Destination Trinidad has received the green light to receive tourists, as the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) granted the island its ‘Safe Travels’ stamp—which is meant to indicate that the island is adhering to ‘the highest standards of health and safety’ and ‘global health protocols’.
Trinidad joins its sister isle, Tobago, with which earned the Safe Travels stamp from the WTTC in March 2021. At present, Trinidad and Tobago can receive only fully vaccinated non-nationals within its borders.
The WTTC is headquartered in London and was formed in 1990, with former American Express CEO James Robinson III acting as a co-founder, and declares itself to be ‘the global authority on the economic and social contribution of travel and tourism’.
Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL) acting CEO Heidi Alert suggested, via a press statement, that the WTTC endorsement is a boon to the local tourism industry.
“The safety of tourism stakeholders, the public and the international visitor is of paramount importance for rebuilding confidence in Trinidad as a premier Caribbean destination,” said Alert. “Everyone now wants to be reassured of the imposition of public health measures across the gamut of the industry and feel confident when visiting our hotels, touring our many sites and attractions, exploring our hiking trails and waterfalls.
“Wherever the ‘Safe Travels Stamp’ is seen, you can then be assured that they are upholding the highest standards of health and safety and demonstrating adherence to national and global health protocols—developed in conjunction with the current World Health Organization (WHO) and Centres for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.”
At present, there over 275 destinations across the world with the WTTC’s stamp of approval, including Barbados, Jamaica, Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Nicaragua, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.
Tourism Trinidad, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts and other public health safety institutions, vowed to ‘shortly’ roll out a monitoring and auditing program to ensure that local tourism operators consistently adhere to the prerequisite health and safety protocols.
Closer to home, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) also offers the Healthier Safer Tourism (HST) stamp, which is described as ‘a measurable and verifiable travellers health assurance and recognition award for tourism entities and destinations that are implementing the recommended proactive Covid-19 health monitoring and safety measures’.
Tourism Trinidad revealed that, as of 26 July 2021, 13 local tourism businesses acquired the HST, which are:
Cara Suites, Chez Jeanne Bed and Breakfast, Coblentz Inn, Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Inna Citi Place, Kiskadee Korner, Pax Guest House, Samise Villa, The Cannons Hotel, The Chancellor Hotel, Metro Hotel, Couva, and Café Mariposa, as well as tour operators Trini Riddim Media and Cultural Tours (Formerly Cres-Ent Tours).
At present, Tourism Trinidad, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Tobago Tourism Agency (TTAL), is conducting extensive familiarisation sessions on approved national Covid-19 protocols for the industry, and has already trained ‘over 400 persons, from the accommodation, tour operators, community groups and tour guide sub-sectors’.