We met with Lic. Leopoldo Lucas – President of ITUREM (Municipal Tourism Entity of the city of Puerto Iguazú) to talk about Iguazú as a “safe destination”. In the month of November, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) awards Iguazú the “Safe Travels” seal, certifying with international standards that it is a safe tourist destination.
What is the “Safe Travels” seal?
The Safe Travels seal implies many things. First, it means that the destination complies with the protocols for all tourist activity required worldwide. In addition, it shows that a lot of work has been done to study and adapt these protocols together with all local tourism actors, and then to send them. to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the National Ministry of Tourism and the National Tourism Promotion Institute (INPROTUR), for their approval. Finally, this seal means that today we can go out and promote our wonders, our attractions , all our tourist offer with this seal, and that internationally it is understood that it is a safe destination. This shows that we are prepared in terms of biosecurity protocols to receive people from all over the world.
How was the seal obtained?
The seal was born from the pandemic, to give tourists security regarding the chosen destination, defined by the World Health Organization (WTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for all tourist destinations around the world. . When we found out about it, we began to review the biosafety protocols that we had prepared for Iguazú, in relation to international orders, and we diagrammed ours with certain adjustments. We had those protocols reviewed by local specialists, people who are here in Iguazú – which is very important to highlight – and in August we sent the protocols to the World Travel and Tourism Council. INPROTUR received the seal, which became for all of Argentina the arm of the World Travel and Tourism Council, to certify provinces and destinations. In November, Puerto Iguazú and Bariloche were the first tourist destinations in the country to receive this important “Safe Travels” seal.
Specifically, in which Iguazú is a safe destination (in terms of tourist services, hotels, restaurants, etc.)?
Iguazú is a safe destination first of all because it has been prepared, and the work that has been carried out for many years in sustainability had a lot to do with this. We already had a step forward regarding knowing how to work with protocols. On the other hand, the breadth of the destination is also important: we have a very broad destination, an open destination, which allows us to comply with all those protocol requirements, such as distancing and fresh air. The Iguazú destination offers “nature tourism”.
What future prospects are there for Iguazú as a destination?
Today we know from surveys and the demand itself, that the trend is to prioritize nature destinations, green and open destinations. However, these destinations must be safe: it means that each part of the tourist offer must be armed with these biosecurity protocols, providing peace of mind to the tourist, the worker and also the local community. I think that step by step we were putting together a safe destination and we also began to understand what were those trends that we had to take into account. Surely, the number of visitors will be less than in previous years, essentially for biosafety reasons. But our priority remains the same: to contribute, through all the professionals in the sector, to a safe, emotional, unforgettable, and unique experience in our destination. For the community of Puerto Iguazú, it is also important to know that we have worked as a tourist destination and we have prepared ourselves to receive this tourist demand in the future. That demand will take care of both his family, the worker and the community.