Tourism, police join forces to monitor firms with WTTC safe travel accreditation

The Royal Bahamas Police Force’s (RBPF) COVID-19 Enforcement Unit will be charged with overseeing businesses that have received World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) safe travel accreditation, in order to ensure that they remain in compliance with the guidelines that originally afforded them the designation, Tourism Development Cooperation (TDC) Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Janet Johnson said yesterday.

The TDC and RBPF signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday that bolsters the cooperation between both entities in ensuring businesses across the country that are awarded the safe travel designation, remain in compliance.

“It’s for the business community. It’s for the global standard,” Johnson said.

“We’ve been working diligently with a lot of businesses, tourism-related enterprises. They’ve been availing themselves of the inspections, the questionnaires that are guided by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and a lot of them have been found to be in compliance with the guidelines that are being given.

“So, many of them are displaying the decals that are being issued. And now we have the assistance of the COVID unit to help us cover businesses in Nassau, in Grand Bahama and throughout the islands.”

The WTTC marked The Bahamas as a safe travel country last year and now it is recognizing tourism-related businesses that are working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at their establishments. Johnson said the WTTC designation is available to every and any kind of business.

“When the visitor comes, the emblem says to the visitor that the business has been vetted and is in compliance,” she said.

“It also says that the business has agreed to be monitored to ensure that it remains in compliance. If there is an adjustment and business lapse in the mitigation of the risk, they will receive a warning.

“If they do not adjust to that warning then they will be removed from the accredited list, which is on the TDC’s website.

“The more businesses we have that are showing the emblem and are in compliance, the better it’s going to be is for the country.”

She added that the TDC is required to provide the WTTC with a monthly report on all the businesses that have been inspected, are being monitored and have qualified for the stamp. She said these businesses will be added to a list on the TDC’s website, that will link to to ensure visitors know which businesses have been marked WTTC safe.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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