Happy 4th of July from America! Today is our Nation’s birthday. Today Fort Lauderdale in Florida and the Island State of Hawaii are coming together with a message of Aloha. For both American Regions, the Travel and Tourism Industry has a great importance. Americans care, help, and learn from each other. This may become important today to save lives in the Aloha State.
Stacy Ritter, a proud president & CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB adopted the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp of Approval recently. She said: “How destinations present their various tourism products as safe to visitors will be the difference between success and failure. In Greater Fort Lauderdale, we are pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the Convention Centres, Meetings, and Events portion of the WTTC global protocols. Event venues, hotels, restaurants, arts, and cultural entities, retail, and transportation assets all need to collaborate at unparalleled levels to assure consumers that the entire tourism value chain is safe and secure. A coordinated approach to safety and cleanliness will be the winning formula.”
eTurboNews had reached out to Broward County officials last week for more feedback on the WTTC initiative and was told FLL management was in FEMA emergency training and unavailable.
It cannot be ignored that tourism destinations and their stakeholders in the U.S. and in most other parts of the world are working in overdrive behind the scene to find a way forward out of the crisis. Opening the visitors’ industry is a matter of life and death for some family-owned businesses ( and also major companies).
As Gloria Guevara, CEO of WTTC and other tourism leaders rightfully noted, there are so many jobs and economies at stake. Tourism needs to reopen immediately and safely to prevent worse, and WTTC members are pushing the organization to come out with a solution.
It cannot be ignored some global organizations and most noticeable the World Travel and Tourism Council developed an excellent platform to promote “safe travel”. This message supposed to put potential visitors at ease and is designed to help WTTC member destinations and stakeholders to operate safely.
It can also not be ignored that some stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry need to move fast and are warning eTurboNews that criticism may result in a loss of future advertising dollars.
There is so much competition in the system, that the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy actually took credit for the WTTC initiative in saying:
“Turkey has been a role model for the world during COVID-19 with its well-established health system and treatment methods. We have also pioneered setting the direction for safe tourism with a certification program for normalization of tourism and we are now glad to see WTTC bringing the efforts to a global level.”
Travel and tourism reopened in Fort Lauderdale 3-4 weeks ago along with most other beach cities in Florida.
Today on July 4th, the US Independent Holiday, Floridas alarming statistics report a record increase of 11,458 new COVID-19 infections. 3703 people died in Florida, which is the same number of passengers on 15 fully booked Dreamliner widebody planes. In Broward County alone 1346 new cases of Coronavirus were reported today, which equals 20 fully booked restaurants.
The message from leaders at this destination known as “Hello Sunny” in regards to safety is:
- Locations throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale have adopted Safe + Clean practices. Look for the Visit Lauderdale Safe + Clean signage at hotels, restaurants, shops, and other businesses.
- The CVB’s highest priority remains the safety and well-being of our visitors and residents and we continue to monitor information from local, state, and federal health and government officials.
- Every traveler should monitor news and notifications and make decisions based on their needs.
Hotels are open to all visitors. Short-term vacation rentals are open to all visitors.
Greater Fort Lauderdale beaches are open June 29 through July 2. All area beaches will close July 3-5 for the July 4th holiday weekend for the safety of visitors and residents by preventing crowded conditions that may lead to the spread of COVID-19. Hotels (including pool areas), restaurants, and shops throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale will remain open over the holiday weekend.
On-premise dining service is available at restaurants throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale with rules for 50% seating capacity in dining areas. You must wear a mask when entering restaurants or when walking to pick up counters or restrooms. Alcohol, beer, and wine may be served to seated dinners. No bar seating is allowed in restaurants at this time.
Bars and nightclubs focused on serving alcoholic beverages, where the service of food is merely incidental, must remain closed at this time in South Florida, including the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.
Broward County has opened most county-owned parks, nature trails, golf courses, and marinas for outdoor recreation with social distancing rules in place.
Broward County with many other beach destinations in the land of the free is however waking up to a nightmare in putting economy before tourism.
For the world, a question however remains: What is more damaging? Economic loss or some casualties.
The answer most likely is more clear in countries with low financial backing.
Hawaii remains a shining example for a US tourism destination that managed to keep its residents safe. Only time, discipline, and committed local leadership will tell if also the Aloha State can maintain its record of truly life savings regulations. It’s costing the economy greatly.
In Hawaii only 18 people died, the size of a small private jet. In Florida, 3703 people are dead because of COVID-19 the size of 15 fully booked widebody airliners.
Perhaps Florida Tourism has an urgent message of Aloha for the Hawaii Tourism Authority: “Learn from us and take your time!”
Hawaii authorities are planning to lift a 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors. Tourists arriving at an airport in Hawaii after August 1 can avoid quarantine requirements if they can produce a certificate of health not older than 3 days. This move will re-open the travel and tourism industry in the Aloha State.
rebuilding.travel is an initiative founded by Juergen Steinmetz, publisher of eTurboNews, and the author of this article.
Rebuilding.travel will continue to work with industry leaders in 117 countries to make travel and tourism a model on how this industry will eventually survive in telling the truth and proceed with a high level of safety and in a timely manner. Tourism can shine again. The world needs to help each other out so it can be made sure a reopening can only happen when the time is right. An early move will delay this process for everyone. It may delay the reopening of our industry tremendously.
The fact remains, no one knows the answer on how to respond to this monster virus. The fact remains that no one knows when and how it would be safe to travel again.