Destination Tobago became an international exemplar for best practices in health and safety in the recently published World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) “Safe Travels Stamp Implementation Guide”.
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) had already led the way in assuring the island’s travel and tourism industry was equipped to face the challenges presented by the impact of COVID-19. In July 2020, Tobago became the third destination in the Caribbean to become WTTC “Safe Travels”, shortly after Jamaica and Aruba.
Additionally, the TTAL has been diligently working to provide the necessary tools to ensure the resilience and recovery of our island’s tourism industry, with the development of the Tourism Industry Health and Safety Manual for Post Covid-19, and the disbursement of a Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Grant.
Now, Tobago is being recognized for their strategic efforts to ensure compliance to the “Safe Travels” protocols. The island was used as an example to the global travel community in the latest WTTC guide, for the inspection process instituted by the TTAL to optimize the impact of the “Safe Travels” initiative on the island.
In the announcement introducing the implementation guide to global Safe Travels destinations yesterday, the WTTC stated:
“Although WTTC does not prescribe a particular method for issuing the stamp and ensuring ongoing compliance, we have nevertheless received requests from many of you on how this can be done. Consequently, we have put together a guide featuring a variety of example from destinations which we hope can inspire you in your own efforts. We would like to thank those destinations for letting us share their initiatives.”
Commenting on this latest international endorsement for Tobago, Dr. Sherma Roberts, Chairperson of TTAL’s Board of Directors stated:
“This latest recognition by the WTTC holds much weight and significance for us as a destination. It illustrates our ongoing commitment to provide a safe and healthy environment for residents and visitors alike to enjoy unspoilt, untouched, undiscovered Tobago with some peace of mind.”
This latest milestone by Tobago and the island’s tourism stakeholders is the latest step taken to prepare for an eventual safe opening of Trinidad and Tobago’s borders. The ANR Robinson International Airport in Tobago recently received accreditation from the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation programme. This was a result of the activation of several health and safety measures at the airport to protect travellers, employees, and airport users from the spread of COVID-19.
Mr. Narendra Ramgulam, TTAL’s Director of Product Development and Destination Management stated:
"Tobago is now leading the way in terms of global examples, with the pursuit and acquisition of globally accredited programs such as the Airport Health Accreditation and Safe Travels stamp.
This latest recognition from the WTTC is unprecedented, as many larger tourism intensive destinations are now following in the footsteps of Tobago, where the monitoring of the Safe Travels stamp is concerned. This further reinforces our image as a leader in health and safety, thereby positioning Tobago as a destination of choice for travellers post COVID-19.”