On Monday January 11th, the Bureau of Tourism (BOT) and the Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) met with representatives from the Palau Red Cross Society (PRCS), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to plan the first Pandemic Safety Certification training session for representatives from the Tri-Org (Palau Chamber of Commerce, Palau Visitors Authority and the Bureau of Tourism). This training session will take place on January 18th and 19th at the Palau Community College (PCC) Assembly Hall.
In response to the onset of COVID-19, BOT recently promulgated the Pandemic Safety Regulation for Tourism which became effective on November 18th, 2020. The purpose of this regulation is to mitigate health risks for visitors and residents during a pandemic, and to protect Palau’s reputation as a safe and responsible tourism destination. It requires that if and when the President of the Republic of Palau or the Minister of Health declares an emergency due to a pandemic, businesses within the tourism sector will not be able to engage in business with tourists for the duration of that pandemic, unless they are implementing measures that align with international standards and best practices for safety and sanitation. Under this regulation, tourism businesses are specified as accommodations, food service establishments and tour operators, both public and private, that engage in business with tourists. The Pandemic Safety Regulation and Certification Program was developed in consultation with the PVA, PCOC, and BTA, beginning with the creation of the “Restart Tourism Toolkit” back in July 2020. This initial toolkit has since been reviewed and revised, to form the Pandemic Safety Guidelines for the certification program.
IOM has offered to fund the Pandemic Safety Certification program to create training and awareness materials as well as engage the private sector. In addition, PRCS is currently developing a session plan with the guidelines to train the trainers on Monday, January 18th from 8-12pm and 1-5pm and Tuesday, January 19th from 8-12pm at the PCC Assembly Hall. This will be a full 1.5 day training session. PCC has offered the use of its Assembly Hall for this initial training session at no cost. The purpose of this session is to train Tri-Org representatives and a number of industry representatives that have been identified as potential trainers, in order to give Tri-Org an idea of what training sessions for tourism businesses would look like, as well as an opportunity to fine-tune the materials for the program. After this initial training, BOT will inform tourism businesses and the general public of the training schedules and any other details moving forward.

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