COVID-19 has upended the traditional dynamic of traveler loyalty. While travelers used to rack up points to determine the level of service they experienced, health, hygiene and safety is the new currency for earning customer trust. With 40 percent of tourists saying they favor airlines, airports and hotels with higher health and safety standards, better service for all isn’t up for negotiation.
Travel companies have been quick to act: Hilton Hotels offers contactless hotel stays; staff at the Marriott now clean with electrostatic sprayers; Accor introduced ALLSAFE for elevated cleanliness protocols and prevention standards; IHG created a dedicated Cleanliness Council called “Commitment to Clean”; and Lufthansa is linking its tickets to COVID-19 tests. Some are going beyond the call of duty: both Etihad and Emirates have promised that they will take care of any medical and quarantine expenses if travelers test positive for COVID-19 during their trip.
This higher level of service extends to business travelers with employers around the world looking at how to meet their duty of care obligations in a COVID-19 world. To do this, corporate travel managers must have the right data and tools to be flexible, reach their business travelers quickly, and provide them with the latest information quickly.
Once a relatively invisible part of the guest experience, health and safety standards have been thrust into the spotlight as the travel industry prepares to resume operations in the wake of Covid-19. This is just highlights of some of the enhancements being implemented.
The U.S. Travel Association has launched a new Travel Confidently Toolkit featuring industry guidance for promoting the health and safety of all travelers, including enhanced sanitation, redesigned public spaces, improved health screening measures and much more.
Airlines for America member carriers will require passengers to complete a health declarations before flying.
Cruise ships have been actively working with the CDC companies to ensure they are in strict compliance with government safety regulations once the No-Sail Order is lifted on July 24th.
All cruise ships have stepped up their cleaning and disinfecting before every voyage in accordance with company protocols developed in partnership with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program. Many cruise ships are upgrading their air filters to HEPA medical-grade air filtration systems that eliminate 99.95 percent of airborne pathogens. Enhanced screening, temperature checks and on-board medical care will be required for every cruise ship moving forward. Service changes have also been made to ensure responsible social distancing including limiting capacity and staggered check-ins.
The Cutting-Edge Technology PLUS New Protocols That Will Make Cruising Safe Again. And a crucial part of the cruise restart: lines and ports must agree on health protocols
Cruise lines are collaborating with government health authorities, the Cruise Lines International Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, global public health authorities and national and local governments to enhance measures to protect the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited when operations resume. Listed below are some of the changes
Reduce passenger capacity and limit guest counts in public areas.
Touchless temperature checks throughout each cruise to identify potential health issues. The checks will occur upon returning to the ship from a port of call, prior to all meals in dining venues and all activities in public venues, and before disembarkation.
Ships will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to every cruise with standards developed in partnership with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program
Embarkation terminals will be sanitized continuously and, where possible, fogged before and after each embarkation and debarkation. The cruise lines said that all cabins, suites and public areas will be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected at an increased frequency. It will use electrostatic sprayers.
Staff a public health officer
Motorcoach Guided Vacation
Flexibility at mealtime
The Travel Corporation plans to add “wellbeing directors” to all group trips operating under its Trafalgar, Luxury Gold and Insight Vacations brands. The wellbeing directors will make sure guests, staff and suppliers are following health and safety protocols aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.
United States Tour Operators Association and other major tour associations set guidelines for resuming safe operations, some of the protocols are:
World Travel & Tourism Council unveils “Safe Travels” Stamp – The stamp allows travelers to identify which destinations around the world have adopted standardized global health and hygiene protocols so they can experience “Safe Travels.” This landmark move by WTTC also received the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Safe Travels stamp has been received by: Turkey, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Mauritius, Ontario, Croatia, Ecuador and Ghana, Cañada, Portugal, Saudi Arabia Egypt, Slovenia, Ukraine, Iceland, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Colombia and Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Portugal, Maldives, and the Mexican destinations of Baja California Sur and the Yucatan.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has endorsed the Airport Health Accreditation program, which the global trade group Airports Council International (ACI) inaugurated last week. With the program, the ACI is seeking to set consistent global standards for airport health measu
TRAVEL NOTICES AND ALERTS US DEPARTMENT OF STATE