WTTC unveils guidelines for safe return to adventure tourism

WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the latest set of measures designed to rebuild global consumer confidence.

The latest protocols for the global tourism sector focus on measures to ensure the reopening of adventure tourism, which should see an increase in popularity as travellers seek more unique experiences post Covid-19.

WTTC held detailed discussions with key stakeholders and organisations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation.

The measures help to set clear expectations of what travellers can experience in the ‘new normal’ which offer safe environments as travel restrictions are eased.

Backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the WTTC protocols also consider guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

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 chief executive, said: “Adventure tourism is becoming increasingly popular amongst travellers and will represent a key component to travel in the new normal.

“According to our recently launched Covid-19 travel demand recovery dashboard, it is also one of the fastest growing segments, which is why it is vital to establish measures allowing safe travels for adventure travellers.

“Consumer confidence is crucial for tourism to resume.

“We know travellers will want to explore the world around them once more, so long as they are confident in their safety.”

WTTC divided the new guidance into four pillars including operational and staff preparedness; delivering a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; and implementing enabling policies.

Measures 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 protocols.
  • Promote contact tracing apps if required by local legislation.
  • Inform guests about support available if questions or concerns arise.
  • 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.
  • Limited physical contact and queuing where possible.
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