Tourism of the future will call for changes – Tourism Director-General

—Post-COVID hospitality sector will have to re-tool

DPI, Guyana, Friday, May 29, 2020

After the COVID-19 pandemic, many sectors will have to review and re-tool their health and safety guidelines.

Chief among these is the hospitality industry as was pointed out by the Director-General of the Department of Tourism, Donald Sinclair during an interview with DPI.

Director-General of the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Business

“I think it is a recognition by the industry globally that tourism in the future; tourism that is ‘post-COVID’ is going to be very different from the tourism ‘pre-COVID’ because the visitor will have safety as one of his or her highest priorities,” Sinclair said.

The Director-General also noted that that tourist resort owners and operators in Guyana must expect visitors to have several concerns answered before they embark on a trip.

“The visitor is very likely to ask: ‘Is this destination safe? Am I likely to become infected? Are there protocols and measures in place to keep me safe as well as to keep members of the host population safe?”

He assured that the safety of visitors will be the highest priority with stringent measures being implemented to ensure persons working in the hospitality industry apply and follow the required health guidelines.

Sinclair posited that there would have to be protocols observed such as testing before boarding an aircraft, wearing of a mask on the aircraft, the removal of the third seat on the aircraft as a means of guaranteeing physical distance.

Moving away from the aircraft, he noted that there would also need to be a new modus operandi at the airport itself in terms of “lessening the amount of touching that is usually done, physical distancing, sanitisation of luggage and documents and the wearing of protective gear by those who have to interact with visitors.”

Just as important is the transportation services and the protocols that will need to be implemented there regarding the sanitisation of vehicles transporting visitors and whether persons should be screened before entering a vehicle.

Likewise, the Director-General said with places of state whether it is a hotel or guest house or a resort.

Sinclair emphasised that the measures to be implemented post-COVID will be far-reaching and comprehensive – a “new normal.”