Rwanda has welcomed an endorsement by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which put the country among the countries which are safe to travel to, as economies around the world look to slowly reopen following the New Coronavirus outbreak.
Rwanda was on Monday named among the latest countries to receive the “Safe Travels” stamps, alongside Indonesia and Dubai, making it one of the countries that have put in place the necessary measures and exhibited preparedness to welcome travellers.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rwanda Development (RDB), Clare Akamanzi, said that the ‘Safe Travels’ stamps are welcome and timely as the country prepares to reopen airports to international travellers on August 1.
“WTTC’s “Safe Travels” stamp on Rwanda is a very welcome development, as a neutral, independent tool that reassures travellers of our country’s preparedness for tourism within the context of COVID-19,” Akamanzi told KT Press.
“It’s important that a neutral global body such as WTTC does so, and gives tourists the confidence that a country has adopted safety protocols. This is especially true for us, given that we are opening our airport on 1st of August and expect a safe resumption of tourism,” she added.
Rwanda is among the latest destinations to begin using the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp, launched recently by WTTC, alongside few other popular holiday destinations around the world.
WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, created the Safe Travels stamp to allow travellers to identify destinations and businesses around the world which have adopted the global standardised health and hygiene protocols.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has welcomed the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, which place the safety and hygiene of travellers as top priority.
“Our Safe Travels stamp is proving a great success and we are delighted to see even more popular countries and destinations adopt our global health and hygiene protocols,” Gloria Guevara, the WTTC President and CEO noted.
“The success of the WTTC Safe Travels stamp shows its importance not only to countries and destinations, but also, crucially, to travellers and the 330 million people around the world who work in and depend on, the Travel & Tourism sector,” she added.
Guevara said that the stamp is a critical step in re-establishing consumer confidence in Travel & Tourism and ensuring travellers can rest easy knowing that enhanced standards of hygiene are in place and they can once again experience ‘Safe Travels’.
Since the launch of the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, destination countries, cities, and hotspots around the world have now adopted WTTC’s new protocols.
Belise Kariza, the Chief Tourism Officer at RDB affirmed that as Rwanda prepares to welcome international travellers and tourists, efforts have been directed towards ensuring safety against the New Coronavirus.
“Rwanda’s number one priority is the health and well-being of visitors to our beautiful country. As one of only three countries in the world with endangered mountain gorillas and numerous other primate species, we also have a special responsibility to protect these magnificent animals,” Kariza said.
Kariza said that the creation of the WTTC Safe Travels global protocols and Stamp represent an important step in the reopening of tourism around the world and Rwanda is proud to adopt these global standards.
“We are excited to welcome tourists back to Rwanda for safe and memorable experiences – from seeing the Big 5 on safari and exploring Rwanda’s lush rainforests to learning about our vibrant culture,” she added.
As part of its Safe Travels protocols, these worldwide measures provide consistency and guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing, in the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19 world.
The protocols were devised following the experience of WTTC members dealing with COVID19 and based on guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.
Travel & Tourism is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. The sector contributes US$8.8 trillion or 10.4% of global GDP, and accounts for 319 million jobs or one in ten of all jobs on the planet.