Three-step approach to reopening tourism businesses
The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) says there is no ‘blanket’ approach to reopening tourism businesses, with each being allowed to operate based on their individual adherence to the COVID-19 measures tailored for the sector.
Speaking with the Department of Public Information, GTA Director Ms. Carla James said together with the COVID-19 Task Force, the Authority has agreed on a three-step approach to reopen lodges, resorts and tour operations safely.
“The current gazette right now allows for accommodations to operate, but does not allow for lodges or resorts or tours to open,” Ms. James noted.
As such, the GTA is urging businesses to submit their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as part of the three-step approach to reopening.
The SOPs “should have included in it the GTA-recommended hygiene and sanitation protocols for keeping travellers, their team members and communities safe during this time.”
On receipt of the SOPs, the GTA will conduct a desk assessment of the procedures and advise businesses of any deficiencies to correct, revise or to train their staff on those revisions.
“The second step will be an on-site inspection by the GTA to verify that those SOPs are being implemented, and that their staff have been trained and are aware of what’s required of them as they go back to hosting guests,” Ms. James said.
The final step will be preparing those reports and submitting them to the COVID-19 Task Force for final approval on the reopening of individual businesses.
“So, it’s not going to be a blanket approval, but as we complete our inspections and reports they will give their approval on it,” she explained.
Ms. James said the GTA will be launching a strong marketing programme to help drive demand and bookings to the locations and the tour companies that have been given approval for reopening.
The GTA has published a notice in the newspapers and via their online platforms calling on tourism stakeholders, such as interior lodges and resorts and tour operators, to submit their SOPs to start the process of reopening.