95% of SA’s graded establishment confident with Covid-19 protocols
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ABOUT 95% of the graded establishment in South Africa were confident with their Covid-19 protocols, a health and safety protocols study by the South African Tourism and Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) revealed.
The study, conducted in late 2020, surveyed owners and senior management of 456 graded establishments in South Africa.
Of the establishments surveyed, 95% indicated high confidence levels, while 75% said they had very high levels of confidence in their implementation of Covid-19 protocols.
Guest houses formed 43% of the establishments surveyed, and bed and breakfasts accounted for 29%.
The majority of establishments claimed to provide training for employees on the compliance of health and safety protocols. About 98% said the training was provided on hand sanitising, 97% provided training on the wearing of masks to staff and customers, and 97% had also trained their staff on hand-washing protocols and social distancing.
About 76% saying they are aware of Tourism Industry Protocols Pledge. Surprisingly, only 31% of establishments have been certified for Covid-19 protocols and 40% were unsure of certification.
There have been many bumps on the road. Establishments faced many challenges. These include behavioural changes to staff and guests during the pandemic, the added costs of obtaining protective measures such as sanitiser and masks, information on the virus and creating travel demand.
They also wanted updated information on the changes within the hospitality industry. They felt some updates were vague. They expressed the need for marketing and visible signage of the protocols around the establishments and sponsorships with personal protective equipment.
South African Tourism chief executive officer Sisa Ntshona was thrilled at the industry's readiness during Covid-19.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has made trust a crucial currency, which is why I am very encouraged by the accommodation establishments and how seriously they take the implementation of the health and safety protocols.
"The high levels of implementation of the protocols and the establishment's confidence would invoke trust in the consumer and encourage them to use the establishments.
“As South African Tourism and the TGCSA, we will continue advocating for safe travel and safe practises within the tourism sector. This is why we are committed to ensuring that all stakeholders within the tourism value chain adhere to the protocols and to support them wherever they may come across some challenges,” he said.