South Africa has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Safety Stamp of Approval as a destination based on industry-designed protocols.
The approval gives the Tourism Business Council of South Africa the right to issue the WTTC Safe Travels stamp to tourism suppliers within South Africa.
“The specially designed stamp will allow travellers to recognise businesses in South Africa that have adopted world-class health and hygiene protocols for safe travel,” said TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa.
The globally recognised protocols provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing in the post COVID-19 world, according to Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO.
Emphasising the need for South Africa – and indeed any destination – to ensure confidence among global travellers, SA Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, said: “The South African tourism sector has done a great job of putting in place health and safety protocols, in a move that goes a long way to boost traveller confidence.”
App helps businesses reopen safely
To aid in the safe reopening of the industry, the TBCSA – through a multi-stakeholder partnership – has launched a tourism and hospitality industry application, Opus4business app.
The new app – made available to the industry through a sponsorship by food service distributor, Bidfood – will aid in the safe reopening of the industry by enabling business owners to register and implement the COVID-19 tourism safety protocols.
The Opus4business App is a quick, easy, and paperless way to show full understanding of the importance of safe industry operating protocols and record compliance with them for tourism industry business owners.
The linked Travel Safe – Eat Safe Certification provides evidence that health screening, distancing and cleaning procedures are in place and helps businesses seamlessly manage COVID-19 health screening for employees, suppliers, delivery agents and customers in full compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act. The app can facilitate contact tracing if needed.
“The app is yet another way the industry is demonstrating self-regulation and a readiness to open for domestic and international travel in the country. We are encouraging businesses to download the app and take their teams through the training to increase compliance in the industry and to keep staff and customers in the sector safe,” said Tshivhengwa.
The travel and tourism industry, like many others, has been gravely affected by COVID-19. Many businesses have already been exposed to the safety protocols and as the industry begins to slowly reopen, the TBCSA believes this technology puts safety in the hands of every stakeholder within the tourism value chain, which is an important part of the successful rebuilding of the sector.
Free training on the protocols will be available via the app in two weeks time.