Tourism’s importance for small inns in times of pandemic

With tourism opening soon on July 15, we spoke with Tomás Ramírez, vice president of the Asociación de Paradores, about the economic impact of the pandemic on small hotels, domestic tourism and better health practices.

Ramírez highlighted the importance of a biological barrier at the airport to identify arriving travelers, where they will be staying and their condition with respect to the COVID.

For the month of May, the organization conducted a survey with the participation of 6,200 people, where 84% showed interest in vacationing soon. However, those surveyed agreed that they should go to the hotels with new security measures in place, such as the mandatory use of masks and the use of digital tools to avoid contact.

Ramírez also shared some of the health and safety measures implemented at the inns. Among them are the control of visitors in the common areas by establishing specific schedules for guests, deep cleaning and the elimination of physical resources, such as magazines, in the rooms.

In addition, owners transitioned to more digital marketing to reach the audience more easily and safely to ensure the well-being of each visitor. “We have to understand that the way we market ourselves has changed. If before it was 65% digital, now it’s going to be 98% digital,” said Ramirez.

The organization, along with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and other entities, joined forces to design measures that will allow them to operate in compliance with the law, while they can continue to keep the economy alive and the approximately 6,000 small and medium businesses that impact the municipalities on the island. 

"We want to attract visitors to Puerto Rico, but in a safe and healthy way for them and for us," Ramirez said.

The vice president of the association urges business owners to continue educating themselves, through talks, workshops, and webinars to acquire new skills and be able to manage the pandemic. He also invites business owners and clients to follow the rules of community living, which will be the method for “surviving and enjoying life for the next four years,” according to Ramírez. Through these standards, everyone has a responsibility to follow the rules to keep us open and safe.

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