by Elise Schoening | June 08, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the travel industry and sent unemployment soaring to historic highs, with 51 percent travel-related employees out of work in the U.S. To help rebuild the global travel economy and restart events, the World Travel & Tourism Council has unveiled new protocols for traveling safely.

The second phase of protocols, released on May 29, include guidance for airlines, airports, tour operators and meeting professionals. The first phase, issued in mid-May, covers recommendations for safely restarting the retail and hospitality industries.

The new protocols aim to provide consistent health and safety measures across various destinations and countries. The WTTC has also launched a new Global Safety Stamp program to recognize businesses and governments that have adopted these protocols. Eligible businesses include hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, restaurants and more. The initiative is backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

"We have learned from the past, especially after the tragedy of 9/11, where the lack of coordination among governments and with the private sector caused long-lasting travel disruption, higher costs and a longer recovery time," said WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara in a statement. "Coordination and alignment within the travel and tourism sector is vital to ensure that robust global measures are put in place to help rebuild confidence, and which are jointly embraced by the governments and private sector."

The new safety protocols follow recommendations from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WTTC member organizations and industry groups, such as the International Air Transport Association and the Cruise Lines International Association, were consulted during development. Read the full story on NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com to see the new protocols for meetings, hotels, airlines and more.