Over 60 companies throughout the Marianas have met the enhanced safety standards of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s “SafeTravels” program, the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp for the industry.
According to WTTC’s website, “the SafeTravels Stamp was created for travelers to recognize destinations and businesses around the world that have adopted the SafeTravels health and hygiene global standardized protocols.”
“The WTTC ‘SafeTravels’ Stamp is globally recognized and provides a level of confidence for both the tourism trade and consumers that the Marianas has a high standard of COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines in place,” said MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo.
The program was designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks and is based on four pillars: operational and staff preparedness, ensuring a safe experience, rebuilding trust and confidence, and implementing enabling policies.
Since the program launched in June, the Marianas Visitors Authority has certified that 63 companies on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota have met all requirements of the worldwide program, including COVID-19 vaccination for all employees.
“Businesses are responding favorably to the SafeTravels Marianas program, and we thank them for the steps they are taking to better protect our local community and our visitors by aligning their COVID-19 Safety Guidelines and Protocols with the global SafeTravels Program guidelines,” said Iakopo. “Travel has changed, and we are building on a strong foundation laid by our government and public health officials in ensuring the protection of our community and for visitors who wish to experience life in the Marianas. The program will also be updated as needed to respond to any new information about COVID-19 or other similar outbreak. All customers can be assured when they see the SafeTravels stamp that the business meets a high level of health and hygiene, including vaccination of 100% of their employees.”
The MVA is responsible for issuing the SafeTravels Stamp in the Marianas, and all certified companies are listed at www.mymarianas.com. Businesses who are certified under the SafeTravels Program are also eligible to participate in the CNMI Tourism Resumption Investment Plan Travel Bucks program, which provides qualified visitors with up to $500 in Travel Bucks per island (Saipan, Tinian, and Rota) to be spent only at SafeTravels-certified companies.
The program is free, and applications are available online at www.mymarianas.com/clean-safe-marianas. Upon application and submission of business health and hygiene protocols, the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force will review each application. Businesses inspection will be conducted by the task force. Once your application and reopening protocols have been verified and approved, businesses will receive an email from the MVA to complete the vaccination verification form and submit a complete employee listing. As part of the Safe Travels Marianas program, all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “Fully vaccinated” is defined as two weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after receiving a single dose of a one-dose vaccine.
For a list of worldwide destination that have the “SafeTravels’ stamp, visit wttc.org/COVID-19/Safe-Travels-Global-Protocols-Stamp. (MVA)