Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 30, 2020 (SKNIS): During the April 29 National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, gave some strategies to tourism stakeholders on how to stay on top of their game when the industry recovers from COVID-19.
Mrs. Morton stated that persons can do minor infrastructural improvements to their property where they can. They can also create or update their business website, become more familiar with technology to market their business and to recruit new customers by offering more convenient ways to book ahead.
“Regularly post videos and updates on our iconic sites and attractions. For example, ongoing upgrades that are taking place at black rocks, at Cockleshell and the ECO Park,” she said.
Mrs. Morton encouraged the stakeholders to stay in touch with guests who would have enjoyed their services in the past. She added that persons should look for opportunities to form partnerships with other businesses in the industry.
“For example, restaurants with farmers, taxis with tour guides, so you design unique and exciting packages for the season ahead,” she said.
Mrs. Morton also encouraged persons to repurpose their businesses where they can in order to keep themselves and others employed and bring in revenue.
“Just yesterday, I heard the PS in Trade speaking about businesses that are now making hand sanitizers. Many of us have been purchasing them. Some are making masks. Others are offering delivery services for supermarkets and restaurants who are offering takeaway. I want to implore us as consumers to support these businesses. You can use the time that you have on your hands now to flesh out those ideas that you may have been putting on the back burner for quite some time.”
The Tourism Permanent Secretary stated that persons can also look into providing affordable staycations, day and weekend passes and other special packages for locals.
Mrs. Morton added that even when restrictions are lifted, travel is not likely to kick in immediately so stakeholders must investigate ways to entice the local market.
She also advised that the tourism stakeholders mentally prepare for operations in the early days of the recovery.
“It won’t be business as usual. The industry will have to be very proactive and be very conscious about basic health and wellness practices. Keep hand sanitizers handy, regularly clean door handles and seats, control the number of persons on your vehicles and in public spaces. These are the things that will reassure our guests that we are a responsible destination taking every precaution to keep them and ourselves safe,” said Mrs. Morton.