Tourism Ministry rolls out protocols for the reopening of the sector

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Tourism Ministry rolls out protocols for the reopening of the sector

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts has outlined the protocols for the T&T tourism sector, in preparation for the border reopening on July 17th.

In a release, the Ministry revealed that through its agencies, Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL) and Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL), it has begun the rollout of the COVID-19 Protocols for the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Sector 2021.

Over 200 establishments in Tobago were issued with the Safe Travels Stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) while TTL trained and issued certificates to over 450 operators on achieving COVID-19 compliance and readiness.

TTL also partnered with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to train and promote the Caribbean Travellers Health Assurance Stamp and the Caribbean Travellers Health App.

TTL in collaboration with TTAL and the MOH, will embark on training of over 700 tourism stakeholders from Trinidad and Tobago, including tour guides, tour operators and tourist transportation providers.

The training, which will begin on Friday, July 16, 2021 and will last until August, will be conducted in accordance with the Ministry of Health-approved COVID-19 Protocols for the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Sector.

It will be followed by a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process to ensure strict adherence to the protocols. And as part of its wider engagement plan, the Ministry along with TTL and TTAL will meet with the Presidents of all the major tourism organisations ahead of the reopening of the country’s borders on Saturday 17 July 2021.

Moreover, the Ministry is working with the MOH to vaccinate tourism stakeholders.

The COVID-19 Protocols for the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Sector are recognised, tested guidelines to direct the sector’s day-to-day operations, protect the health of tourism sector employees, guests, and the community and instil confidence in the mind of travellers that systems are in place at the destination to protect them.

They will assist tourism operators with achieving the internationally recognised Safe Travels Stamp from the WTTC.

“These protocols, with their scientifically supported guidelines, can now be used by tourism service providers across the eight tourism sectors.

They allow the sector to operate safely and effectively, protecting our operators and visitors from COVID-19,” said Senator the Honourable Randall Mitchell, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts.

Adherence to the protocols will safeguard both visitors and tourism operators. They identify clear requirements, procedures, communication tools, strategies etc. that will reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus if followed.

Random spot checks will be conducted on operations issued with the Safe Travels Stamp. If the tourism operator does not comply with the requirements of the protocols, the stamp will be withdrawn.

Minister Mitchell said, “All tourism stakeholders must adapt to an environment where both visitor and personal safety is paramount.

The reopening of Trinidad and Tobago’s borders represents a significant milestone in the tourism recovery process.

For this reason, the Ministry is ensuring that tourism stakeholders are well equipped to welcome our long-awaited guests safely.

The successful restart of the travel and tourism industry depends on vaccinations on the one hand, and the confidence of travellers in the preparedness of destinations to protect against the virus.”

The protocols were developed from a broad cross-section of agencies such as CARPHA, the World Health Organisation, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean Airlines, among others.”