‘Namaste’ Instead of Shaking Hands Among Safety Recommendations for Tourism, Hospitality Sectors

Industry Watch | December 4, 2020 | News

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Ministry of Tourism

Recognising that Tourism can be an integral part of the global recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism has deemed that Tourism businesses will require a re-thinking of how they operate in terms of hygiene, health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of their clients and staff.

In this regard, the Ministry has recommended protocols covering all service-providers and their related activities in Tourism and Hospitality sectors, to ensure a safe and prepared approach for a post-COVID 19 revival.

The guidelines have been adapted based on information updated by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on various dos and don’ts, travel, testing and protective measures including hygiene, sanitization, social distancing, etc.

The guidelines primarily focus on identifying and mitigating risks for the service-provider and for ensuring necessary safety and hygiene practices in interaction with travellers. Minimizing all possible touch-points by use of digital technology has been one of the guiding principles for the guidelines.

Along with basic protocols, the Ministry of Tourism recommends insistence on necessary medical proof or health declarations that are sought for inbound travellers; ensuring the availability of hygiene and sanitation equipment by pro-active replenishment; greeting tourists with ‘Namaste’ instead of shaking of hands; limited use of public transport for large tour groups of more than 10 people; mandatory download of the Aarogya Setu mobile application by all tourists and filling survey questionnaire; ensuring queue markers with enough distancing at public spots and activities such as zip line, among others.

These protocols are applicable to service-providers engaged in management of both international and domestic tourists including travel agents, tour operators (inbound, domestic & adventure), tourist transport operators and tourist facilitators and guides.

A defined set of protocols have been released for –

- Tourism service-providers who have a functional workplace with staff/employees under payroll.

- Tourism service-providers who undertake bookings for different services.

- Tourism service-providers who provide transport facilities for different services.

- Tourism service-providers who receive tourists at the port of entry.

- Tourist facilitators and guides providing offline guide facilities involving interaction with tourists.

- Tourism service-providers engaged in providing adventure tourism services.

Full recommendations here

The protocols are applicable to service-providers who manage both international and domestic tourists, including travel agents, tour operators, tourist transport operators & tourist facilitators/guide

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