EGYPT, SLOVENIA, UKRAINE, AND OTHER MAJOR DESTINATIONS GET WTTC SAFE TRAVELS STAMP Comments Off on EGYPT, SLOVENIA, UKRAINE, AND OTHER MAJOR DESTINATIONS GET WTTC SAFE TRAVELS STAMP 584

More destinations recognised by the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp

London, UK: Holiday hotspot Egypt, is the latest in a line of popular destinations around the world to sign up to the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp, launched recently by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The growing list of endorsements have come from many major holiday and city destinations around the world such as Aruba, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Vienna, among many others.

WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, designed the special Safe Travels stamp to enable travellers to identify destinations and businesses around the world which adopted its health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers and holidaymakers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) embraced the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, which have the safety and hygiene of travellers as its top priority.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We are delighted to see major countries and destinations such as Egypt and Slovenia joining the growing list of global destinations adopting our private sector protocols.

“This not only shows the success of the WTTC Safe Travel stamp, but also demonstrates its importance to travellers and those who work in the sector.

“The stamp is critical to re-establish consumer confidence in Travel & Tourism and ensure travellers can rest assured that enhanced standards of hygiene are in place.page1image3377445584

“As WTTC health and hygiene protocols, affecting hotels, restaurants, airports, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor shopping, and transportation are implemented, so the list of destinations recognising the new stamp continues to grow.

“We thank these destination countries and cities for working with WTTC to ensure a speedy recovery of the sector. We look forward to welcoming many more destinations as countries around the world begin to lift travel restrictions which will see people travelling again.”

Since the launch of the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, destination countries, cities and hotspots around the world such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Mauritius, Panama, Portugal, and the Mexican State of Jalisco, have now adopted WTTC’s new protocols.

Dr Khaled El-Enany, Egypt Minister of Tourism and Antiquities said:

“I am pleased with the decision issued today by the WTTC to grant Egypt its Safe Travels stamp. This is a milestone in our bilateral cooperation with WTTC. This decision reflects Egypt’s commitment to the safe resumption of inbound tourism with strict comprehensive hygiene safety measures starting July 1, 2020, to its superb, sunny and healthy beaches.

“We are looking forward to welcoming guests to Egypt’s resorts in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Coast.”

Iván Eskildsen, Panama Minister of Tourism, said:

Ivan LiptugaPresident, National Tourism Organization of Ukraine said:

“We commend WTTC for the strong initiative to design Safe Travels protocols for every link in the tourism value chain. One of NTO Ukraine’s core activities is quality management and the implementation of international standards in the sustainable development of tourism in Ukrainian destinations.

“The implementation of WTTC protocols and the distribution of a Safe Travel Stamp is vital for strengthening health and safety standards and also a great marketing tool which strengthens confidence and differentiates socially responsible businesses from others.”

Msc. Maja PakDirector General of the Slovenian Tourist Board said:

“The Slovenian Tourist Board is proud that Slovenia is one of the first countries in the world with recognised Safe Travels Protocols approved by the World Travel & Tourism Council. Our instant reaction will help the tourism recover as soon as possible, and our common efforts with all the stakeholders have resulted in the GREEN & SAFE label, which represents Slovenia’s commitment to responsible, green, and safe tourism.”

WTTC recently launched a range of worldwide measures as part of its Safe Travels protocols, providing consistency and guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing, in the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19 world.

The protocols were devised following the experience of WTTC members dealing with COVID19 and based on guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“As the hub of the Americas, restoring confidence for travellers and tourists, will be a keypage2image3452879616

factor for the reactivation of our industry and our economy.page2image3452885232

“The WTTC Safe Travels stamp is a great way of building trust, aligning the protocols wepage2image3452892944

have developed with our Ministry of Health with WTTC standards, so that travellers canpage2image3452900464

have a safe journey through our country.”page2image3452904656

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

Ends
For full details about “Safe Travels”, please visit wttc.org
For further information please contact the WTTC press office at 
[email protected]

Editor’s Notes:

WTTC has created nine overarching principles & objectives for the Travel & Tourism Sector in the post-lockdown and recovery stage:

  1. Have the sector lead the definition of industry regulation as Travel & Tourism moves from crisis management to recovery
  2. Put the safety, health and security of travellers and the Travel & Tourism workforce at the core of the development of global standards
  3. Ensure coherence in the approach and development of new global standards through a coordinated, collaborative, and transparent approach within the Travel & Tourism sector
  4. Share harmonised and consistent standards and guidelines across destinations and countries.
  5. Collaborate with key actors across the Travel & Tourism supply and value chain to ensure readiness to restartoperations
  6. Ensure standards and guidelines implemented are aligned with governmental and public health requirementsand supported by medical evidence.
  7. Rebuild trust and confidence with travellers through effective communication & marketing; letting them knowthe protocols and guidelines implemented and assurances available to keep them safe.
  8. Relax and lift travel restrictions once the public health threat has been contained.
  9. Advocate for the implementation of enabling policies from financial relief to visa facilitation and incentives todestination promotion to support the recovery and demand re-generation for the sector.

