10 ideas for the the future of safe travel
One of the main problem traveller face now is that countries simply closed their borders, at least for tourists. That make sense when you want to limit the influx of foreigner possibly bringing Covid-19 to you country. And Cambodia did very well with this strategy, at the time of the post we had 300 cases, nearly all from outside, and no death. But does the future of safe travel mean, you cannot travel around the world anymore? We don’t think so. What it needs are concept, to ensure the safety of travelers and locals, and a new mindset. We do have all the measures already, but they need to be used and enforced.
The Ministry of Tourism and the ministry of economy and commerce are working hard on solutions to get the tourists back and keep Cambodia safe. A group of destination management companies submitted a presentation with their suggestions to the relevant institutions. Hotels and Tour-Operators are helping as well with new ideas.
We have 10 ideas how to create the future of safe travel without compromising too much and still having fun.
Masks! Mandatory for the future of safe travel
Every traveler has to wear masks in buildings, cars, planes, tuk-tuks, houses. It includes also local markets, even if they arc technically open venues. Same goes for public events, even outside.
Tests! Pre-flight and in-destination
No traveler can enter a country without a test done max 72 before arrival and a rapid test at arrival as well two more tests after 5 and 14 days. Nowadays most cases in Cambodia are from fellow countrymen and -women who don’t need a prior test. They should have as everyone else.
Contact-Tracing is important
The department of health need to know where foreigners have been in case they need to trace. We are proposing a simple system: Every arrival gets a personal QR-Code-Badge with his or her name and a randomized number assigned. This badge has to be with you all the time. Whenever they enter a venue, they scan with their mobile the badge and then a QR code provided by the restaurant. Behind works a simple web-app with a scanner and a database, recording all the checkins.
Itineraries are the future of safe travel for a while
Sorry backpackers and explorers, but you may have to wait a while. To ensure a safe travel for both tourists and locals, we suggest a itinerary with a set route and confirmed hotels as well as guides and drivers. Restaurants can be added too. Those hotels will have a certificate for its health safety standards.
We suggest that for a while bookings have to go through qualified operators how follow certain standards. Those standards are audited frequently. They can ensure that the itinerary will be enforced, and they also have already a good experience with international travelers. A qualified company should have at least 3 years of operations and a minimum of 1000 px per year. Also, they have to be transparent about any bookings.
Suppliers have to show responsibility
Those who are operating restaurants, excursions or like we incredible and long lasting food experiences have to support the efforts by strictly following the rules. We suggest a three-strokes-then-out system. sounds harsh but suppliers are the frontline when it comes to contacts between locals and foreigners.
Group size limits
For the foreseeable future mass tourism, on particular large groups, is dead. We suggest a maximum group size of ten. For them a 25 seater would be provide enough space and a group of ten can be easily brought to a restaurant with enough space between the individuals.
We think there is a fundamental shift needed regarding what you do while traveling. And here we can learn from the individual travelers. They try to avoid the most popular places and instead explore something new. We think, travel agents and their partners need to understand, that the future of safe travel lies in the difference, not in a bucket list. They need to create new experiences, when not 100 people gather at the same time for thebest instagram shot. Local families can provide great experiences. We will see soon how to connect them to platforms and providers (many are doing this already).
Better marketing for tourism in Cambodia
And then there is this the issue of selling a destination successfully. This is usually a difficult talk for government institutions who don’t have experience with modern marketing. But they could set the framework and support the initiatives by the private sector. The faster and safer Cambodia opens, the more it has a heads up compared to other countries. As a small country safety measures are faster to implement as we have seen before. Selling Cambodia as a safe destination, where social distancing is easy, where closed venues are rare and where nature is the new must-see could be a way to promote Cambodia and going a new way of safe travel in the future.
Connect the players in tourism
We would like to see more collaboration between the players in the tourism sector on a working level. Right now there is a gap between government, local associations and DMCs, not to mention suppliers. They need to work together and not just submit ideas to the ministries. At the end, all have a common goal: the bring the business back. The future of safe travel lies in the successful implementation of necessary rules and regulations, but also in the right mindset of everyone involved.
What we can do for the future of safe tourism
Dine With The Locals is now in hibernation, The company behind it applied for dissolving because of the lack of capital and income. We are looking for a new home now: A travel agency, a hotel company, anyone who wants to provide great and unique food adventures with local families. And no, we are not looking for money, but for cooperation and enthusiasm. You can contact us anytime through our contact page if you are interested.
We think we found a way to provide great experiences to travelers and at the same time support local families and sustainable tourism. Our hosts can ensure safety for travelers quite easy, since most venues are open spaces, and only family members are there. Once rapid-tests are available for an affordable price, we would be happy to provide them to our hosts as soon as possible.