(QCOSTARICA) “The pandemic has required us to raise our exacting standards to an even higher level with new protocols,” says Dennis Whitelaw, general manager of Marriott hotels in Costa Rica.
In an interview with La Republica, Whitelaw said people are eager to travel as soon as possible but want to minimize health risks by opting for quieter destinations, personalized itineraries, and private travel.
Asked as to Costa Rica’s tourism in the long term, the manager explained:
According to a recent Forbes survey, despite the current coronavirus pandemic, it shows that 72% of Americans are already making plans for their next vacation and 35% of travelers would consider a vacation as early as this summer.
Costa Rica has been positioned by several international media of the stature of El País, BBC Mundo and Conde Nast Traveler as one of the favorite destinations to travel post-covid, and the attractions of the country perfectly match the travel trends that we are seeing it gain strength: an increase in the concept of “slow travel”, meaningful trips where it can be paid through social aid and environmental conservation activities and greater importance for sustainability and ethical practices, as well as open spaces and a closer approach to what natural.
In addition, adding the recent legalization of equal marriage, market research tells us that LGBTQ + travelers are becoming much more visible and a recent survey by The Harris Poll in the United States indicates that LGBTQ + travelers are more willing to travel sooner. than other segments when the crisis ends, including in many cases keeping their vacations already planned for the end of the year.
How do you perceive it in the coming months, especially national tourism?
We see positive signs from Asia and Europe and we are confident in the recovery, we believe that local travel or internal tourism will have a lot of relevance to start the recovery of the industry, with short trips to rediscover their destinations, more trips to nature or open spaces within their countries, at the same time closer to home.
Local tourism has always had an important role and now more. People are eager to travel and therefore working together with tourist offices and other segments will be very important to offer options.
We are sure that national tourism will be the first to be reactivated and we will be ready and eager to receive them again.
What are the measures that Marriott is taking both in Jacó (Los Sueños) and in San José?
The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to raise our exacting standards to an even higher level with new protocols for today’s circumstances. Our hotels use cleaning products and protocols that are effective against viruses, including:
- In rooms, hotels use cleaning and disinfection protocols to clean rooms after guests have left and before the next guest arrives, with special attention to high-contact items.
- In public spaces, hotels have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in public spaces, with a focus on the front desk, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public restrooms, and even room keys.
- In spaces where associates work “behind the scenes,” hotels increase cleaning frequency and focus on high-contact areas such as associate entrances, locker rooms, laundries, and staff offices.
In the coming months, when guests are at hotels within the Marriott properties, they will notice a number of additions to our cleaning regimen designed to set an even higher standard of cleanliness for hotels.
Read the complete interview (in Spanish) here.