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The word “transparency” is especially important when describing Riviera Nayarit’s strategy for dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
“While we continue to navigate the landscape shaped by the pandemic, we have remained transparent and candid with visitors and media alike, providing accurate and timely information through several communication channels,” said Richard Zarkin, public relations manager at the Riviera Nayarit Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB).
This communication-focused approach also includes staying in touch with travel advisors who sell the destination.
“In addition to sharing weekly newsletters that highlight destination updates with our travel partners every Friday, we update our statement every day before noon, which can easily be accessed on the homepage of the Riviera Nayarit website,” Zarkin said. “Additionally, travel partners and travelers should visit our social media sites for live updates and announcements as it relates to COVID-19 and the measures we are implementing to ensure the health and well-being of our community.”
The overarching message is about keeping people safe, whether they’re traveling or not.
“Travel agents should know that while Riviera Nayarit remains open, the health and well-being of locals and visitors are of utmost importance to us,” Zarkin said, noting that both the state of Nayarit and the Banderas Bay Hotel Association follow the protocols of the Mexican Federal Government Health Ministry, which operates in alignment with the World Health Organization.
“Local and state authorities are in permanent communication with the private sector, associations and tourism suppliers to determine all potential risks related to COVID-19,” he said. “Additionally, all local hospitals and medical personnel are currently reviewing best measures to take should a potential case in the destination arise.”
Following are the latest health and safety measures, which are to be in place for approximately 30 days as of press time:
- Food and beverage venues have lowered capacity to 25%. They have increased cleaning and disinfection practices, as well as the use of gloves and face masks for all kitchen staff. Venues also have antibacterial gel dispensers available for the public and employees, and have limited buffet-style food offerings in an effort to limit public sharing of utensils.
- Hotels have implemented more frequent cleaning of “high-touch” surfaces, as well as inspection of air-conditioning grills. Properties also have established on-site emergency teams that are ready to respond in the event that a potentially infected guest should be identified.
By staying at home today, we can travel tomorrow. And traveling tomorrow will support jobs, celebrate culture and promote international friendship and understanding.
Encouraging Long-Term GrowthLike any effective tourism organization (or travel advisor, for that matter), the Riviera Nayarit VCB is focused not only on surviving the current crisis, but also on long-term growth once the current situation improves. To that end, Zarkin praises creative approaches that are helping to keep travel on people’s minds, even if they’re not taking vacations right now.
“In response to the changing landscape, we’ve seen the rise of the ‘virtual travel’ trend that many destinations and hotels worldwide, including Riviera Nayarit, are beginning to implement,” he said. “Travel agents should remain attuned with those unique offerings and use them as motivation for clients seeking to plan their dream trip for later this year or in 2021. Additionally, keeping in mind that many clients might be economically affected by the pandemic, I’d recommend travel agents share any deals/incentive packaging currently offered by many hotels and destinations.”
Zarkin also offers advice to advisors on how to maintain bookings.
“While we understand the rising concerns of traveling during these uncertain times, travel agents should encourage everyone to reschedule their visits instead of canceling their trips,” he said. “Riviera Nayarit stands by the message that Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, shared: ‘By staying at home today, we can travel tomorrow. And traveling tomorrow will support jobs, celebrate culture and promote international friendship and understanding.’”
The DetailsRiviera Nayarit Visitors and Convention Bureau www.rivieranayarit.com