With a majority of states in the red zone in India and an extended lockdown, the Coronavirus pandemic seems to be getting harder to eradicate with each day. As of now, there have been more than 60,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 in India. The pandemic has brought the economy of India to its lowest in the past three decades- the worst hit being the travel industry. Although, Goa along with Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh being declared Coronavirus free has surely given the entire industry some hope of resumption. Many trends all over the world have also suggested a quicker-than-expected rebound of tourism once the lockdown ends- as is seen in China and South Korea. And as the world draws closer to the post-COVID-19 era, the tourism industry needs to prepare for sustenance in the changing times. The first step to which is ensuring everyone’s safety by having a set of standardized guidelines and measures to follow.

Credits: Scroll.in

An Urgent Need Of Standardized Guidelines

The post-COVID-19 era will demand severe safety and preventive measures to be taken for travellers. Each stakeholder of the tourism industry would need a set of standardized & unique guidelines for their business to ensure a safe travel experience for travellers and the safety of their staff.

To better understand the need for guidelines, we take the example of a resort that reopens post lockdown. In order to ensure safe travel, the owner of the resort would have to take several measures around the property including deep sanitization, enabling social distance, making mask-wearing mandatory, etc. and ensure everyone’s safety. The owner would also have to know the correct way of following all measures and the frequency with which they have to be followed. To help hotel and resort owners like him and thousands of other tour operators, homestays, adventure activity operators and transport operators to survive, the state tourism boards would have to issue a standardized set of guidelines around:

  1. Sanitization practices
  2. Health check specifications
  3. Social distancing stipulations
  4. Protective gear compulsion
  5. Dealing with delinquency of regulations
  6. Safe practices for F&B

The guidelines would have to be formed on the basis of research studies and verified advice of health and medical experts to ensure their authenticity.

Credits: Scroll.in

Exemplary Guidelines Issued  For COVID-19 Prevention

As many countries move towards the end of lockdown, the respective tourism industries have been issued with sets of guidelines already. Countries like Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and Portugal have either reopened or are due to reopen many of their tourist spots with strict adherence to the issued guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. Most of these guidelines which are found common in all countries are:

  1. Wearing masks is mandatory for each visitor and staff member at all times.
  2. At entry, each visitor must get their temperature checked. If found to be unusually high, the person might be denied entry.
  3. Social distancing must be practised at all times- each visitor must stand 6 ft. away from the other.
  4. Touchless payments and digital tickets must be enabled.
  5. The number of visitors, the time of the visit, and the number of open places will be limited.
  6. The staff must be trained to adhere to all safety & preventive measures and guidelines.
  7. The place must be sanitized multiple times in a day- this includes the entire campus.

As a first step, the Ministry Of Tourism in India has also issued a set of guidelines for the prevention of transmission and disinfection of hotels. Although, the guidelines issued are only for the hotels where the suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been housed and quarantined. There have been no standardized guidelines and policies issued for the tourism industry at large yet.

Credits: Financial Times

Safe Travel To Be A Priority Post-COVID-19

The stakeholders of the tourism industry need to be issued with guidelines for all upcoming era, as without that, many service providers and operators might not be able to survive in the long run. The travellers in this new age would prioritize their safety over everything else and the same has to be focussed on by the industry. With the standardization of measures, the state tourism boards will help travellers, and the industry operators- both to stay safe and the travel industry to slowly but surely resume to its full potential.

We’re Here For You!

We understand the impact of COVID-19 to your business and are thus dedicated to helping you out in these difficult times. If you have any questions regarding post-COVID guidelines or standardized regulations for your travel business, please drop us an email at himani@thrillophilia.com