Safety must come first in reopening domestic travel destinations

gnlm opinion

With formation of Destination Management Organizations-DMOs in regions and states, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is planning to reopen travel destinations and businesses in efforts to revive the country’s economy hit hard by COVID-19.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have seen the negative repercussions of the spreading of the virus, and industries which employ large labour forces, as well as employees in the hotels and tourism sector and related businesses, are bearing the brunt of the Coronavirus outbreak.
DMOs will be formed with stakeholders from hotel and tourism industry and townselders in accordance with the Myanmar Tourism Law and they would ensure public safety at the destinations.
It means DMOs need to market their respective regions as safe destinations and need to burnish the reputations of destinations in their regions after containing their coronavirus spread and implementing strict new public health protocols such as health screening, temperature checks upon arrival and enforcing the use of face masks in public spaces.
Besides, measures include sanitizing surfaces and social distancing in hotels, restaurants, tour operators and taxis.
It is important to facilitate travel as this will kick start the economy. To promote the travel sector amidst COVID-19, we also need to ensure travel costs-in prices of accommodation and transportation remain affordable for domestic travellers.
Meanwhile, we must recognize that several safety protocols at the destinations, accommodations and restaurants need to be established before they are launched because at the end of the day, the most important thing is to ensure safety.
The coronavirus will remain a problem for a long time, and it means we need to getting used to ways for living with it for the long term in our everyday lives.
The hotels and tourism sector is one of the sectors driving socio-economic development in Myanmar. The State is also encouraging the sector because it can create jobs for people living with disabilities and the aged.
According to data released by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, there are more than 2,000 hotels with over 81,200 rooms in our country.
We are confident that reopening domestic travel with national health guidelines would open door to jump-starting tourism with regional countries.

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