World Travel and Tourism Council bets on passenger tracking by apps, less cash circulation and increased hygiene
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) stands for how the coronavirus pandemic will change the moment leisure travel returns. The entity, based in London and which brings together more than 200 businessmen and leaders in the tourism sector worldwide, is betting on a “new normal” as soon as border blocks are relaxed.
The WTTC stresses the importance of collaboration between private companies and governments for the application of new health protocols that should provide greater security for the traveler. To ensure this, the entity has been working in recent weeks in search of determining the best global practices for the resumption of the sector, which should happen gradually.
To try to bring some dynamism to the process, the WTTC is working together with the G20, the European Union and governments around the globe to try to create new public policies.
“We have learned previous experiences that when private sector protocols are taken into account and we have a coordinated approach, the recovery period is significantly reduced, so public-private sector collaboration is crucial,” said Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of WTTC. Check out what the “new normal” should look like:
The forecast is that the resumption of travel will happen nationally and then gain new escalations. In the case of Brazil, a likely scenario is travel within the state itself and, later, to neighboring states. Road trips should gain more relevance at this first moment. Then, the Mercosur countries should encourage visits, but it is still very uncertain. Argentina, for example, will not open borders until September. Subsequently, the openings may include North America and Europe. Finally, perhaps we can go further, like Asia and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand have already announced their intention to create a “bubble” between the two countries, which translates into closing borders to the rest of the world). The time for that to happen, no one knows. Countries that open borders may close them at any time at the slightest sign that new sources of contamination are detected.
Young people travel first
The WTTC believes that the first people to buy travel packages will be the youngest, specifically in the 18 to 35 age group. This forecast is based on the number of cases of covid-19 involving travelers at this age, who would have a better prognosis for recovery compared to the elderly.
New shipping protocols
Just as has been happening on repatriation flights and a few commercials that have happened again, measures such as social distance and the use of masks in the boarding area and inside the aircraft should remain after the covid-19 pandemic is eased. Bottles of gel alcohol spread the lobby to the aircraft will also be a part of travelers' lives.
Passengers must pass tests before boarding, as Emirates is already doing, and at disembarkation. At check-in, technologies will be used to limit contact between airline employees and passengers. One of the actions that may be taken is the non-acceptance of payments through cash, which should increase the online and digital collection solutions.
More stairs, less elevator
The WTTC considered that ship travel should undergo changes to encourage social distance. Among them, there is the incentive to use stairs, since the rule of spacing of two meters between people is more easily fulfilled than inside an elevator. And also the smallest number of gym equipment in the gyms.
Extra care with cleaning
Cleaning is a major concern for everyone during this pandemic period and, therefore, changes in hygiene protocols will be increasingly relevant.
On cruises, employees will use full-time gloves, which are changed frequently, in addition to intensifying the cleaning of the rooms. The aircraft will undergo more rigorous disinfection processes, ranging the use of disinfectants in each small part of the plane to electrostatic spray jets. The World Travel and Tourism Council raises the possibility of tracking passengers through applications in order to intercept any possible outbreak of the virus.
Despite efforts, the tourism sector has already been hit hard by the covid-19. According to the WTTC, the segment contributed 10.3% to the world's GDP in 2019, being responsible for 25% of the new jobs generated. However, in 2020 alone, there are already 100 million unemployed in the sector and a loss of up to US $ 2.7 trillion in world GDP.