How will COVID-19 affect my business? Who is most at risk, staff or guests? What measures should I take? Could I be closed down for quarantine if I don’t respond appropriately? These are just some of the questions Safari Tourism businesses are asking about the COVID-19 outbreak.
COVID-19, The Novel Coronavirus of 2019, is now considered a global pandemic and has reached the point at which more extreme measures are already being taken by authorities and institutions. These will not only continue but are likely to escalate.
There is a real health risk to people, but it is difficult to place in a rational context. This means there is another very real danger: a risk that misinformation and panic will lead the response. The COVID-19 situation is already having a negative effect on the global economy. Amongst the sectors that could be hardest hit, is tourism. Some hotels have already been closed for quarantine, and whole towns have been locked-down.
Now is the time to decide and implement policies that are grounded in medical science and that responsibly safeguard the health of your guests and staff. This will need to be balanced with measures that are practical and viable within the context of safari tourism.
There will be a need to communicate to agents, operators and other partners in the tourism trade about what measures you are taking, in a manner that instills confidence in your brand and helps to protect your business.
We know that there is great value in collaborating and communicating a resonant, strong and reliable message to both trade and the public. Solidarity goes a long way to building the trust of the travel community in ecotourism as a product. It is equally important that the message is credible and professionally sound. This is difficult in the absence of a medical advisor who also understands safari tourism.
The Park Doctor organisation was created to provide expert medical risk management advice to ecotourism businesses operating in parks and reserves. All advisories currently in use are general. We analyse the facts and produce recommendations relevant to safari tourism.
Recognising the seriousness of the current coronavirus COVID-19 situation for tourism, we are offering our support to all ecotourism businesses, whether contributing members or not. If you wish to access any of our materials including information on writing a position statement on coronavirus and guidelines for safari tourism to put in place to limit the risk of COVID-19, please fill out this form.
We are constantly updating and releasing new guidelines and publications to support Safari Tourism through the COVID-19 outbreak. If have any specific questions that you need support with, please include them in the form and we will address them. Please join our mailing list to receive updates as they are produced – we promise not to spam you.