Health and hygiene protocols guide produced for travel firms

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has partnered with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) to produce guidelines for integrating health and hygiene protocols into company culture at travel firms.

The From protocols to a safety culture guidelines follow on from the health and safety protocols WTTC released in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and are intended to help travel companies build consumer confidence around their health and hygiene practices, so that they will feel comfortable travelling once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The guidance looks at common health and hygiene pitfalls, provides a “toolkit” for managers – including sections on infection control and Covid-19 risk assessments – and offers specific advice for managers in customer-facing roles, including handling those who deliberately flout restrictions and controls.

The WTTC said ingraining health and hygiene practices into an organisation’s “DNA” will be key as the industry begins to open up post-pandemic.

Gloria Guevara, president and CEO at WTTC, said: “Meaningful engagement is needed across organisations to ensure that the protocols are successfully implemented, and our goal is to support the private sector in ensuring they are able to have the highest level of health and safety.

“2020 was a year like a no other. We saw millions of people around the world lose their livelihoods, and many more struggle financially and emotionally. However, whilst the travel and tourism sector suffered enormously, history has shown it to be a resilient sector and we are confident that during the next few months we will begin to see that strong recovery take hold. We believe that these guidelines will help aid in that process and become part of organisational DNA.”

Duncan Spencer, head of advice and practice at IOSH, said: “The management of safety and health is crucial to businesses in travel and tourism and other sectors as they seek to recover from the impact of Covid-19. By successfully managing the risks, organisations can not only protect their people but demonstrate safety and health and thereby gain confidence among their consumer base in how they are operating.”

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