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Mauritius B2B Hospitality magazine, a quarterly publication and blog for the industry professionals. Want to reach the hospitality decision makers in Mauritius/Rodrigues? Contact us +230 57 94 64 37 or [email protected]

THE MALDIVES, MAURITIUS, SRI LANKA, WHO IS DOING WHAT TO RESTORE TRAVEL CONFIDENCE ACROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN Comments Off on THE MALDIVES, MAURITIUS, SRI LANKA, WHO IS DOING WHAT TO RESTORE TRAVEL CONFIDENCE ACROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN 567

After the recent round of short interviews with hospitality leaders in the Maldives, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka, these were the key messages that will win customers back. 

MALDIVES – No social distancing, but a rather physical distancing in the Maldives.

One month ago the Maldives reopened the country borders to international travelers and since then, welcomed nearly 4500 tourists mainly from the UK, USA, UAE, Germany, Swiss, and Russia. With strict health and safety standard procedures implemented across the country, starting from the airport to the resort islands, the ‘new travelers’ have already voiced their appreciation for the level of care and hygiene on various social media and forums. But if being welcomed by the resort representatives wrapped in PPE and armed with face shield, gloves, and masks might not feel like the most relaxing start of a much-needed holiday, Afeef Hussain, Regional Director at LUX* Resorts in the Maldives, reassures that guests do love the feeling of safety 

“Being able to arrive at the resort and start enjoying their vacation right away not having to worry about anything, is what our guests want”

Together with high levels of hygiene, another key element to restoring travel confidence is the value of the experience. Afeef Hussain shares that the ‘new travelers’ are not going to spend the same amount of money they used to. Therefore, the value of the vacation is under great scrutiny and determines whether your customer might decide to return to your hotel or to travel somewhere else. 

“There is no such thing of ‘new normal’, but rather a ‘new mindset’”

To ensure that each action taken to uphold the hygiene standards at the resorts is mutually beneficial, Afeef says that whatever is done for the guests, is also done for the team members. This ensures their wellbeing and wellness and translates the Company’s core message of ‘care’ into action.

SRI LANKA – Borders are closed, but our resorts are not.

Sri Lanka has recently delayed the opening of the country borders, but hotels and resorts across the island are back in business with the local market. The execution of health and safety standards at each property has been instrumental to restore a domestic travel confidence, says Arjuna Perera – Sales Manager at Theme Resorts & SPA based in Colombo. To start with, Arjuna Perera and his team produced a video message to show all the procedures and reassure their customer base. 

‘We immediately created a survey, to help understand what are our customers’ priorities at this critical time’ 

But, as we know, the local market demand alone does not cover it. A voucher system propelled by Arjuna’s sales team successfully generated over 1000 room nights. This shows that flexibility is another key factor to encourage travel demand. Flights can be canceled or delayed, quarantine systems are changing by the day. ‘All we need is a bit of flexibility’ says Arjuna ‘and the results are showing us that people are keen to travel, they just want to feel safe’. 

But how do we ensure social distancing in Sri Lanka? For Theme Resorts & Spa, more than distancing, we talk about isolation, but in a good way. The nature experience of some of their properties is guaranteed to the point that to reach some of their glamping sites, you will have to be picked up by the hotel concierge somewhere in the jungle.

MAURITIUS – A contactless experience and smart use of technology.

As Mauritius prepares to reopen borders next month, the health & safety checklist of the destination seems to grow longer.

The use of technology, however, plays a key role in the destination, currently undergoing a digital transformation with a brand new website, a travel platform in the making and a range of digital solutions for tourists. Airline and travel industry expert Youvraj Seeam, based in Mauritius, shares that to pick up on travel confidence, we first have to observe the consumers’ changing behaviors and thereafter understand the new demands.

“For this to be truly successful, we need collaboration with all the stakeholders across the industry”

Youvraj shares that tools like the Travel Recovery Insights Portal of ARC & Boston Consulting, the McKinsey Travel Pulse, or the Traveller Trends Tracker by Adara must be on top of today’s agenda for the modern marketer. This would enable industry leaders to have more visibility and start making progress along the way.

