The World Travel Tourism Council (WTCC) has issued Paarl and Wellington with their ‘Safe travels’ approval. This means that the two destinations adhere to the strict guidelines and protocols set by the global industry representative and travelers can visit the region and its tourism attractions with confidence.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a devastating effect on the international travel industry, the council and its members, governments, health experts and other industry associations developed specific recovery protocols. The implementation of these protocols will ensure that people feel safe to travel, although safety cannot be 100% guaranteed. The protocols allow the private sector to align with collective standards to ensure the safety of its workforce and travelers as the sector shifts to a new normal and travel restrictions are relaxed.
According to Annelize Stroebel, CEO of Paarl and Wellington Wine and Tourism (Drakenstein Local Tourism Association), the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp is vitally important to the recovery of the sector. “South Africa moved to Level 2 lockdown, which now allows for inter-provincial travel. This globally recognised stamp of approval will give operators the confidence to promote Paarl and Wellington as travel destinations again. Visitors are now able to enjoy our superb offerings, including fine dining with some of our valley’s best wines or taking a trip to a wine farm for wine tasting and to stock up home cellars.”
As a member of the WTCC, Paarl and Wellington can use the stamp worldwide to promote the various attractions in the area as the country slowly opens from lockdown. This symbol will also give travelers the necessary reassurance to make South Africa a preferred travel destination. “The ‘Safe Travels’ stamp sends the message that Paarl and Wellington are safe and that we have followed all the recommendations issued by the national health ministry and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa to ensure visitors’ safety,” explains Stroebel.
Alderman Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality, has welcomed the initiative. “Tourism plays such an important role in the Drakenstein economy and we want to welcome both local and international tourists back to Drakenstein as soon as possible,” he said.
“Tourism is without a doubt ‘everybody’s business’ and opens so many doors for locals, literally and figuratively. Just as spring brings new life to the natural splendour and beauty of our surroundings, bringing tourists back to Drakenstein will reignite our local economy and ensure that we remain a preferred travel destination. We are open for business and would like to invite visitors to safely enjoy our beautiful pristine, wide open spaces. Let us ensure that Drakenstein remains a top-of-mind destination for local and international travelers.”
Members of the tourism association have been issued with certificates of compliance after they have signed a pledge regarding health and safety. Paarl and Wellington logos on the certificates are viewed as a seal of compliance and can be used on websites and other digital platforms.
For more information, follow @Visit Paarl and @Visit Wellington ZA on social media.