The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) granted its Safe Travels Stamp to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), making the island the first U.S. destination to be included in the international organization’s certification program.
Tourism Co. Executive Director said the recognition “promotes the island’s image as an attractive, forward-thinking destination and, most importantly, as a place which has implemented rigorous safety and health protocols to safeguard its guests’ well-being.”
“Puerto Rico was one of the first destinations in the Western Hemisphere to design and implement an industry-specific safety and health program, with the creation of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company Gold Star Health and Safety Seal Certification on May 4,” she said.
Operating guides and certification programs such as these are “vital for the reopening of the travel and tourism sector at both global and regional level as well as an important recognition that will place Puerto Rico in a highly competitive position as the travel and tourism market reopens,” she said.
Puerto Rico tourism officials “acknowledged early on that consumers will consider the destinations best prepared to provide them with the necessary measures and resources to protect their health, and our destination-wide program was developed using the most rigorous standards, best practice cases, as well as guides and recommendations from the agencies and organizations that specialize on the subject.”
Ensuring collective participation and compliance of the recommended protocols, both by companies and customers, will be key in facilitating the safe restart of leisure and business traveling, said Campos.
The WTTC established the Safe Travels Stamp program to assist destinations increase consumer confidence levels and better prepare them to restart the travel and tourism sector on a local and global scale.
The certification is given to destinations and tourism-related businesses that comply with the organization’s standards to guarantee the re-start of tourism in a safe and secure manner.
The stamp allows travelers to identify airports, hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise ships, ground transportation operators, and other businesses that uphold the hygiene and sanitation best practices and standards required from members of the program.
More than 200 travel industry businesses CEO’s support the stamp program, which grants the certification after eligible destinations and businesses implement and comply with its standardized hygiene, sanitation, and social distancing protocols.
“According to a study published on Oct. 5th by Destination Analyst, 72.1% of U.S. travelers feel they aren’t ready or are still hesitant about making travel plans. The study shows that when asked about their level of certainty about being able to travel safely 44.3% participants said they do not feel safe and 24.8% feel somewhat safe,” Campos said.
“Only 30.9% of travelers indicated they feel confident about making travel plans. Obtaining the Safe Travels Stamp is an important step to increase consumer confidence,” Campos said.
The sanitary protocols established by this program were designed following the guidelines of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and in close collaboration with the International Air Transports Association, the Airport Council International, and the Cruise Lines International Association to guarantee its uniformity.
The WTTC analyzed 90 different crisis scenarios around the world and emphasized the importance of cooperation between the public and private sector.