PH adopts Safe Travels stamp to boost tourism

Published September 20, 2020, 5:29 PM

by Hanah Tabios

In a span of three months, 100 destinations across the globe have now adopted the “Safe Travels” stamp, with the Philippines as the latest country to be awarded by the specialized global safety stamp. 

(World Travel and Tourism Council / MANILA BULLETIN)

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, made history earlier this year when it launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp, which also recently reached its first major milestone.

The stamp was developed to help restore confidence in travelers and work to revive the ailing sector. 

Aside from the WTTC member countries, major holiday destinations such as Maldives, Bermuda, Namibia, Uganda, and Montenegro are now also using “Safe Travels” stamp. 

“The specially designed stamp enables travelers to recognize destinations around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols – so they can experience “Safe Travels”,” WTTC said in a statement. 

This landmark move by WTTC also received the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The launch of global protocols have been embraced by over 200 CEO’s including some of the world’s major tourism groups. 

“We are delighted to see our innovative initiative is proving such a great success and is being used by destinations from all corners of the globe,” Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said.

“The 100 destinations which now proudly use the stamp are working together to help rebuild consumer confidence worldwide,” she added. 

Guevara also welcomed the Philippines which she described as an incredible destination and home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands, as the 100th destination, as well as other popular destinations around the globe such as Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia and Kenya, to adopt the global safety stamp.

“As the stamp continues to gain in popularity, travelers will more easily be able to recognize the destinations worldwide which have adopted the new set of global protocols, encouraging the return of “Safe Travels” around the world,” she said. 

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat thanked the WTTC for recognizing the efforts of the Philippine tourism department in putting in place policies concerning health, safety and sanitation protocols, which she said the department has benchmarked with global best practices and aligned with WTTC’s standards.

“The Philippine Department of Tourism is delighted to be awarded the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, particularly as we pursue the safe and gradual reopening of our tourist destinations,” she said. 

“The Safe Travels stamp will further encourage our stakeholders to adhere to health and safety standards, and will also help us rebuild traveller confidence, so we can restart tourism and preserve and sustain jobs,” the tourism chief added. 

“The success of the Safe Travels stamp shows its importance not only to countries and destinations, but also to travelers and the 330 million people around the world who work in and depend on a thriving travel and tourism sector,” Guevara stressed. 

WTTC said the widespread adoption of the stamp demonstrates that the organization and all its members from around the world have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.

The protocols follow guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as considering best practices from WTTC’s members.

The WTTC’s Crisis Readiness report, which looked at 90 different types of crises in the last 20 years, highlights the importance of public-private cooperation and the implementation of standardized protocols.

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, the travel and tourism industry in 2019 was responsible for generating one in 10 jobs or equivalent to 330 million in total, making a 10.3 percent contribution to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creating one in four of all new jobs.