Three leading US companies have teamed up to form the Safer-Tourism Alliance (STA) to offer the travel and tourism industry technology-driven and innovative solutions for safer tourism as a result of Covid-19 based on the principle of managed risk achieved through effective testing, training and tracking (3Ts).
This STA initiative was formed to help the tourism dependent Caribbean and its island nations achieve the right balance between the need to protect the health and well being of its residents with the need to re-start tourism economic activity. With limited resources and over 1 million tourism workers at risk, some destinations in the region re-opened their tourism economies only to be met with a 2nd wave of infections, both within some destinations and in source markets.
STA believes that its 3Ts approach can help any government, destination and travel and tourism company quickly adapt and adjust to the "New Normal" created by Covid-19; and longer term help them better manage the challenges of any future disruptive event.
STA is confident that if governments, destinations and travel and tourism organizations follow the following steps, travelers and residents will be able to engage in tourism safely and in confidence:
Testing: Utilize effective and efficient testing to identify and minimize the possibility of disease from entering a destination;
Training: Effectively implement health and safety protocols, and standards in combination with training to protect workers and help visitors and residents feel and be safe whilst delivering a great guest experience;
Tracking: Use technology to connect visitors with the appropriate government, destination, and travel and tourism organizations before, during and after travel for the exchange, collection and use of information to better manage the destination and traveler experience.
Commenting on the Covid-19 testing aspect of safer-tourism, President of Sensiva Health, Jim Silliman said that "the science tells us that a negative test 24 to 48 hours before travelling and another negative test 24 to 48 hours after arrival in a destination provides an acceptable level of risk that the person will not spread Covid-19." Sensiva Health provides Covid-19 PCR and antibody testing which is supplemented by proprietary algorithms. Results indicating 5 levels of Covid-19 risk are delivered within 24 hours of receipt and accessed through its user-friendly web portal or on a smartphone.
A similar assurance about training for safer-tourism was given by Bill Freeman, President of FreemanGroup Solutions who said "given that safety is now the overriding factor in determining guest satisfaction, arming front line staff with the behavioral skills necessary to carry out health and safety protocols in a way that helps guests feel safe is the only way to ensure spread is minimized at the point of engagement with visitors." FreemanGroup provides a full suite of online interactive Covid-19 specific training for various hospitality sectors that integrate WHO health and safety protocols with behavioral and operational skills and training.
In speaking about the tracking aspect of safer-tourism, Mike Stone, Vice-President of New Markets and Strategic Alliances for SRG Technology said "technology is essential to successfully capture and manage information from a multitude of sources such as Health, Immigration, Tourism and other official sources and most importantly connect and engage with travelers in real-time before, during and after travel." SRG provides a cloud-based data collection and personalization technology platform for visitor engagement in partnership with IBM Watson and their Cloud, Virtual Assistant, AI and Analytics technologies.
The team is coordinated and advised by former Director of Tourism and Tourism Strategy and Policy Consultant Kedrick Malone, President of NorthStar Consulting, who said "the STA is well positioned to help destinations achieve the right balance between health and economy in this Covid-19 era and use the opportunity in this crisis to reimagine tourism as the sustainable engine that can drive the economic, social, and cultural development of countries."
The Safer-Tourism website can be accessed at www.safer-tourism.com, where you can request a demo, additional information from STA and its team members.
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