For reopening, destinations need certain policies in place

Published on : Thursday, December 10, 2020

The ongoing corona virus pandemic has rendered a massive impact globally; however, no segment perhaps is as hard-hit like the travel industry. Hotels and destinations that depend on visitors — be it tourists or business travelers — face an overwhelming challenge.

Eased restrictions in many places around the world have led to fresh waves of infections, initiating new limitations that are threatening to stifle an already-anemic recovery.

Perhaps no destination has faced this difficult situation as clearly as the island state of Hawaii.

As of now, there are no countries with fully open borders. Many are restricting travelers from abroad, while others are imposing a compulsory quarantine. Others require a proof of a negative, COVID-19 PCR test within a particular period of time before departure or arrival — which can pose a major hurdle in the U.S. due to testing capacity.

First and foremost, for reopening, a destination should have the welfare of its residents at the forefront. Keeping the population safe needs to be the No. 1 priority.

Secondly, there has to be a thoughtful plan for visitors for keeping them safe while enjoying the beauty of the destination. That could include everything from essential quarantines upon arrival to available pre-travel testing to opting-out of a quarantine situation, mandatory face-covering orders and social distancing requirements.

Finally, the local government, chamber of commerce and/or convention and visitors bureau needs programs in place for assisting local businesses get back on their feet. Assistance is a requirement – from the government and community — to keep small businesses buoyant.

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