St Lucia, Fiji and Ethiopia join the ever-growing list of destinations to get world’s first global safety and hygiene stamp.
Following its launch in May last year, the highly popular Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), has now been awarded to a remarkable 250 destinations around the world.
WTTC, which has continually been at the forefront in leading the private sector in the efforts to rebuild global consumer confidence and encourage the return of Safe Travels, made history when it launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp, just eight months ago.
The stamp, developed to help restore confidence in travellers and aims to revive the global Travel & Tourism sector which has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is now being used by many more major countries with Honduras, Belize and Malawi, the latest destinations to join the ever-growing list.
VisitBritain, the tourism agency representing one of the world’s most popular destinations, has also now been recognised through the ground-breaking stamp.
The now globally recognised stamp enables both business and leisure travellers to distinguish destinations around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so they can experience ‘Safe Travels’.
This pioneering move by WTTC also received the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and the launch of global protocols to recover the Travel & Tourism sector has been embraced by over 200 CEO’s including some of the world’s major tourism groups.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We are delighted to see our Safe Travels Stamp is still growing at a rapid rate and is being adopted by destinations from all corners of the world.
“Reaching this incredible milestone, with 250 destinations around the world now proudly holding our Safe Travels stamp, is testimony to the hard work which has been put in to make the stamp work for both destinations and holidaymakers.
“As the global vaccine rollout picks up pace and with the restrictions expected to be relaxed over the coming weeks, we believe the stamp will prove a key component of destination recovery and restoring consumer confidence.
“The success of the stamp shows the importance of global coordination to help rebuild and revive the international Travel & Tourism sector. Destinations with the stamp will benefit from travellers being able to recognise the destinations which have adopted the global protocols, encouraging the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world.
“We are finally beginning to step into the new normal of a post-COVID world, and we are proud to be leading the way for globally coordinated efforts in recovery.”
Sally Balcombe, VisitBritain CEO said: “We are delighted that businesses certified to We’re Good To Go can also automatically register for WTTC’s global Safe Travels stamp, recognising the standard of protocols and processes we have in place in the UK. This is also testament to the hard work and commitment of tens of thousands of businesses right across the country who have adapted and innovated to safely meet new ways of working and are already ‘good to go’.”
Honourable Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Fiji said: “Getting such an endorsement for the work we have done on the Care Fiji Commitment program is truly remarkable for a small country like Fiji. This world class health and safety programme gives visitors confidence to travel to Fiji when the borders reopen.”
Honourable Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, Belize said: "Belize is delighted to be recognised through the WTTC’s Safe Travels stamp. Following the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, my country’s highest priority has been, and remains the health and safety of our guests. Within this context, we have implemented extensive health and safety protocols as part of a Gold Standard Recognition Program for accommodations, tour operators and other industry partners.”
Hailemariam Desalegn, Chairman, Ethiopian Tourism Board, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia said: “We are extremely honoured to be issued the Safe Travels stamp by WTTC and commend it for this important initiative. This decision reflects Ethiopia’s commitment to maintain the standard safe travel protocols and procedures as we reopen our doors to tourism and international visitors. With the aim of ensuring safety of workers and visitors we will continue to work closely with tour operators, hotels and regional destination marketing organisations to maintain these standards.”
The protocols were designed following guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and taking best practices from WTTC’s Members into account.
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), made a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generated one in four of all new jobs.