BANGKOK, 27 May 2020: Hotels across Thailand from Phuket to Chiang Rai are rushing to fill in online forms to apply for a certification scheme that will endorse their safety and health status.
Just week since the programme was launched the “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA” project has caught the attention of hotels, keen to show international travellers and tour operators they are complying with stringent health measures to keep Covid-19 at bay.
Thailand’s tourism and health authorities teamed up to launch the certification scheme earlier this month but the online forms that hotels must complete to apply for certification went online just last week.
The “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA” project was officially launched at a media event on Monday led by the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakan noted that Thailand was still at risk of being hit by a Covid-19 “second wave”, which requires continued vigilance and public support for the prevention and control measures.
“At the same time, we must ensure a gradually phased-in economic recovery with a behavioural change in accordance with the new way of life or New Normal,” the minister stated.
“Ensuring high health and safety standards will be one of the key criteria for Thai tourism to establish its competitive advantage in the recovery period,” the TAT governor added. “The desire to travel will remain strong, but when it actually comes to the decision-making time, visitors will opt for those destinations where they feel confident about their personal safety.”
All applying establishments will undergo strict inspection and before they are allowed to display the SHA logo as a mark of quality certification of the service standards of that establishment.
The logo will be issued by TAT and be valid for two years. All the names of the accredited establishments will be entered into a database. If any violations are reported, the logo will be revoked.
10 types of business can request the SHA standard
- Restaurants / food outlets
- Hotel/accommodation and convention centres
- Recreation and tourist attractions
- Tourist transport vehicle
- Travel agents/tour operators
- Health and beauty parlours
- Department stores and shopping centres
- Sports stadiums for tourism
- Souvenir shops and other stores
Early applicants come mainly from hotels that are eager to show overseas travel firms that they comply with health standards that reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections.
Hoteliers told TTR Weekly they had to complete an online form that took a “few hours” to complete information and answer the questions correctly. However, a requirement that they should also supply photos to illustrate their answers caused a few headaches for hoteliers at properties that are closed and staff are on furlough. One hotelier said he had to cancel the online registration process losing data and text answers while he sourced the photos.
In some instances, managers had to recall staff for photo sessions to illustrate the hygiene services referred to in the online form.
The form should have allowed them to download a PDF version that they could complete offline to later copy and paste the answers to the online form and attached photo in one session to save time.
Once hotels and hospitality enterprises are approved, their names will join a list of SHA certified establishments that will be publicised via www.tourismthailand.org/thailandsha. TAT’s domestic and overseas offices will also be responsible to showcase the list.
Tourism operators and those interested in tourism service providers or wanting to apply to participate in the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) programme, can obtain further information https://thailandsha.tourismthailand.org/, or contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Official Line: @thailandsha