Travel beyond COVID-19. What travel will look like during & after COVID-19. A series of interviews with our top Hospitality and Tourism partners from around the world. Updates, Awareness, Wisdom & Education.
Interview with Karim Sallem. Senior Production Manager at MYDMC Tunisia.
According to the WTTC – World TraveL & Tourism Council, Tunisia has received the #SAFETRAVELS Stamp.
Sidi Bou Said
Q&A / Travel beyond COVID-19
Q&A Travel beyond COVID-19. Insight shared from out travel partners around the globe. For follow up questions, kindly contact us directly.
When are you foreseeing your destination opening back for tourists ?
Tunisia officially reopened its borders on June 27, 2020 allowing tourists to enter. After more than three months with its borders being locked down, Tunisia opened its sea, land and air borders to select tourists starting on June 27th.
What measures have you taken to reopen post COVID-19 ?
Please address sterilization measures, security, mandates on staff and guests testing, transportation etc.
Precautions and hygiene measures to be observed when receiving and transferring guests
> Staff in charge of welcoming guests (representatives, assistants and drivers) must wear a nasal-mouth mask.
> Staff must carry a small bottle of hydro-alcoholic solution and a packet of tissue in their pocket.
> Consider providing masks for clients who do not have any.
> Maintain a distance of more than one meter between guests.
> Limiting the number of customers transported to 50% of the seating capacity while respecting the distance of 1 meter between passengers (one seat occupied every two seats and diagonal positioning).
> For vehicles with 7 seats or less, observe the 50 % capacity and distance
> Total and systematic disinfection of the transport vehicle before and after each service.
> Reinforcement of disinfection operations on all surfaces to be touched with hands and the inside of windows on the passenger side.
> Frequent and systematic maintenance of the ventilation and air-conditioning systems of transport vehicles.
> The vehicle must be ventilated before and after transfer.
> Disinfection of the transport vehicle must be carried out in accordance with a predefined 4 procedure describing the method to be used, the cleaning and disinfection equipment , materials and the product used.
> Disinfection must be carried out with disinfectants approved by the Ministry of Health.
Hygiene measures to be observed during restaurant service
> The menu card and the bill holder must be disinfected before and after each guest’s use.
> Paper towels are required for each service.
> Glasses and cups must be either single-use or made of glass with strict obligation and instruction for washing and disinfection of glasses T° > 80°C
> Use of the single-use disposable products, if necessary, strict instruction for the application of hygienic procedures for cleaning and disinfecting the different types of plates and cutlery should be observed.
> The tableware (salt, pepper, oil and vinegar) is provided at the guest’s request with cleaning and disinfection after each use.
> Disinfect the bottles of beverages before putting them on the guest’s table.
> After each handling of coins (or cheques) disinfect the hands with the hydro-alcoholic gel (favor electronic payment).
> The table topping must be changed after each guest’ s use.
> Restaurant linens must undergo a laundry cycle that includes a treatment at a temperature maintained at 65°C for at least 10 minutes.
How do you plan to enforce these measures and how will you ensure compliance?
We are in constant coordination with all our suppliers to ensure that all measures are respected. Despite the measures taken by the government to tackle wrongdoings, the role of civil society, guests and staff remain essential to ensure the respect of all measures.
How will these measures affect the overall regular experience ?
We are making sure that there is no impact to the overall experience of our guests, when following all the measures. We always assign a dedicated person to follow up with all our groups and staff to take the right actions on time to avoid any inconvenience.
Booking & Payment Flexibility Terms and Conditions during and after COVID-19 time.
Conditions and cancellation policies have been updated since the beginning of the pandemic. As dealing with flight companies and various suppliers we are on permanent alert to adjust our policies depending on guests needs and obligations.
Will you be offering any special promotions, packages and/or value adds?
To avoid crowds we are making our tours and visits more exclusive, by booking special timing in museums and privatizing some activities.
How will you plan to maintain a level social distancing ?
As mentioned before, crowds are avoided and exclusive visits are planned.
Tell us about the current quarantine and restrictions within your destination ?
The country was rated as the first ‘Covid-safe’ Mediterranean destination for the summer tourist season, according to information released by Tunis-based professional services firm Targa Consult and all restrictions have been removed since June 27th.
Please add any additional information you believe would be helpful to raise travelers trust levels in order to visit ?
Tunisia is among the top 7 countries with the potential to become major tourist destinations in the post-COVID period, FORBES reported on its website. As you you well Carlos, being a big fan of our country – visiting us every year, Tunisia is a true gem of a destination. We are looking forward, hosting your Tunisia Small Travel Group 2020.
Now on a lighter and positive note,
Have you taken advantage of this quiet months, to curate new experiences or discover new locations/destinations? If YES Which ?
Definitely, we are working on promoting other areas and sites like the « Cap Bon » region or the « Wine Route » tour.
What is your favorite experience at your destination that you wish to share with my clients/readers?
Mine would be the « Indulge for a magical sunset » tour as after a private tour of the premises with the Museum Curator, you will enjoy a sunset cocktail on the terrace with a breathtaking sea view over the Gulf of Tunis.
My own Tunisia Experience
It is not a big secret, for those who follow my Journal and Instagram, that I am indeed, a huge fan of Tunisia and Northern Africa as a whole. I try to visit once a year, and each time discover new destinations, highlights, experiences and moments. Each year I host my own Tunisia Small Travel Group, this year 2020, is still scheduled to take place October 19th – 25th.
Some of my favorite experiences – while in Tunisia, have been in Tunis, Tozeur, El Jem, Kairouan, Sidi Bou Said, Carthage, Sousse among others. Just on the other side of Mediterranean sea, awaits a land dotted with impressive monuments dating from Roman times, culinary delights and eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tunisia breathes history. During your stay you will stroll through alleyways, markets, squares, meet the sun at the top of the dunes, wander through the old medina and feel the amazing energy of the authentic villages: welcome to a journey from 1100 BC to the 17th Century. Tunisia famous for its exquisite leather goods, painted tiles and plates, hand-woven silk and linen, discover an art revealing ancestral know-how. This is Tunisia, just a bit different.
Some useful resources you might want to keep in mind, for your upcoming travels during and after COVID-19.
IATA Travel Center
US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs
CDC Center for Disease Control & Prevention
World Health Organization
Global COVID-19 Flights & Travel Restrictions
World Travel & Tourism Council
World Travel Restrictions UN World Food Programme
Observatory on Border Crossings Status due to COVID-19
Health travel advice for all Countries