Hygiene & Safety: Important Aspects of the New Normal Tourism
During the on-going spread of the Coronavirus 19 or COVID-19, although some of Thai people have been vaccinated, we have to admit that most of the tourists are still worried about the situation and travel less while the communities, at the same time, are still not ready to put their safety at risk by opening up or welcoming the visitors.
Group Captain Athikun Kongmee, director of the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA, has stated that after the outbreak of the Coronavirus 19 or COVID-19, DASTA has adjusted itself to follow the new normal tourism trend. The organization has been applying and complying with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s SHA (Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration) standards. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Public Health have joined forces to establish SHA standards in order to build trust and confidence for the tourists and respond to the market’s needs which, from now on, will put a lot of emphasis on the 10 types of hygiene safety.
Gp Capt Athikun Kongmee
It is very important that every place – hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, shops, or even shuttle vehicles – needs to be fully sanitized. Hence, it means that for any communities that would like to open up and welcome the visitors once the situation comes back to normal, they must be certified by SHA standards which will guarantee the visitors that the communities they are visiting are safe and hygienic. Also, being certified by SHA standards will create better images for the communities. Currently, there are several communities that DASTA has supported until they are certified and there still are several more being in the verification process.
Photo : thailandsha.tourismthailand.org
Regarding the travel trend these days, there is a tendency that the tourists enjoy traveling to seek new knowledge and experiences. Therefore, we can see that the number of tourists who travel to peaceful places to learn and see simple ways of life is on the rise. This kind of travel is popular nowadays as it takes the travelers out of the hustle and bustle and recharges their bodies and minds.
An interesting point is that a majority of tourists do not want to travel only to see the beauty of nature; however, they are seeking a trip that can give them hands-on experiences of how local people live. With this new trend, most of the tourists are opting for a meaningful trip that can fulfill the needs in their lives. The examples would be trips among a small group of people such as a group of close friends or a group of family members. It could also be a trip for volunteer work and a trip for particular skill enhancing.
Besides, younger generations, who were born in this era of technology and facilities, are giving high value to outside-of-classroom skills. They believe that what they learn from traveling and first-hand experiences can truly be applied in real life. This is a great opportunity for DASTA to introduce the interesting communities in the designated areas around the country to both Thai and foreign tourists to get to know and come to visit.