Of course, a Safe Travels stamp of approval by WTTC is not a hoax. It’s a brilliant and timely move and a great achievement for the global travel and tourism world.
Leaders and executives of the public and private sector of the travel and tourism industry are pulling their brains out trying to bring this industry back on track.
Many so-called leaders associated with organizations in the travel and tourism industry including government officials are frustrated. They are attending virtual crisis meetings, come out with mostly self-serving words, but in reality, they have no idea what to do and how to move to the next step and rescue the travel sector.
There is one exception. For years WTTC has been seen to be the leader in representing the largest businesses in the sector. The World Travel and Tourism Council under the leadership of Gloria Guevara (CEO) worked tirelessly and with a thinking-outside-the-box approach to make a difference in what appears to be an impossible situation.
The contribution WTTC made to the world this month is enormous. The announcement of their safe travels stamp is a brilliant idea and a hands-on approach. Yesterday’s article on eTurboNews questioning if the safe travels stamp is a hoax raised a lot of eyebrows and needs to be clarified.
Juergen Steinmetz, founder of rebuilding.travel and publisher of eTurboNews. thinks the words “safe travels” should be changed to “safer travels”
The guarantee a destination or hotel is safe could turn out as a hoax for travelers. Safety cannot be guaranteed. Once a business or destination guarantees safety it will always come with legal liability. There is no insurance company in the world ready to write a policy in today’s COVID-19 environment to guarantee safety from the virus.
What is not a hoax is the reality of what this stamp stands for and the research and enormous work behind it. WTTC must be applauded to have come up with the first tangible measures to help businesses and destinations to reopen for tourism.
Steinmetz explained: “Of course, the concept WTTC had developed is not a hoax. On the contrary, we congratulate WTTC for the hard work and details they put into these documents. The approach is very realistic, and WTTC has our full support to make their guidelines a new standard for the industry. In calling it a hoax, I was referring only to the word ‘safe.’ without the “r”. In my opinion, no one can guarantee any destination, hotel, car rental, airline, cruise line, or attraction as safe even if all such guidelines are followed.
“The stamp for safe travels is based on self-certification and cannot be fully checked or balanced. Saying a destination or business is safe may open them up for liability. Certifying safety without taking responsibility can be problematic. Indemnification while certifying has issues, too.
“The industry should focus on the safe and sustainable rebuilding of travel and tourism on the basis of confidence and trustworthiness. Any shortcuts which cannot stand up to scrutiny or the credibility test will harm people and destinations. My calling it a hoax is my way of calling attention to the fact that as travel and tourism moves forward from the pandemic, we must at the same time protect ourselves from potential pitfalls.”
Aviation expert and contributor to rebuilding.travel Mr. Vijay Poonoosamy added: “The industry cannot be seen to be only focus on its business as it seeks to rebuild confidence in travel and tourism. We need to focus on health when promoting travel and tourism.”
The industry cannot be seen to be obsessed with resuming its business by making some risk-based compromises with human safety and hope to gain trust. If it’s a matter of pushing for compromises and balancing health and money, then it’s no surprise that suspicions and criticisms follow. The same goes for ICAO and IATA.”
The person who worked tirelessly behind the scene to make sure safe travels guidelines make sense and are complete is WTTC CEO and president Gloria Guevara Manzo?
Gloria was born on September 1, 1967, and is a business executive with experience in the private and public sectors. She was Secretary of Tourism for Mexico from March 2010 to November 2012. Guevara began her professional career at NCR Corporation in 1989 and worked in the IT industry in various roles working for North America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa regions. Since 1995, she has worked for travel and tourism in different capacities for Sabre Holdings, the Mexican Government, as an independent, and currently as the CEO of WTTC.
Under the leadership of Gloria, WTTC lobbied the best experts available to come up with a blueprint for various sections of the industry to adjust to a new reality in doing exactly what businesses are desperate to do – reopening their business.
Industry professionals from around the globe are applauding Gloria’s hard work and are buying into the concept presented by the organization. The WTTC website lists major destinations and companies from every part of the sector adopting the idea of safe travels.
Rebuilding.travel invites those in the industry to participate in a public emergency zoom conference on Wednesday, July 1, at 3:00 pm (1500 hours) New York Time, or 8:00 pm (2000 hours) London time.
For more information, click here.
Go to rebuilding.travel for more information and on how to join the initiative without charge.