The adaptations of the tourist sector for a return to normality
12 May 2020

The adaptations of the tourist sector for a return to normality

Update of sanitary measures for the use of public transport.

Guides with the specifications to reduce the spread of the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus in the tourism sector.

As the weeks go by, protocols and sanitary measures are also updated to reduce the chances of Covid-19 infection. The transport sector is the one that works the most to update measures that help people’s mobility and a return to normalcy.

Different transport operators have already reinforced their cleaning and disinfection protocols. Additional measures are applied to guarantee the hygiene and healthiness of the users. In the case of shipping companies, there are some companies, such as Balearia, which, to access ships or cruises, have already begun to measure the temperature of passengers through mechanisms that do not require physical contact.

For their part, the airlines await the final protocol that the European Union must present publicly in the coming days (it is expected that next May 18th if not sooner). In any case, some sanitary measures already apply to flight reservations, such as the obligation to wear a mask and restrictions on food and drink services during the journey. Other additional measures also apply, such as the total renewal of cabin air every few minutes during a flight between destinations. A good part of the aerial companies is already prepared to retake most of their connections. There are already some airlines that have started operating proximity flights, such as those that provide service between islands in both the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. The vast majority of airlines already want to be operational with some regularity from July and without seat restrictions. Only by applying additional sanitary measures to reduce contagion.

The situation in ground transportation is similar. Trains, metro, bus or private vehicle with driver have been adapted to the new measures to guarantee the distance between users. Right now the application of occupancy of 50% of the vehicles’ capacity to maintain safety distances is in force and that each passenger has the adjacent seat free. Anyway, there are some variables as in the case that two people from the same family unit travel, since in this case they could sit sideways. This variable allows the upward occupation of 50% to be altered slightly. In the update of the measures published in the BOE this past May 10 these variables already appear. In addition, mandatory measures such as using a mask during the journey on public transport or recommended measures such as washing hands well before or after using the service are other specifications that are published for users to carry out to avoid any contagion. The operating companies, for their part, also apply additional measures that help to generate confidence both for the users of the service and for the tourism sector that needs to demonstrate that the destinations are working for a return to normality with guarantees.

In the case of the company Avant Grup since the beginning of March it already applies additional hygiene measures, as published in the BLOG of March 19th, since the Royal Decree with this type of measures was not published until March 14th (RD 463/2020) which decreed the start of the state of alarm throughout the country.

The transport company, leader in the event and cruise tourism sector, also performs essential services for the transfer of personnel from companies and organizations in the health, chemical or pharmaceutical sector to their jobs. As additional measures, apart from the usual daily cleaning of vehicles, hygiene protocols are also applied with disinfectant and antiviral products (See attached infographic).

The vehicles also have hydro-alcoholic gel dispensers available for passengers to use at the entrance and exit of each journey and, from now on, ozone cannons are also incorporated which must work at night in the different vehicles of the fleet. The mission of these devices is to disinfect the air by removing impurities. By being sterilized, the chances of contracting infectious diseases are also eliminated.

It is not only in the transport sector that these corrective measures are applied. In the rest of the segments related to the tourism sector, intensive work has also been carried out to apply a series of additional measures to prevent infections. It has been a work that has been carried out by the Secretary of State for Tourism, in coordination with the Ministry of Health. Guides have been drawn up with specifications for service, cleaning, disinfection or maintenance, and these must be carried out to reduce the spread of the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus. In the definition of these measures and specifications, social agents, labor prevention services, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) and the Governments of the different autonomous communities have also collaborated. The main objective is to restore confidence in the tourist destination.

Twelve distributed and adapted protocols have been prepared for each segment such as Accommodation, Campings, Golf Courses, Museums, Restaurants, etc., in separate documents that can be consulted at this link. (official text of the regulations only in Spanish)

All tourist destinations work to catch up and apply the appropriate measures to guarantee the hygiene and security necessary for the return to the new normality, since the need to travel and know is inherent to the human condition and have been confined for so long. anticipate a need to move again at the time of opening the borders. Although sanitary restrictions are maintained to travel, it does seem that a revival of the tourism sector can take place from this summer.

In the latest Pangea Travel Store survey, 40% of those surveyed plan to make proximity trips in their same country of residence, while 23% bet on traveling within the European Union environment. The rest have other concerns and more variable needs or interests in traveling to long-distance destinations. These are positive data for the tourism sector and, especially, for destinations.


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