Travel is a vital part of human experience. It expands our understanding of people and cultures exponentially. Re-establishing confidence in tourism is crucial for the industry, the destinations and communities visited, and the traveling public.
The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO), the European Tourism Association (ETOA), and the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) have jointly established a set of health and sanitization guidelines designed specifically for tour operator members.
The health and well-being of every traveler has always been a priority for tour operators. By endorsing these guidelines, tour operators support the implementation of sanitization and operational procedures to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and increase the level of safety for passengers, employees, and local communities visited.
These guidelines are intended to promote tour operations that complement public health instructions and support such in-house protocols that may be in force within the supply chain. Sanitization procedures should be implemented in accordance with prevailing public health advice, and as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
Travel is a shared experience. Passengers, tour operators, and suppliers need to take reasonable precautions and be prepared to comply with procedures required by local and international health organizations. These guidelines are intended to be a living document, subject to appropriate modification as needs evolve
STAFF TRAINING AND SANITIZATION:
- Frequent hand washing among staff and passengers recommended.
- Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol will be available for passengers and staff at all possible times.
- Use of face masks and gloves when staff interacts with passengers where appropriate.
- Use of face masks by passengers recommended.
- Exercising physical distancing, where viable and in line with the latest official guidance or requirements, including motor coaches and other modes of transportation.
- Trained all staff that may interact with passengers to ensure they are familiar and compliant with these guidelines and those set out by the public health authorities mentioned above.
- Complying with applicable government and health authority requirements as well as these guidelines.
- Employing touchless solutions when possible and reducing touch points at operational levels, such as ticketing, payments, identification, check-in, etc.
- Where possible, supplier staff uses face masks and gloves when interacting with passengers.
- Sanitize high-touch areas frequently using products and disinfectants approved by the EPA and local health authorities for effectiveness against COVID-19.
PASSENGER COMMUNICATION AND RESPONSIBILITY:
- Passengers may be required to declare prior to departure that if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive or have been in contact with a COVID-19 patient within 14 days of departure.
- Passengers will be advised of and asked to adhere to recommended hygiene procedures, such as traveling with and wearing a face mask and/or gloves when asked to do so, or limiting physical contact wherever possible.
- Prior to departure, passengers may be asked to complete a pre-boarding questionnaire or declaration confirming they have familiarized themselves with health and safety guidelines and requirements related to their tour.
TOUR OPERATORS WILL ENDEAVOR TO:
- Have personal protection equipment, such as face masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes available for passengers, as needed, or advise passengers where such items may be required for their tour.
- Provide oversight of and ensure compliance with the TOURCARE Guidelines for Tour Operators related to staff, suppliers, and passengers.
- Provide downloadable document to all passengers describing these guidelines and recommendations to where such information is available.
- Communicate health and sanitization procedures passengers will encounter throughout their trip as far as reasonably possible.