Move Sports is delighted to announce that its sports tourism activities have been certified for health and hygiene in regards to COVID-19 prevention by the World Travel & Tourism Council, thus being granted with the "Safe Travels" global safety stamp.
This distinction comes only days after Portugal as a whole received the same recognition. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) created the "Safe Travels" stamp of approval as a way to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism.
WTTC promotes sustainable growth for the Travel & Tourism sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity.
For Move Sports, this is the second time its tourist activities are compliant with hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and other possible infections. Move Sports had previously been distinguished with the "Clean & Safe" stamp of approval by the Portuguese National Tourist Authority.
The situation in Portugal
Across Europe, Portugal has been one of the least affected countries by the new coronavirus. Restrictions, which were put in place in mid-March, are being lifted as the rate of growth of infections has lessened. Most shops and restaurants are now open across the country. The outbreak under control and with its national health service responding well, Portugal’s doors are open to tourists, Reuters reported, citing Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva.
Portugal is one of the first European countries to welcome back visitors from elsewhere in the continent. While some health checks will be introduced at airports, there will be no compulsory quarantine for those flying in. "Tourists are welcome in Portugal,” said the Foreign Minister.
The "Safe Travels" stamp of approval
The "Safe Travels" stamp of approval created by the WTTC aims at making the tourism sector lead the definition of industry best practices as Travel & Tourism moves from crisis management to recovery.
The objective is to put the safety, health and security of travellers and the Travel & Tourism workforce at the core of the development of global protocols.
Such protocols are to be coherent, collaborative, transparent, supported by medical evidence, and enforced across the Travel & Tourism sector in close connection with governments and public health authorities.
The protocols take into account the guidelines emanated from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the USA's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The objective is to ensure that protocols are in place across all relevant functions with an increased focus on health, hygiene, and reduction of physical contact guidance which travellers will need and expect to embrace a safe travel experience.
For tour operators such as Move Sports, this includes:
- Develop a COVID-19 prevention plan including an action/checklist for infection prevention and a special cleaning and disinfection plan;
- Establish with suppliers and partners - including restaurants, hotels, parks, transport partners and venues - that they follow likeminded health and hygiene protocols and guidelines to protect guests;
- Identify and adopt appropriate cleanliness and disinfection best practices validated by expert bodies, health authorities and governmental institutions;
- Explore different options for operations, where possible, such as advanced tickets, timed entries, and smaller groups;
Tour operators' staff is to be prepared and execute on operational plans by:
- Creating and implementing staff protocols and guidelines, including tour guide, coach/drivers and local specialists, and operations such as Q&A;
- Learning and implementing tools and practices regarding infection control, physical contact, sharing of food and utensils, appropriate attire, and enhanced hygiene measures, the use of masks and gloves as recommended by local health authorities or as required by the tour operators procedures when these go beyond local requirements;
- Request that key stakeholders such as partner venues, hotels and transport partners have trained their staff based on likeminded protocols to enable consistent approach across the sector.
- Establish with partners and suppliers, including shops, showrooms, tasting venues/shops, museums, shows, theatre, concert halls, factories & farms, that they follow likeminded health, sanitation, disinfection and hygiene protocols aligned with local regulation.
Time to practise sports again!
It's increasingly safe to travel to Portugal to enjoy its warm, sunny weather! There's still time for you and your team to make the most of this summer and autumn: register your team for our upcoming tournaments, taking in place in Lisbon, in October. Given the positive news coming from the health authorities and all active measures being adopted by all actors, it's fitting to believe that Portugal Rugby Youth Festival, Portugal Legends Handball Cup and Lisbon Football Youth Cup will be safe for all to participate and have fun in!