The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced the launch of a standardized COVID-19 hygiene protocol in partnership with the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA), one of the leading conformity assessment bodies in the territory, providing unified guidelines on hygiene and anti-epidemic measures for tourism-related industries.
At more than 1,800 businesses and outlets that have expressed interest in adapting the new protocol, customers will easily be able to recognize and understand the measures in place across tourism-related sectors and bolster visitors’ confidence in traveling to Hong Kong upon the resumption of inbound travel. To help relieve the finance burden, the HKTB also will fully sponsor application fee for qualified business.
Hong Kong has led the way in introducing anti-virus measures since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, with citizens and businesses working together to adopt some of the world’s most stringent hygiene measures. Businesses in the tourism sector have been particularly active in implementing hygiene measures supported by advanced cleaning technologies into their daily operations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new normal to the tourism landscape, and public health and safety have become a priority for visitors,” said Dr. YK Pang, Chairman of the HKTB. “Many international travel and tourism organizations have already put in place hygiene and anti-epidemic guidelines, and standardising hygiene measures for each sector can spread to visitors the message that Hong Kong values its commitment to hygiene and safety.”
The protocol will cover shopping malls, hotels, tourism attractions, restaurants, retail stores, coach companies, travel agencies, MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition) venues and more. Participating businesses and outlets are required to comply with a series of hygiene and anti-epidemic measures (see Appendix). After passing the assessment, details of the businesses and outlets will be uploaded to a dedicated website of the HKQAA. The businesses and outlets can display a designated logo for recognition to show their commitment to the protocol. The HKQAA will conduct random visits for continued inspections.
“During the development of the standardised protocol, the HKQAA referred to the guidelines by the Center for Health Protection and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department,” said Ir C. S. Ho, Chairman of the HKQAA. “We aim to promote best practices for hygiene and anti-pandemic measures across tourism-related sectors and acknowledge their efforts in combating the pandemic through professional and impartial third-party verification, thus restoring public confidence in out-of-home consumption and travel.”
The HKTB is currently working with the Hong Kong SAR Government and the tourism industry to prepare for the resumption of travel to Hong Kong and aims to welcome visitors back with an assortment of exciting experiences and attractive offers.