The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) has created a program to grant a gold-star validation seal to tourism-related businesses that are implementing the highest health and safety measures. The program’s rollout begins today, Monday, May 4, 2020.
The objective of the program is to elevate Puerto Rico’s tourism industry and position it as the new gold standard in destination health and safety. The PRTC aims to increase consumer confidence in Puerto Rico as a destination that is prepared and has adjusted to the current situation. By the time the tourism commerce reopens and the destination is ready to welcome visitors again, it is expected that the vast majority of tourism-related businesses will be practicing these measures and safeguarding everyone’s safety.
“When making their travel plans, consumers will consider the destinations best prepared to provide them with the necessary measures and resources to protect their health.” ~ Carla Campos, executive director, PRTC
The two-level system was designed based on the guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), the OSHA 3990 report, the Puerto Rico Department of Health guidelines, Governor WandaVazquez Garced‘s executive orders, and high-caliber programs such as Singapore’s Safety Seal and the National Restaurant Association.
The first level is a Tourism Health and Safety Operational Guide, which provides practical guidance for the implementation of mandatory measures to safeguard the health of employees, visitors and local patrons. The second level is the Health and Safety Seal, a certification program for all endorsed tourism industry businesses that meet or have exceeded the implementation and on-going execution of the established measures.
“These operating guides and the certification program are vital for the reopening of the travel and tourism sector in Puerto Rico and are important factors that will place us in a highly competitive position once the travel and tourism market reopens,” said Carla Campos, executive director, PRTC. “When making their travel plans, consumers will consider the destinations best prepared to provide them with the necessary measures and resources to protect their health. Collective participation in its implementation, both by companies and customers, will be key to adopting the necessary personal habits and practicing social responsibility. This is the best way to offer our local public and tourists the safety and hygiene standards that they expect and deserve.”
Measures in the guide include:
- creation of wellness checkpoints for employees and guests;
- new check-in process and completion of the Travel Declaration and Contact Tracing Form;
- safe and social distancing measures guidance per type of business and activity;
- and restrictions and additional health measures for self-service food systems (augmented cleaning and disinfecting protocols; instructions regarding hand-sanitizing stations; and training on the use of PPE – Personal Protection Equipment.)
These new standards of hygiene will be applicable to all tourism businesses island-wide including hotels, resorts, paradores, posadas, bed & breakfasts, small inns, guesthouses, time-shared properties, short-term rentals, casinos, tour operators, tourist transportations, experiences management, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and attractions.