ExperiencePlus! Blog

The Future Of Travel – Health and Safety

Speculation about who, how, when and what the future of travel will look like fills my inbox every day.  In an effort to summarize all the ideas and speculation we have started a new series in our newsletter called the Future of Travel.

The World Travel and Tourism Council published a report in collaboration with the leading management consulting firm Oliver Wyman this past September that summarizes the four major trends they see in the Travel and Tourism space due to COVID-19.  Here is a summary on the Health and Hygiene conversations and trends that are emerging in travel and tourism.

2. Health and Hygiene

Surprisingly this trend was second and not first in the WTTC’s list and what was interesting was how health and safety concerns manifested themselves in the way people thought about travel. This pandemic has highlighted basic public health recommendations that normally we might think about, but not necessarily act on when it comes to thinking about how germs spread – like washing hands, making sure we have hand sanitizer available when we are touching lots of surfaces etc. Of course, to manage a pandemic more action is necessary which is why this topic is very important to understand.

Where people look to for information and to trust companies and destinations was not where you might think (with established institutions or governmental recommendations):

  • 92% of consumers trust word of mouth recommendations when it comes to health and safety
  • 69% of travelers cited cleanliness and health measures as a critical component of a travel brand’s crisis response
  • 80% fear traveling in case they have to quarantine before or after they travel.

How is the travel industry addressing this? In our niche, travel associations and other industry groups have tried to help operators like us by providing health and safety guidelines. Since best practices and recommendations can vary from region to region, municipality to municipality, it feels like some common conversation and understanding needs to be established:

  • the Adventure Travel Trade Association, with the support of the Cleveland Clinic, has been publishing and updating Health and Safety Guidelines for our niche, which we had a part in developing and have adopted.
  • in Italy, ExperiencePlus!’s co-owner Monica has worked with fellow operators in forming a new active travel association called Active Italy where they share best practices and compiled protocols for how to implement sanitation protocols on tour.
  • The WTTC itself has created a Safe Travels program for segments of the travel and tourism industry.
  • Skytracks has created a star system to evaluate airports on how well they are doing with Sanitation protocols.

In Europe this summer we implemented sanitation and safety protocols on the few trips we did operate under our Italian brand and we certainly learned a lot about what is practical and feasible. You can find our Covid-19 Health and Safety Page in our Travel Planning pages.  As things are always in flux, it will be updated as necessary.

You can also visit our 2021 Tour FAQ page to stay in the loop about future trips.

For the full WTTC report see: https://wttc.org/Research/To-Recovery-Beyond

See our other posts in the Future of Travel series.