Destination management companies (DMCs) in Thailand have united to create uniform health and safety standards ahead of the restart of tourism in the country.
The Thailand Hygiene Plus Initiative has been created through a collaboration of 13 on-the-ground suppliers of travel in Thailand.
They are: Abercrombie & Kent Thailand, Asia Exotica, Asian Trails, Black Rice Travel, Destination Asia (Thailand), EXO Travel Thailand, Go Vacation Thailand, Khiri Travel Thailand, Panorama Destination Thailand, Remote Lands, Smiling Albino, Tour East, and Travel Exclusive Asia Thailand.
Thailand is due to allow international visitors in from August 1, but the UK Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel.
DMCs hope that the uniform standards will help promote the message that Thailand is a safe destination for post-Covid travel to travel agents and their customers and prevent infection of the virus.
The standards cover six areas: offices, staff, ground teams, meals, vehicles and transportation, sports equipment and facilities. The standards include, but are not limited to, those to be certified by the “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration” (SHA).
A checklist of operational requirements has been developed, which all DMCs in the group have agreed to implement.
Daniel Fraser, founder and director of Smiling Albino, said: “When Covid hit the industry our collective focus was on the swift and safe return of travel. The implementation a of united standard for future travel, formed through the collaboration of our peers, was natural.
“Collectively changing for the better, to create a safe and healthy travel experience for each DMCs travellers shows that we are in this together and stronger as one.”
Khiri Travel chief executive, Herman Hoven, added: “With the Thailand Hygiene Plus initiative, responsible DMCs in Thailand are giving international tour operators tangible proof and meaningful assurances that we are taking extensive and proactive hygiene measures in order to restore confidence while travelling.”