It’s been three months since the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched its global safety and hygiene stamp known as “Safe Travels” to highlight the destinations and travel suppliers putting traveler health and safety at the forefront during the time of COVID-19. Since May, dozens of countries and regions have received the coveted stamp, including these notable recipients.
Aruba reopened to international tourism, including U.S. travelers earlier this summer. Like many places, the popular Caribbean island is requiring visitors to undergo COVID-19 testing and has also implemented elevated sanitation and health standards for added peace of mind.
Bulgaria has been a bright spot for Europe in terms of its prompt response to the pandemic. “We welcome the Safe Travels initiative by WTTC that will ensure a swift recovery of the travel & tourism sector and restore the trust of the travelers,” the country’s Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova said in a statement.
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Minister of Tourism Gustavo J. Segura called the WTTC’s Safe Travels stamp a “source of tremendous pride” for the Central American destination, adding that the recognition “reinforces the international image of Costa Rica as a tourist destination, which fortunately is robust.”
Croatia is one of the few European destinations available to Americans and also one of the first to adopt the WTTC’s Safe Travels stamp. “We sincerely believe that aligning with the WTTC global protocols will be the next important step in securing and stabilizing not only the current season but will also represent another important next step for the sustainable and smart future development of this very important economic sector,” Croatia’s Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac said in a statement.
Ecuador recently joined the list of countries with the WTTC Safe Travels stamp. The South American country announced that it will allow international visitors arriving with proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 10 days of travel to bypass its 14-day quarantine requirement.
Egypt signed up for and was ultimately granted the Safe Travels stamp in June just ahead of the country’s resumption of inbound tourism on July 1.
Culture-rich Grenada has made it a requirement that tourism personnel participates in Infection Control Training and that all of the Caribbean country’s tourism enterprises complete inspection and are certified in the new protocols approved by the WTTC.
Indonesia and the WTTC have proven to be effective partners of late, recently working together to develop Guidelines on the Implementation of Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environment (CHSE) under the recently launched “Indonesia Care” campaign.
Jamaica was among the first countries to adopt the WTTC’s Safe Travels protocols and while its reopening hasn’t gone exactly to plan officials have been quick to make adjustments with health and safety as the number one priority.
Jordan continues to set an excellent example for destinations in the Middle East, adopting the WTTC’s enhanced health and safety guidelines to ensure a swift and successful recovery of its tourism sector.
The East African island nation renowned for its beaches, natural wonders and wildlife has been among the world’s most proactive in curbing the spread of COVID-19. “We are adamant that this recognition shall bring light on Mauritius as a safe destination for our local stakeholders, our supply international markets and to the world,” said Avinash Gopee, Chairperson of the Republic of Mauritius Tourism Authority.
12. Mexico (Sub Regions)
Many of Mexico’s most popular tourist regions are using the Safe Travels stamp to jumpstart tourism, including premier destinations within the Yucatan such as Cancun and Cozumel in addition to other tourist-friendly places like Los Cabos and San Miguel de Allende.
Panama’s Minister of Tourism Ivan Eskildsen called the Safe Travels stamp “a great way of building trust…so that travelers can have a safe journey.” The often overlooked destination is not only excelling in terms of health and safety but ready to offer a slew of one-of-a-kind experiences.
In addition to the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, Portugal has rolled out the “Clean & Safe” program to designate establishments and tourist activities that are compliant with enhanced health and safety measures to ensure confidence among visitors.
15. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has been working closely with the WTTC on the New Normal Task Force as it continues to prioritize the health and safety of citizens and visitors alike, according to the country’s Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Aqeel Al-Khateeb.
In addition to safe tourism, Slovenia has made a commitment to responsible and green travel with the rollout of the GREEN & SAFE label, which Slovenian Tourist Board Director General Maja Pak called a “key to Slovenia’s improved reputation as a tourist destination.”
Spain is embracing the new normal with the help of the WTTC, with the country’s most beloved tourist destinations, including Barcelona and Madrid establishing strengthened health and hygiene protocols.
18. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is another country taking a consistent approach to health and hygiene in the time of coronavirus. “By ensuring its own protocols were aligned with these global standards, Sri Lanka recently joined the growing network of Safe Travels destinations,” said Kimarli Fernando, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairperson. “The SLTDA is working on providing the stamp of safety to all private-sector travel and hospitality related stakeholders, upon assessment of their adherence to SLTDA imposed COVID-19 safety standards, to empower them to resume operations.”
A self-proclaimed “role model for the world during COVID-19,” Turkey’s Minister of Culture & Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said that the country has “pioneered setting the direction for safe tourism with a certification program for normalization of tourism.”
Add Ukraine to the list of motivated destinations in Europe. National Tourism Organization of Ukraine President Ivan Liptuga acknowledged that the WTTC Safe Travels stamp protocols are an effective “instrument for safety and security management” as well as a helpful marketing tool.
This story was originally published on “Travel Pulse”.