.
The guidelines are divided into four parts, namely: acknowledging common pitfalls; introduction for managers; a managers’ toolkit; and additional material for managers in customer-facing roles
As the chartered body for occupational safety and health professionals and a leading developer of safety and health training courses, the IOSH is best placed to provide support in preventing accidents and ill health in the sector.
This collaboration aims to further help the Travel and Tourism sector recover from the pandemic by leveraging IOSH’s experience and practical solutions to help the organisations and businesses best look after the safety and health of their workforce.
WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara said, “The WTTC is delighted to partner with the IOSH once again on such important guidelines.”
“Consumer and employee confidence are key components in the recovery of the Travel and Tourism sector, and we believe this document will play a significant role in that process,” she added, “Meaningful engagement is needed across organisations to ensure that the protocols are successfully implemented, and our goal is to support the private sector in ensuring they are able to have the highest level of health and safety.”
Guevara said that 2020 was a year like a no other, in which millions of people around the world lost their livelihoods, and many more struggle financially and emotionally.
She added that, whilst the Travel and Tourism sector suffered enormously, history has shown it to be a resilient sector. She highlighted that the sector is confident a strong recovery will take place in the next few months.
“We believe that these guidelines will help aid in that process and become part of organisational DNA,” she added.
Duncan Spencer, Head of Advice and Practice at the IOSH, said, “The management of safety and health is crucial to businesses in Travel and Tourism, and other sectors, as they seek to recover from the impact of COVID-19.”
He added, “By successfully managing the risks, organisations can not only protect their people but demonstrate safety and health and thereby gain confidence among their consumer base in how they are operating.”
From the very start of the pandemic, the IOSH has been supporting its members and their employers to manage the risks they face, he said.
Spencer also said that the IOSH is delighted continue its collaboration with the WTTC, and believes that the guidelines will have a significant impact on the Travel and Tourism sector.