Provision of hand sanitiser for customers is part of the COVID-safe protocols.

Australian tourism operations are rapidly evaluating their operations in an effort to be accredited with a globally recognised ‘Safe Travel’ stamp endorsed by the United Nations World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Two Australian bodies – the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) – have developed individual programs recognised by the WTTC, under which both have been authorised to accredit complying businesses with the ‘Safe Travel’ stamp. Once endorsed, the stamp will inform customers and consumers that the operation is COVID-clean and operates to a high standard of health, hygiene and safety.

Under the two programs, businesses will have implemented rigorous cleaning and maintenance protocols and checklists containing tasks which need to be completed daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Additional tasks covering staff training, including workplace signage, and adherence to relevant State and Territory protocols must also be complete in order for a business to be certified compliant.

Consumers will be geared towards looking for the WTTC stamp as they resume travelling.

Underpinned by the #TravelSafeAustralia hashtag, the accreditation program is aimed at recognising health and hygiene measures taken by compliant businesses in order to guarantee customer confidence and to help in promoting Australia’s attractions to domestic and international markets once they reopen.

ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley, said the WTTC’s Safe Travels branding has been incorporated as part of its efforts to ready Australian tourism businesses for when borders are opened once again.

“The WTTC Safe Travel global branding is another level of recognition which will assist Australian tourism businesses to stand out in the international marketplace,” he said.

“As an organisation with the authority to endorse tourism businesses, ATEC is able to connect Australian tourism businesses with global Safe Travel protocols which quickly verifies a business’s compliance.”

Social distancing will be a key part of tourism in a post-pandemic world.

ATIC Executive Director, Simon Westaway, said the accreditation addressed an important need within the international visitor market.

“By global standards Australia is an emerging COVID clean destination,” Westaway said.

“But industry believes we must powerfully signal that ‘Safe travels’ be effectively messaged to returning overseas markets. This includes travel wholesalers selling Australia and those seeking safe travels down under.”