As Belize’s tourism industry prepares for reopening, the health, safety, and well-being of the industry, its employees, the wider Belizean community, and visitors are more important than ever, as we mitigate the risk of COVID-19 and adopt to new travel norms.
Earlier today, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officially released the new operating protocols for Hotels & Restaurants which will be required for Hoteliers to prepare their properties and employees as the country readies to welcome back international travelers. These enhanced health and safety protocols for hotels have been approved by the Honorable Jose Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, and will serve as the foundation for addressing the new health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19.
Alongside these new protocols, the BTB is introducing a new “Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program”. This 9-point Program is focused on enhancing the hotel and restaurant cleaning practices, social interactions, workplace policies, and standard operating procedures, while ensuring minimal impact on the guest experience. The program also aims to guarantee that both tourism employees and travellers are confident in the cleanliness, health and safety of Belize’s tourism products.
Some of these enhanced protocols include:
- Identification of a Gold Standard Program Manager to implement and monitor the new protocols and act as the health liaison between the Ministry of Health, employees and guests.
- Enforcing social distancing and the use of face masks while in public spaces.
- Deployment of technology to provide for online check-in/out, contactless payment systems, and automated ordering/booking systems to reduce physical interactions.
- Installation of hand hygiene and sanitization stations across the property.
- Enhanced room cleaning and increased sanitization of public spaces and high touch areas.
- Implementation of Reporting and Monitoring processes to provide for daily health and temperature checks for guests and employees. This includes Registering and implementing the use of THIS (Tourism & Health Information System).
- Development of a Response Plan to handle sick employees or guests.
- Training for all employees in the new protocols.
As the country continues to prepare for re-opening, Belize wants to assure its citizens and visitors, that their health & safety is of highest priority.
Training sessions for the entire accommodation sector will be held next week, to guide them in the implementation of these new protocols.