Published: 18/06/2020

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE) has issued a statement calling for tourism and hospitality workers to be “guaranteed a safe and healthy workplace in line with the specific recommendations issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for a safe return to work”.

At a special session convened this month to discuss COVID-19 and tourism, the WCTE also said that as far as sanitary precautions and protocols were concerned, “these should be in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and should particularly take into account the WHO’s Interim Guidance on “Operational considerations for COVID-19 management in the accommodation sector” issued on 30 April”.

The WHO Guidance states clearly that “All programmes where guests can voluntarily forego housekeeping services should be suspended in the service of maximizing health and safety of hotel staff and guests alike”.

IUF General Secretary Sue Longley said “The WCTE’s support for the WHO Guidance is welcome. More than ever, hotel workers’ health and safety is a public health concern. To rebuild guest confidence after COVID-19 we need strong health and safety protocols not fake green programmes”.

The WCTE statement adds that public health measures should align with ethical principles including non-discrimination, equity, workers’ rights and social protection.
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is an independent and impartial body which reports directly to the UNWTO General Assembly.