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Hong Kong Tourism Board Commits to COVID-19 Safety for Tourists

by Valery Collins

Hong Kong Tourism Board Commits to COVID-19 Safety for Tourists

Hong Kong is working hard to ensure that tourists can be confident they are protected from COVID-19 when it opens its borders again.  The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is working with the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) to establish a standardised hygiene protocol across the tourism industry.

The Standardised Hygiene Protocol in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Ferry

Hong Kong Ferry © Hong Kong Tourism Board

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong has been a leader in the field of anti-virus measures.  It has recognised a new normal is emerging in tourism with public health and safety now a priority for visitors.  Citizens and businesses have worked together to implement some of the most stringent hygiene measures in the world.

Many businesses in the tourism sector are already using advanced cleaning technologies on a daily basis.  But, developments have been piecemeal.  Now the HKTB and the HKQAA have introduced an Anti-Epidemic Hygiene Measures Certificate.  A recognised standard for each sector.  While developing this protocol the agency used guidelines issued by the Centre for Health Protection and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

At least 1,800 businesses have already expressed an interest in the adoption of this new protocol. Visitors will recognise a commitment to health and safety and be confident in using their premises.  The HKTB will be covering the application fee for businesses that qualify to help towards the costs involved to encourage commitment to the new protocol.

Anti-Epidemic Hygiene Measures Certificate

Anti-Epidemic Hygiene Measures Certificate © Hong Kong Tourism Board

How the Hygiene Protocol Will Work in Hong Kong

This protocol will cover a multitude of businesses including hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping malls and shops, coach companies and travel agents.  Each participating business and outlet must comply with a list of hygiene and anti-epidemic measures.  A participating business must first pass an assessment that checks all the required measures are in place.  Its details are loaded onto an HKQAA dedicated website.  These premises will display a recognisable logo.  It confirms their commitment to the protocol to users of their premises.

New Normal Tourism in Hong Kong

View of Hong Kong from the Peak

View of Hong Kong from the Peak

Tourism worldwide is experiencing a new normal – face masks, hand sanitisation and social distancing are part of this.  The HKQAA has recognised this and is introducing the Anti-Epidemic Hygiene Measures Certification Scheme.  This scheme promotes the best hygiene and anti-pandemic measures with impartial third-party verification.  Holders of the certificate will be subject to spot checks to ensure continued compliance.  However, the idea of standardised protocols is not new.  A similar system has already been introduced in the UK hospitality industry.

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