(QCOSTARICA) – Surely, like many, you have not been able to travel in 2020 because of the pandemic, but as borders are reopened there are more possibilities. Traveling in the safest way possible is the great challenge of the tourism sector, one of the most affected by the economic effects of the coronavirus.
According to figures from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals fell by 65% during the first half of the year.
Sunday, September 27, was World Tourism Day, and, thinking about a global reopening of the sector, the UNWTO made a guide of recommendations to make passengers travel safer and that the process is fluid.
How to reopen tourism?
To restart tourism paralyzed by the pandemic, the World Tourism Organization indicates that certain principles must be respected, such as being clear about protocols and local health regulations, not discriminating against travelers and the need for a digital transformation, among other points.
And it also presents its guidelines on what travelers and authorities should do every step of the way from leaving home to destination.
Step 1: Search and book
- Search for information on health requirements and procedures in the country of origin, travel providers and destination.
- Know the information on cancellations and policies in cases of illness during the trip or at the destination.
- Know which are the data exchange applications to download to the phone (national tracking applications).
Step 2: Leaving Home
- Pay for local transportation avoiding contact.
- Take into account the rules of physical distancing.
- Know and respect the protocols in force in local means of transport.
Step 3: While traveling
- Prior check-in and contactless boarding with a pre-assigned seat.
- Limit carry-on luggage to the use of the upper compartments.
- Border control should be without physical contact when the traveler leaves his country.
- The operation of the transport infrastructure must be adapted to physical distancing and current health regulations.
Step 4: At your destination
- Respect the health protocols throughout the chain (accommodation, transport, restaurants, attraction points…).
- Payments and check-in should be made without physical contact.
- Tickets and reservations for visits and entertainment activities should be made online
- Communication on the protocols and regulations in force at all contact points must be clear.
Minimizing physical contact is key to a safe return from tourism.
The World Tourism Organization points out that the safe reopening of tourism is a joint effort.
“Responsible and safe international travel is possible in many parts of the world, and it is imperative that governments work closely with the private sector to get global tourism back on track,” said the UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvil, in a statement on September 15.
“Coordinated action is key,” he emphasized.