Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Oaxaca are the latest recipients of a new international tourism industry rating that reflects shifting priorities for travelers in what’s often dubbed Covid-19’s “new normal” — namely those of health safety.
The three states have been awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travels seal, joining a list of tourism destinations in which hospitality companies are conforming to new hygiene and sanitization standards based on recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
The seal is intened to show that destinations are complying with strict hygiene and sanitization standards, which the organization says are meant to give travelers’ faith in the safety of hotels, restaurants, cruises, and other hospitality offerings.
“Ultimately, we envision a future of travel which is safe, secure, seamless, and provides an authentic and meaningful experience to the traveler across the journey,” the WTTC says on its website. “The specially designed stamp will allow travelers and other travel and tourism stakeholders to recognize destination authorities and companies around the world that have implemented health and hygiene protocols that are aligned with WTTC’s Safe Travels protocols.”
Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez told the Mexican travel publication Expreso that his state was very pleased to be part of the worldwide movement.
“We are committed to taking the necessary steps to restore tourists’ confidence.”
Michoacán governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo added that with tourism being an “essential pillar to the state’s economic growth,” industry and government leaders should be united in designing responsible programs for recuperation of the travel and tourism sector.
The WTTC, which represents the private travel and tourism sector internationally, counts among its board members leaders and executives from companies such as Hilton, Carnival Corporation, Alibaba Group, American Express, and Expedia. It was founded in the 1980s to raise the profile of the travel and tourism industry.
According to the organization’s website, to join the Safe Travels program and be allowed to use the seal on their website and promotional materials applicants must develop hygiene and sanitization protocols in accordance with WTTC guidelines and submit them to the organization for validation. Only after their protocols are approved can they begin to use the seal.
Already part of the program in Mexico are Baja California Sur, Cancún, the Mexican Caribbean, Cozumel, Jalisco, the Riviera Nayarit and Yucatán.
Sources: Expreso (sp)