Thailand launches Certification Scheme to Enhance Tourism Health and Hygiene Standards

Thailand, news, health measures, COVID-19

Thailand’s tourism and health authorities have teamed up to launch a unique certification scheme aimed to prepare the Thai tourism industry for the recovery period and enhance confidence amongst international and domestic tourists.

The “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA” project was launched today by Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakan, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mr. Chote Trachu, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Dr. Panpimol Wipulakorn, Director-General, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand at a press conference “Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration: (SHA)” at the Grand Ballroom, Floor 2, The Athenee Hotel, Bangkok.

Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakan, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “The Covid-19 virus spread quickly and widely to many countries around the world, infecting and killing many people. Currently, Thailand has been able to control the spread of the disease thanks to the quick action taken by the Royal Thai Government and the whole-hearted support of the general public.

“However, Thailand is still at risk of being hit by a “second wave”, which will require continued vigilance and public support for the prevention and control measures. At the same time, we must ensure a gradually phased-in economic recovery with behavioural change in accordance with the new way of life or New Normal.”

With the gradual phasing in of the New Normal, the government wants the Thai people to make a living and return to normal life while protecting them from a further spread of the virus through a broad range of preventive hygienic and health-control measures, as announced daily by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). As such, through the combination of preventive measures and social and economic recovery measures, the Thai people will safely pass through these critical phases.

Mr. Chote Trachu, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sports, highlighted that, “The policy of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is to prepare tour operators and tourists for the period after the country has ensured safe conditions for travel. The virus has caused widespread travel disruption resulting in  a negative impact on the global economy.  Tourism is the first industry to have been affected and may be the last industry to recover to normal. It is necessary to make a major adjustments to ensure its future sustainability.”

The “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA” certification is aimed at elevating the country’s tourism industry standards and developing confidence among international and domestic tourists.The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has assigned TAT to adjust the tourism policy to be in accordance with the Cabinet’s resolution under TAT’s mission. The urgent policy is to upgrade the standard of cleanliness and hygiene under the concept of “Repair – Rebuild”, so that tourism establishments can adjust their products and services in accordance with the New Normal and boost tourist confidence after the crisis has eased.

“The SHA project aims to make tourism a part of the overall national preventive measures and ensure that both Thai and foreign tourists have a positive experience, and that they are happy and confident in the sanitation and safety of Thailand’s tourism products and services”, Minister Phiphat said.

Dr. Panpimol Wipulakorn, Director-General of the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health said, “The cooperation between the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is designed to improve the ‘New Normal’ situation in three areas: Leisure Tourism, sports and MICE. The Public Health measures will help to promote tourism by 1) reducing the risk of infection and transmission from travel, and 2) building confidence in travel because it impacts on all sectors of tourism.

“The Ministry of Public Health would like to request people travelling to various destinations to please strictly abide by the various preventive measures in order to facilitate a speedy return to normal travel. Even after the relaxation measures, we would like to request all travellers to abide by the prescribed guidelines in order to reduce the risk of infection.”

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said, “Ensuring high health and safety standards will be one of the key criteria for Thai tourism to establish its competitive advantage in the recovery period. The desire to travel will remain strong, but when it actually comes to the decision-making time, visitors will opt for those destinations where they feel confident about their personal safety.”

The Governor said that all applying establishments will undergo strict inspection and be assigned the SHA logo as a mark of quality certification of the service standards of that establishment. The logo will be issued by TAT and have a validity period of two years. All the names of the accredited establishments will be entered into a database. If any violations are reported, the logo will be revoked.

Ten types of business can request the SHA standard as follows:

1. Restaurants / food outlets
2. Hotel / accommodation and convention centres
3. Recreation and tourist attractions
4. Tourist transport vehicle
5. Travel agents / tour operators
6. Health and beauty parlours
7. Department stores and shopping centres
8. Sports stadiums for tourism
9. Theatres / cinemas
10. Souvenir shops and other stores.

(Source: TAT News)