Walla Walla is making headlines with Condé Nast Traveler. But this time it’s as much for its care around the COVID-19 pandemic as it is for its wines, history, downtown and outdoor recreation.
The luxury and lifestyle travel publication features Walla Walla in the October issue that shines a light on destinations, brands and travel providers that meet the operation’s “New Standard” for travel.
The concept includes a set of five principles demanded by travelers and fulfilled by the best providers, an announcement explained.
They include health and safety, communication and transparency, flexibility, innovation and civics.
As travelers return to the roads, seas, and skies, more than 90 percent of them say they would feel more comfortable visiting places taking extra precautions to address safety concerns, according to Condé Nast Traveler research announced Tuesday.
“Now that we’ve been living with COVID-19 for a while, the transformation of travel is coming into focus,” said Jesse Ashlock, U.S. editor at Condé Nast Traveler. “Travelers’ desires and expectations have shifted and hotels, airlines, cruise companies and destinations have all shifted how they operate in return. The New Standard is all about celebrating innovation in the industry in response to the pandemic.”
The changes, the publication said, are critical to the $9.25 trillion global tourism industry.
Walla Walla joins Singapore, New York, Jamaica and many other highlighted countries and communities,and brands such as Delta and Virgin, among the first to be recognized.
Specifically, the piece highlights the May roll out of Walla Walla’s Peace of Mind Pledge, an initiative led by destination marketing organization Visit Walla Walla with support from the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce and Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.
Signaled to guests at businesses through a poster or placard in the window, the pledge is a commitment to meeting and, where possible, exceeding, governmental guidelines around health and safety protocols.
“We think this unified approach makes a lot of sense at a time when people are basing travel decisions on the safety of a destination as a whole, not a single hotel or lone winery,” Visit Walla Walla board chair Tabitha Crenshaw said in the piece.
Similar pledges have been adopted in other communities highlighted, too.
“For both promisees and promisors, destination pledges are a human note in a newly clinical world; a welcome reminder of the larger, age-old social contract that we’ve agreed to implicitly, to work together for the greater good,” the coverage on Walla Walla concludes.