Belize’s Tourism Industry Prepares for a COVID-19 Era 

COVID-19 has had devastating consequences for the world, taking numerous lives across the world, including Belize. The ripple effects have led to mass unemployment rates, adversely affecting many nations. Consequently, Belize is one destination that’s suffered greatly from the economic ripples of coronavirus. As a tourism-reliant nation, over 40% of Belize’s GDP is equally dependent on the tourism industry and its foreign visitors. Belizeans pride themselves on the unique amenities and warm hospitality provided to everyone in the country, which has long been called Mother Nature’s best kept secret. 

Over the past decade, Belize’s tourism has boomed. Now, this boom has come to a screeching halt. Could this damage to Belize’s hospitality industry be irreparable? While Belizeans understand that precautions are necessary, many are hoping for a finite answer as to when tourists will return. Confidently, they know Belize provides an incomparable vacation. After all, there is no other Great Blue Hole or Jaguar Reserve like Cockscomb Basin anywhere else in the world. So, while the people of Belize understand that open borders may not immediately translate to bookings, they hope that that travellers will once choose Belize when reassured of their safety.

Belize’s Tourism Health & Safety Standards

For this reason, Belize’s tourism industry is taking the steps to ensure high standards for both its citizens and visitors. Under COVID-19, Belize must grow with the times to adopt new strategies and approaches to protect everyone in the industry. While all sectors that serve the public must revamp their procedures, the hotel industry, in particular, will be doing a major redesign. By doing so, they are learning from other countries how to reopen safely. Most importantly, a top priority is how to re-establish trust, and the first place to do that is with the staff of your own hotel. By safeguarding your employees, you are protecting both yourself and your guests. This does not include just enforcing new safety procedures, but also distributing PPE (personal protective equipment) to each staff member. 

Safeguarding Belizeans in the Tourism Industry

Belize Biltmore Plaza Accommodation
Coral Caye Accommodation

A safe work environment creates a baseline from which to implement procedures to take care of guests. Some of the new safeguards may include: 

  • A complete review of cleaning procedures. It may be necessary to use UV light and other special equipment to clean. 
  • Soft fabrics, furniture, and fixtures may need to be switched to more hygienic options.  
  • Making sure that each room has clean air and a good airflow. Filters may need to be installed that remove toxins.  
  • Using technology to minimize physical contact. One example of this might be to use a digital check-in.  
  • Take social distancing guidelines into account when redesigning the use of space and the movement of people on your property.  
  • Upgrading your laundry, linen, and garbage disposal practices.  

Other parts of the tourism industry, such as restaurants and bars, will follow similar steps when redoing their safety steps. Even public beaches and festivals will have to take into account social distancing guidelines, not simply for the benefit of tourists but also for locals. Once new procedures have been established, it is critical that those in Belize’s tourism industry communicate with their customers what those new procedures entail. This will help reassure visitors that Belize is dedicated to their safety and that effective measures have been taken to guarantee it. Additionally, it will also manage their expectations while visiting Belize. 

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