Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd CEO Louis Lewis has commended the 150 Tobago businesses that have acquired the safe travel stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The stamp, which was implemented by the council after consultation with health experts, industry stakeholders and governments, sets a benchmark for health protocols in a covid19 world.
Lewis said some of the requirements include abiding by certain sanitisation conditions, notifying staff of protocol, proper signage for social distancing and providing safety equipment for guests.
He said, "When the borders are open, people will be making choices and decisions about where they are going to send their clients. That seal is definitely gonna stand out. So, therefore, we are encouraging all our partners to get on board, sign up for it, agree to the protocols – it is gonna take us forward."
He added, "Not only is it giving the visitor assurance, it is giving us the marketing ability to say we are a safe destination. So, we are encouraging all our establishments to get into the stream of where we are going."
Lewis said Tobago's efforts to ensure visitor safety have been recognised.
"We received commendation form the CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council that Tobago is a shining example of how to implement that protocol. We are getting publicity in areas we probably couldn't pay for, and people are seeing Tobago as an example to follow. When you look at regions like Dubai and the Pacific, we are standing out as a world leader in that direction."
"The reason we are excited about this prospect, it is exactly what the world will be looking for in a post-covid environment. When the borders are opened, people will be looking for destinations that are safe, that can provide a safe opportunity to come in and leave without contracting the virus, and the thing about the WTTC safe travel stamp, – it is a world standard."
Lewis said his agency has been monitoring establishments to ensure they stay compliant.
"Yes, we do frequent audits of people who signed up. We did spot checks...only had two instances where people didn't comply and we've had to issue cautions, but they've gotten up to standard."