The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the latest set of measures designed to rebuild global consumer confidence, reduce risk and encourage the return of “Safe Travels”—with these designed for the reopening of adventure tourism, which should see an increase in popularity as travelers seek more unique experiences post-COVID-19.
Protocols for the adventure tourism industry were compiled on the basis of insights and frameworks developed by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), in collaboration with a number of key tour operators in the segment such as Abercrombie & Kent, Eurotur, Intrepid and The Travel Corporation (TTC), to support the safe, healthy and responsible restart of adventure tourism around the world. Within these protocols, the adventure tourism industry refers to a wide variety of adventure tourism experiences including cycling, rafting, trekking, skiing, snowboarding, wildlife safaris and culinary tours, among others.
Not only are these activities mostly outdoors, thus limiting time spent in indoors, but group sizes can be managed to allow for physical distancing. It is expected that this type of tourism will see growth in the post-COVID landscape. Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO, also noted that, according to the WTTC’s recent COVID-19 Travel Demand Recovery Dashboard, adventure travel is one of the fastest growing segments.
WTTC divided the new guidance into four pillars: Operational and staff preparedness; delivering a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; and implementing enabling policies.
Measures announced Thursday include:
- Reduce participant capacity limits for activities as appropriate to allow for physical distancing
- Ensured activity difficulty levels do not exceed guest ability and skill, thus decreasing the need for a possible rescue
- Provide clear, consistent and up-to-date communication on new health and hygiene protocols via the organization’s channels, both digitally and physically through clear signage
- Promote contact tracing apps if required by local legislation
- Inform guests about support available if questions or concerns arise
- Share guest guidelines ahead of trip or activity digitally and in person upon arrival on the basis of advice from health authorities, which may include the wearing of face masks or coverings, guidance on hand hygiene and avoiding physical contact (and consider having consumers acknowledge guidelines)
- Encouraged guests to purchase tickets online if possible
- Keep the same households, families or members of group bookings together for all activities to lower risk of exposure for those outside of that unit, wherever possible
- Ensure, where possible, that each guest can handle their own equipment and gear for the duration of the trip (where possible, guests should be encouraged bring their own equipment or gear, such as bikes, skis and helmets among others)
- Limited physical contact and queuing where possible
WTTC has previously issued details safe travel protocols for aviation, airlines, MICE, tour operators, hospitality, outdoor retail, attractions, car hire and short-term rental, which were widely endorsed and supported by top CEOs and business leaders globally.
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