By Fatima Anter

During these uncertain times, we’ve seen the closure of attractions for the foreseeable future, and attraction managers have had to familiarise themselves with terms such as “low-touch economy”.

For many tourism businesses and attractions this is a bit harder to implement, but, as with most industries, we have to adapt. In our previous post we listed the four areas attraction managers need to focus on to ensure readiness to open.

These were:

    • Physical distancing measures
    • Plan for contactless transactions wherever possible
    • Increase visible hygiene
    • Communication

This week we’ll cover increasing visible hygiene and communication (current and future).

Make your hygiene protocols visible:

As much as all staff need to be aware of hygiene protocols, visitors also need to be made aware of procedures such as:

    • Wearing of masks – detail on proper use and specifically what is expected should be communicated online and on visible posters/screens onsite for guests to adhere to as well.
    • Hand sanitising and correct handwashing techniques need to be followed by all visitors and staff. Correct handwashing techniques can be printed and put up in all ablution facilities.
    • Surface sanitising to occur after each transaction and instructions can be put up at areas manned by staff. Surface sanitising schedules should be drawn up for other areas which are not used as often. Schedules will depend on footfall and type of usage and surface.
    • Provide additional handwashing or hand sanitizer hygiene stations throughout facilities: on entry, in key walkways, at all attractions, in food and beverage locations, in merchandise shops, at attraction exits, etc. These should also be provided for back-of-house areas, workshops, offices, and break areas.
    • If a visitor or staff member handles cash, hand sanitising should happen immediately afterwards.
    • Place acrylic or other types of barriers/hygiene screens between visitors and staff in frequent, close interaction areas wherever practical to reduce contamination. Clean the barriers/hygiene screens regularly.
    • Ensure in-attraction cleaning/sanitizing team is highly visible to provide reassurance.
    • Communicate with employees and visitors effectively on how to prevent the spread of germs (visible posters/tv screen/signage and online).

Communicate constantly and with everyone:

It is important to communicate your new operational procedures to visitors prior to arrival on your website and social media to establish your expectations and reassure visitors that you’re creating a safer experience.

Communication could include information on face coverings and masks, distancing, sanitising protocols, capacity limits – this could even be a marketing campaign to show visitors that you’re implementing safety measures.

Now is not the time to be doing any hard selling in your communication, but to focus on reassurance and inspiration.  It may be handy to create signage and include in your online communication that although you’re committed to keeping staff and visitors healthy, everyone has to play their part in protecting themselves too.

Communicating with staff is of utmost importance. Ensure that they are informed of changes in operation or related protocols.  It’s crucial that staff receive proper hygiene training and communication needs to be readily available (in staff rooms, back-of-house etc) to remind staff of hygiene practices.

If communication (signage, online, messaging) is clear and hygiene practices are visible, staff and visitors will do their part in ensuring everyone is safe.