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State of Yucatan launches "Biosecurity Risk Prevention Certification"

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In its first stage, the program is forecasted to reach up to 1,200 people among entrepreneurs and service providers, benefiting 48,000 employees and generating a social impact for more than 136,000 people.

The State of Yucatan Ministry of Tourism (SEFOTUR), following a directive from the Governor of the State of Yucatan, Mauricio Vila Dosal, has developed Biosecurity Risk Prevention Certification, a comprehensive program to secure healthy environments for the benefit of visitors and locals.

This certificate is based on similar international models created to prevent the spread of infections and to provide health certainty to the tourism sector and its different actors, inspiring confidence in visitors while protecting the health of Yucatecans.

The program, designed with sustainability and social responsibility in mind, was created with the support and supervision of Mexico's Health Secretariat, academic institutions and international organizations. It takes into account current scientific information, POSI (Prevention of Spread of Infections) procedures, international recommendations and quality tourism programs such as Punto Limpio, Distintivo H and sustainable care protocols in adapted to COVID-19 in tourist centers that were issued by the Secretariats of Health and Tourism of the Mexican Government.

In its first stage, the program is forecasted to reach up to 1,200 people among entrepreneurs and service providers and more than 2,000 members of Crisis Management Teams, benefiting 48,000 employees and generating a social impact for more than 136,000 people.

"Tourism has dramatically changed since this historic episode," said Michelle Fridman Hirsch, Yucatan's tourism minister, in a virtual presentation on the program for members of the state tourism industry. "In this new stage of Tourism Post-COVID, the certainty that we can offer visitors by implementing the best sanitary practices in the destination will play a fundamental role in travel decisions."

The new certification considers several processes, including creation of documents, training of verifying personnel, launching the registration system, analysis of verifications, validation of implemented processes and proving documents of the registered company, and online training for tourism companies and employees in order to obtain Biosecurity Risk Prevention Certification issued by the Yucatan Tourism Board with a one-year validity.

To obtain the certificate, it is mandatory for each company to create a POSI Crisis Management Team responsible for transmitting information to the organization and to have proof that the Crisis Management Team has taken part in the training seminars and complies with 85% of the control points established in the checklist while presenting corresponding documents showing proof and requested on the audit visit.

The certification methodology was endorsed by the Ministry of Health of the State of Yucatan with the support of experts certified by Mexico's Tourism Secretariat. In addition, it has the validation and support of Yucatan's state university, Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, through the Faculty of Anthropological Sciences.

The quality and depth of the program allows its easy adjustment to international certificates and existing federal programs. With this, certified Yucatecan companies will find an easy translation to regional, national or global homologation of protocols if needed. This certificate will be available at no cost to all tourism service companies.

"Yucatan is already a benchmark in terms of security and good practices, not only in Mexico but worldwide," added Fridman Hirsch. "In this sense, we now seek to be a leader in biosecurity measures for tourism.

"In Yucatan, we prepared the state to face this crisis, adapting and rebuilding the tourism offer in accordance with the latest global trends," she said. "During the last months, we have worked tirelessly, hand in hand with representatives of the local and national tourism industry, to preserve, rebuild and prepare our tourism industry to face an unprecedented crisis."  

The Yucatan Tourism Board presented the latest update of the Tourism Recovery Plan against COVID-19 in front of chamber leaders. This plan brings together several of the documents integrated and executed by the Yucatan Tourism Board in the last 10 weeks of the crisis. All informative materials related to this crisis and that have been made available to members of the tourism industry can be found in the recently renovated Yucatan.travel website.

"The result of many of those previous efforts allows us today to present this robust and complete certification protocol, so that, when the time is right, we can provide our tourists with those magnificent experiences that only Yucatecans know how to create," concluded the tourism minister.

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