A set of recommendations has been introduced by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which are among the world’s leading tourism bodies, in a bid to help businesses to safely reopen to their customers amid the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

Due to travel restrictions imposed in countries worldwide, leading to decrease in the number of tourists and travellers as well as reducing the consumer demand, the sector that has been affected the most is the tourism and travel sector.

Aware of the struggles that the travel and tourism industry is facing, ICC and WTTC have published a Quick Restart Guide for Employers. The latter offers recommendations to businesses for assuring operational readiness, preparing staff members upon their return to the workplace as well as preventing the risk for COVID-19 infections in the workplace.

These recommendations were introduced during a virtual meeting between Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) John W.H. Denton AO, and WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara.

In order to make sure that businesses are safe to operate amid Coronavirus pandemic, the two leaders admitted that the travel and tourism industry requires the implementation of more measures, including WTTC safe travel protocols, secure knowledge sharing and institute careful plans.

Regarding this issue, Secretary-General Denton said that after the loss of more than 150 million jobs supported by the tourism sector, it is necessary to recognize the challenges that businesses are facing in the age of COVID-19, from which a considerable number of SME businesses, the sources of which are limited.

“It’s critical for ICC and our global network to engage with travel and tourism businesses as we work together to reinstate consumer confidence, protect employees and safely reopen our economies,” Denver stressed.

Meanwhile, WTTC President and CEO, Gloria Guevara, said that the harmful impact that Coronavirus pandemic is having in businesses in the travel and tourism industry is leading to damages outside this sector as well, affecting millions of jobs and livelihoods worldwide.

“Our guide provides recommendations for businesses around the world, be they large enterprises or SME’s, to ensure employees are able to return to their place of work safely and are in line with WTTC’s Safe Travels protocols,” she added.

In order to assist businesses operating in this industry in restarting their activity safely, ICC and WTTC’s guidance is split into well-defined categories. The guidance offers businesses in the travel and tourism sector, recommendations checklist for reopening, starting from trust and confidence rebuild to preparation of staff while returning to work environments.

During the virtual meeting, the two leaders talked about cooperation on digital platforms focusing on reopening economies and borders for international travel.

Lack of tourists and travellers caused by COVID-19 pandemic is affecting many countries worldwide which are at risk of losing billions of Euros. According to a report published recently by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the United Kingdom is expected to lose £22 billion while Germany could lose €38 billion. Moreover, among the affected states is France which may suffer the loss of €48 billion and Spain that risks losing over 40 billion euros during this summer.

To make sure that tourists are not endangered of becoming infected with Coronavirus, Portugal introduced the Clean and Safe Stamp. The latter ensures that hotels, restaurants, rental cars, are respecting the national health guidelines.

Months ago, ICC, along with WTTC, organized a webinar on COVID-19 consequences for SME’s running in the travel and tourism industry. Many leaders from this sector attended the webinar and discussed COVID-19 impact as well as about measures needed to be taken in order to prevent the further spread of the virus and to overcome the financial collapse.

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