WTTC reveals responsible travel tips to counter the coronavirus outbreak

London, UK: A series of handy travel tips to ensure responsible travel during the coronavirus outbreak have been revealed by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Travel experts from the London-based international organisation, which promotes the Travel & Tourism sector worldwide, issued the advice to ensure travellers can continue to move freely but responsibly.

Measures include following government and medical advice, making sure you’re insured, postponing rather than cancelling trips, not stigmatising those suffering from normal colds, sharing positive travel experiences, simply hygiene measures and keeping calm rather than panicking.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO, said: “Millions of people are continuing to travel safely around the world every day by trains, flights, cars and cruises despite the coronavirus outbreak.

“We also want to ensure they travel responsibly. So WTTC recommends following a series of eight simple and easy-to-understand measures to counter COVID-19. These handy travel tips will give people peace of mind and enable them to navigate their way to destinations near and far, safely and securely.”

“Travel & Tourism is a significant part of the global economy and directly impacts tens of millions of people throughout the world. It is therefore essential that business and leisure travellers take fact-based measures, rather than panic.

WTTC travel experts have suggested the following travel tips:

1. Follow government advice – Always follow the advice offered by your government, whether you’re due to travel or have arrived back into your home country. If you are a returning traveller from an affected area, check local government advice on any steps you should take on arrival.

2. Seek medical advice – If you feel unwell, consult a medical professional, whether you have returned from a trip, are planning to travel or are simply enjoying your hometown.

3. Get insured – Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance in place. If you don’t, make sure you get travel insurance for every trip you take.

4. Postpone, don’t cancel – If the World Health Organisation (WHO) or your country isn’t recommending travel to your chosen destination, consider rebooking for a different date. Alternatively, you could consider changing your destination. Many airlines and hotel chains are waiving cancellation fees and offering more flexible rebooking policies.

5. Don’t stigmatise – While health is always a natural cause for concern, many people are suffering from a cold at this time of year so it’s important not to stigmatise people, particularly individual tourists and groups from China and Asia.

6. Wash your hands & cover up – Good hygiene is the most important line of defence, so be sure to wash your hands throughout the day using either soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser for at least 20 seconds. Also, don’t forget to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.

7. Share positive travel experiences – Use social media to share your positive travel stories.

8. Keep calm – Exercise caution, but do not panic.

WTTC has also urged governments against closing borders, blanket travel bans and more extreme policies which would not halt the spread of coronavirus. 

Instead, it urged global and local authorities to respond with proportionate measures to ensure essential travel wasn’t choked.