Based on his experience in the airline industry, the key message needs to revolve around hygiene standards and procedures from the moment the traveler checks-in, boards the plane and reaches the destination. Once arrived, says Youvraj, a contactless experience needs to be in place to ensure a safe transit until the guest ultimately reaches the hotel.

 About the author:

Dolores Semeraro is a multilingual professional speaker and trainer, fluent in the Chinese language. She provides strategic direction and training courses to companies and tourism institutions helping them to speak today’s digital language of their audience. Her vision is to create a sustainable digital connection between travel industry stakeholders and their desired customers.

IT’S NOW OR NEVER INDUSTRY GLOBAL RESET BY MARC WILLIAMS Comments Off on IT’S NOW OR NEVER INDUSTRY GLOBAL RESET BY MARC WILLIAMS 615

IT’S NOW OR NEVER, I am only tired, as the song goes and so says mother Earth after years and years of succumbing to the filth that are being spilled into her bosom by the 7 billion of us.

 We are at a crossroad and an eye-opening moment that have to be reckoned with. The changes to the way we live, the way we do business and the way we conduct ourselves in this world will happen whether we like it or not. It will be subtle and forcing us to be the architect of this change – it’s another industrial revolution enabling humans to evolve into a more conscientious being for the benefit of all and mother nature. And it’s worth mentioning here the abrupt change we are witnessing in the hospitality industry. 

Being reliant on large number of human capitals, the hospitality industry has been the most affected by the global pandemic, like no other. Think about it, its an industry that needs an intensive labour force to serve its consumers, it needs the use of fossil fuel to allow its consumers to travel and at the core of the travel industry there is the need for the Oil & Gas producers to power the planes and run the establishment that serves the hospitality industry. So, it’s an industry that at the core, survives and becomes profitable on the demands and supply within the Petroleum Market – for instance, when we see a low cost of crude, the demand rises, consumption rises and tourist travels. On the other hand, as the demand for Petroleum products rises, we see a rise in production which accompanies the rise in crude price. At the same time industrial catering contracts are signed in numbers around the Middle Eastern oil producing countries to support the crude majors, like BP or Total, and their service partners.

Then sometime in March 2020 the world stopped…

As every human activity came to a standstill, the price of crude oil stumbled and crashed as the demands crumbled. Unfortunately, we have made crude oil the center of our existential activities; that businesses linked to its production, whether directly or indirectly, are struggling to keep afloat during this pandemic period. This is a true portrait of our vulnerability as humans who have become too dependent on fossil fuel – the only matter that is damaging our beloved mother Earth.

In light of the new normal as we fashionably call it these days, the only way forward for the hospitality industry, but more certainly for the industrial catering sector, is automation and robotics with a change in attitude within the concept by all stakeholders and consumers. This in turn will reduce the heavy reliance on large manpower thereby improving profitability which has hit the industry since the fall of crude price. Although change is a pill hardly accepted by people entrenched within a certain framework and mindset, and unless changes are actuated, the hospitality industry may lose the precious backing of the investors. 

How can we forge this sudden change then…? One aspect with the labour intensive hospitality industry is to use automation and robotics wherever possible but still remain within the framework of good practice. For instance, within the kitchen we have already started using automation when it comes to the processing of veggies, washing up of cutleries, pots and pans. What we need now would be the autonomous self-cleaning equipment – in the domestic market we already have self-cleaning oven – with a bit of imagination we can have self-cleaning combo oven and cooking plates inserted on a stainless free stove where every debris or liquids drops into an underlying tray from where they are sucked into garbage cannisters. The idea here is to reduce the manpower wherever possible and keep only the chef and a small brigade to assist him in the mass production. 

The other crucial change within the industrial catering facility, most appropriately, would be the implementation of self-service as a general rule of the game. This will limit human contact and adheres to the on-going rule of distancing as applied in the pandemic situation. The onus will then be on the catering team to properly and intelligently prepare the plated layout which is then collected by the consumers. This process will help on portion control amongst other things, which is important in controlling the cost. 

Obviously, the arguments for change and innovation within the hospitality industry is a hot subject at the moment and should be for quite some time. After all we do not know when the pandemic will subside nor when will a real cure be found! However, we have already engaged in a new way of living and a new way of doing business, which in the industrial catering sector it means finding innovative ways to reduce the reliance on large manpower and engaging strategic actions to reduce the cost of doing business in order to be more profitable.

Let’s hope at the end of the day, the right course of action is taken with the interest of all the stakeholders considered and enough investments are made to meet up the challenge of considerable change. 

Marc WILLIAMS