Brisbane, Australia. International sustainability company EarthCheck has mobilised a global tourism taskforce to help the tourism and travel industry meet the health and hygiene challenges now demanded in a COVID-19 recovery.
The taskforce which is led by industry veteran Professor David Simmons from Lincoln University in New Zealand will focus on establishing COVID-19 safe work principles and hygiene guidelines. The EarthCheck Health and Hygiene tool will be aimed at helping both destinations and operators meet the new compliance and regulatory requirements expected across the whole tourism supply chain.
EarthCheck is the leading global provider of sustainability certification and benchmarking to the world’s tourism and travel industry. The company provides destination management advisory services and audits to clients in over 70 countries and is renowned for its leading- edge science and software platform.
The EarthCheck taskforce includes senior healthcare, hygiene, and business operators from some of the leading tourism companies in the world including Langham Hospitality Group in Hong Kong, Kempinski Hotels in Switzerland, Kerzner International in United Arab Emirates and Grupo Xcaret and Alltournative in Mexico.
Professor Simmons noted that, “We need to provide peace of mind and confidence that travel is not just safe but general community wellbeing can also be protected. It is clear that the entire industry needs a standardised and quality assured approach which allows businesses and destinations to understand what is now needed to reassure travellers and keep them safe.”
EarthCheck Founder and CEO Stewart Moore noted that “The taskforce would review all of the health and hygiene processes already contained in the EarthCheck Standards and provide guidance on what enhanced protocols are now needed.”
The new protocols and health and safety procedures will be validated by EarthCheck’s global network of independent auditors. The guidelines will also be adapted to meet international and national requirements.
“Now more than ever, it is so important, not to mention good business and environmental sense, to champion the highest hygiene standards in hospitality to safeguard the good health of all guests and colleagues,” says Carmen Ng, Director of Sustainability at Langham Hospitality Group. “We are honoured to be part of the EarthCheck Taskforce in developing these industry benchmarks and ensure there is peace of mind for all future travel.”
Carlos Marin, Founder and Director of Alltournative said “For Alltournative it’s important to continue showing an authentic Mexico to our visitors, connect them with nature, make them discover the Mayan Culture, and Liberate the Native Spirit! As leaders in ecotourism in the Riviera Maya we have always operated our activities within a regulatory framework in adherence to the highest international standards of health & safety while maintaining our commitment to sustainability. Today we have new challenges and it is more important than ever to adapt and reinforce these measures to protect the physical integrity of our clients, Mayan communities and staff. That's why we proudly join the leaders group of the industry that conform EarthCheck’s TaskForce.”
"Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our guests and colleagues is always our top priority. We are delighted to have been invited to be part of the EarthCheck Global Hygiene Taskforce, which will develop a globally recognised certification to provide the reassurance and confidence to travel again,” said Benedikt Jaschke, Chief Quality Officer and Member of the Kempinski Management Board. “It is our shared responsibility to work together in defining consistent health and safety standards and certification processes across the industry, and Kempinski Hotels are proud to be part of this initiative."
Dr. Daniel Daggett, Executive Director of Sustainability at Diversey added, "This initiative will help bring the tourism and travel industry back online, with the world's best hygiene procedures and guidelines. Diversey's mission is to protect and care for people and we look forward to being part of the EarthCheck Global Hygiene Taskforce. As facilities re-open, there will be higher expectations for cleanliness and hygiene, but we don’t have to sacrifice environmental stewardship or social responsibility while meeting those requirements and assisting in the recovery. There is already an impulse to misuse cleaning products due to heightened pressures to disinfect and sanitize. Standardized protocols are necessary to avoid improper chemical application, waste, and ineffective hygiene procedures. This initiative will help ensure that safety, sustainability and enhanced hygiene will go hand in hand."