File picture- Cruise ship tourist arrive at the Cruise Ship Complex in Port-of-Spain.

In preparation for the anticipated reopening of T&T’s borders and to maximise public health best practices in the tourism and hospitality sector, Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL), in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), hosted a Train the Trainer Webinar titled “COVID-19 Health Guidelines for Reopening the Tourism Sector & the Tourism Health Information System”.

In a release TTL indicated that the training was designed for a wide range of tourism stakeholders, where it provided a comprehensive understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as protection and safety measures.

It added that the training is a crucial step in the overall preparation for eventual reopening of the island to international travellers.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Trinidad (Acting), Heidi Alert: “This training was essential for the industry to emerge stronger and more sustainably from COVID-19. At this time, we must act decisively to restore travel confidence in a safe and responsible manner.”

She added that the training session sends a clear message that the businesses and the industry care deeply about the health and safety of both citizens and visitors.

Alert noted that the CARPHA training complements the wider tourism resilience training that TTL has engaged COSTATT to deliver to transport operators, tourist attractions, hotels, tour operators and food and beverage facilities to prepare for when the time becomes appropriate to reopen borders and once again welcome visitors.

“This retooling of the tourism sector will give Destination Trinidad an edge in its marketing activities,” said Alert.

Furthermore, Alert expressed TTL’S excitement to to be working more closely with CARPHA to roll out to the industry, the online Tourism Health Information System (THiS) that will make successful tourism organizations eligible to receive the Caribbean Travel Health Assurance (CTHA) Stamp.

She articulated that this would add further assurance to travellers about their commitment to their health safety.

Alert explained: “The advantage of this Stamp is that it provides measurable and verifiable recognition that tourism businesses are implementing the recommended proactive COVID-19 health monitoring and safety measures and is, therefore, an excellent marketing tool”.

TTL noted that one of the key messages from the virtual training was that tourism stakeholders must deliver simple, easy, healthy, and safe experiences for all visitors to Destination Trinidad as we navigate through the coronavirus pandemic. Over two hundred (200) tourism stakeholders took part in this program on October 14th.

The statement articulated that tourism practitioners were briefed regarding best practices to be implemented to restore the confidence of the travellers through regional safety and security protocols designed to reduce risks in each step of the tourism value chain.

These protocols include the implementation of check procedures where appropriate, including temperature scans, testing, physical distancing, enhanced frequency of cleaning and the provision of hygiene kits for safe air travel, hospitality services and safe events.