GTA endorses Health Assurance Stamp for tourism

The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has committed to embracing the Caribbean Travelers Health Assurance Stamp for Healthier Safer Tourism as the sector recovers from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has said the Health Assurance Stamp “is a measurable and verifiable recognition award for tourism entities and destinations that are implementing the recommended proactive COVID-19 health monitoring and safety measures.”

GTA Manager of Product Development, Mr. Kamrul Baksh said the World Travel and Tourism Council has also endorsed the Stamp.  He made this statement during the webinar ‘The outlook for travel in a COVID-19 World’ on Thursday.

Mr. Baksh said, “What you will have is a uniformed stamp and once that destination or entity receives this, it gives that added assurance to travellers that this particular entity or destination is a safer option and is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of travellers.”

He also said the GTA has developed a sanitation protocol after consultations with tourism stakeholders, which has been integrated into its training activities. Several stakeholders have benefited from this initiative, including those in Amerindian communities and the private sector.

Inspection of hospitality establishments have started in Regions Three, Four and Seven to ensure compliance with COVID-19 measures. These will later be conducted in other regions.

 “We’ve reached out to international partners as well, like the international travel trade adventure, to find out exactly how are guides going to interact with visitor,” he explained.

A Tourism Business toolkit was also developed, which includes templates and guides that set out the parameters for cancellation and insurance policies.

In June, a Tourism Recovery Action Committee was convened with stakeholders from the Department of Tourism, the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana and the GTA to craft a framework of the way forward during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Tourism, Director General, Mr. Donald Sinclair said stakeholders would need to focus on safety and sanitation, marketing strategies, ports and frontiers, product resilience and developing international partnerships for the local sector to recover.

“We can also learn from other destinations and we can learn from some of the strategies that they have drafted and implemented,” he said.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.