"As travel reopens, travelers need the confidence that safety measures are in place from their departure to their return home."

By Alison Fox
May 05, 2020
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With an eye toward the future, the U.S. Travel Association released new guidance to influence travel in the age of “the new normal.”

The guidelines, released this week, were formed with the help of medical experts and cover everything from reducing the potential spread of COVID-19 with enhanced cleaning policies to implementing things like touchless features.

Flight attendants wearing face masks arrive at Tom Bradley terminal during the coronavirus pandemic at Los Angeles International Airport.
JB Lacroix/Getty

"We want political leaders and the public alike to see that our industry is setting a very high standard for reducing the risk of coronavirus in our businesses, and that the practices in place to achieve that standard are consistent through every phase of the travel experience," U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. "As travel reopens, travelers need the confidence that safety measures are in place from their departure to their return home."

With many grappling over the idea of how and when travel will restart and what it will look like going forward, the non-profit's aim was to provide direction and best practices for the industry that would put potentially apprehensive travelers at ease.

For employees of travel businesses, the U.S. Travel Association recommends reinforcing hand hygiene practices as well as taking precautions like limiting physical contact between staff and customers and installing physical barriers to allow them to keep their distance.

When it comes to cleaning in places like hotels, the association recommended installing hand sanitizer stations and using disinfectants that are known to be effective against the spread of COVID-19, paying “special attention to high-touch surfaces.”

Already, companies like Marriott and Airbnb are updating their cleaning policies with the hotel chain implementing technology like electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant and the home rental platform insisting on a 24-hour vacancy period between guest stays.

And in Singapore, the country has established an "SG Clean" certification that places like hotels and attractions can earn, giving potential customers peace of mind.