Prince Edward Island, Canada. As Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) looks to reopen amid the ongoing pandemic. Tourism operators in Prince Edward Island are taking advantage of a new training and certification program aimed at safety-conscious visitors.
The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) says the Safe Haven P.E.I. program will reassure consumers as the world moves toward living with COVID-19.
The program, believed to be the first program of its kind in North America, aims to help tourists and others find businesses and services with a proven commitment to "rigorous" health and safety standards.
"The research is telling us that travellers want to see these safety measures and certifications when they're looking to travel somewhere," said TAIPEI CEO Corryn Clemence.
"I think this puts us ahead of other jurisdictions."
The program was modelled on a similar campaign developed by tourism advisory group EarthCheck, called EarthSafe.
"That program came out of the pandemic and ensured many resorts and destinations' safety and hygiene processes," Clemence said. "We took that program, and we've taken the past year to develop our own Prince Edward Island-specific program."
The Safe Haven program includes an online checklist and training for staff, as well as annual inspections by Quality Tourism Services, a company that already does hygiene safety inspections for accommodations on the Island, Clemence said.
"It's a really robust program. It will provide peace of mind, not just for our visitors, but we understand the importance to our communities and our staff as well," she said.
The Safe Haven P.E.I. program is free for tourism operators for the next two years.
"Tourism has had a tough couple of years and we really wanted to offer this to them as a way of enhancing their operations as we prepare for the upcoming year, " Clemence said.
Restaurants, airports, cruise vessels, event centres and operators offering accommodations can participate in the program.
Source: C.B.C. News with files from Jessica Doria-Brown