Belize, Colombia and Nicaragua have become the first destinations to outline their tourism recovery plans in a series hosted by the Latin American Travel Association.

Colin Stewart, Lata chairman, said: “We are proud to have launched the first in this new series which will provide our member destinations with a platform to share the hard work that is going on behind the scenes to ensure a safe and sturdy return for international tourism.

“As Latin American destinations begin to reopen to tourism it is important for us at Lata to communicate the initiatives our members are implementing to reinstall confidence both amongst the travel industry and the end consumer. We look forward to more of these sessions as the region looks towards recovery.”

Misty Michael, director of marketing & industry relations at Belize Tourism Board, Misty Michael, provided an update on the Central American nation’s five-phase recovery plan.

She added: “The Gold Standard Recognition Programme seeks to enhance tourism health and safety standards by adapting new behaviours and procedures to protect employees and travellers.”

Procolombia UK executive director Jose Puyana said: “Colombia is focused on the recovery of the tourism industry with tangible results such as being the first country with a bio-security stamp endorsed by UNWTO, reducing sales tax for airplane tickets from 19% to 5%, and working hand in hand with the tourism industry in Colombia to make sure they adapt to the new trends that the pandemic has created and continue to offer excellent services.”

Highlighting the importance of training and skills development within destinations, Ana Carolina Garcia, director of promotion and market development for Nicaragua’s Tourism Institute (INTUR), said: “From January to June we had organised 152 digital workshops, training a total amount of 3,440 local businessowners – owners of restaurants, hotels and tourist guides.”