The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) says it is steadfastly preparing the island for increased tourism activity and the eventual opening of T&T’s borders, through product development initiatives focused on collaboration, health, and safety.

The agency said while the onset of COVID-19 would have ground travel to a halt to the island in mid-March, the island’s tourism authorities grasped the opportunity to prioritise the developmental needs of the travel and tourism industry that was hit hard by the pandemic.

In addition to the ongoing dissemination of a Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant totalling TT$50 million, the TTAL conducted an online consultation series with the island’s tourism stakeholders from mid-June to July 09, 2020 to develop a COVID-19 Tourism Health and Safety Manual.

The agency said the manual will provide Tobago’s tourism industry with the most adequate measures that can be implemented to reinforce destination safety and underline the trust of tourists, workers and residents.

Director of Product Development and Destination Management of TTAL Narendra Ramgulam has been quoted in a statement as saying: “The purpose of our health and safety manual is really to work together with our industry stakeholders to develop actionable and harmonised processes and procedures that are in line with global and local public health instructions.

The agency said stakeholders have shown their commitment to help TTAL position Tobago as a safe destination moving forward, by sharing their feedback and ideas for improvement and making the necessary recommended changes.

Hotels, restaurants, and other businesses within the industry have already responded to the pandemic with stepped-up cleaning and sanitation, staff training, and innovative changes to their business models and infrastructure to allow for social distancing and customer safety.