Iguazu, a safe destination: Iguazu Falls receives the Safe Travels stampBy Iguazú Argentina
28 de November 2020 • Por Iguazú Argentina
We met with Leopoldo Lucas, President of ITUREM (Municipal Tourism Board of the city of Puerto Iguazú) to talk about Iguazu as a “safe destination”. In November, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) granted Iguazu with the “Safe Travels” stamp, certifying all international standards apply to make it a safe tourist destination.
What does the “Safe Travels” stamp stand for?
The Safe Travels seal implies many things. First, it means that the destination complies with the global protocols for safe tourism activity required worldwide.In addition, it demonstrates all the work that has been done in studying and adapting these protocols together as a destination, with all the actors of local tourism. We submitted the proposal as one destination to the WTTC, to the Argentine Ministry of Tourism and to the National Institute for Tourism Promotion (INPROTUR), for their approval. This stamps means that today we can safely promote our natural wonder, activities and attractions, our entire tourist offer, and that around the globe people will see Iguazu as a safe destination. Finally, this shows the world that we are prepared in terms of biosecurity protocols to receive visitors and make sure they´ll enjoy their stay.
How was the stamp obtained?
The stamp was born with the pandemic to give tourists security regarding a chosen destination, as defined by the World Health Organization (UNWTO) and the WTTC around the world . Rapidly, we began to review the biosafety protocols that we had developed for Iguazu Falls in relation to international rules and we redefined ours with certain local adjustments.We had these protocols reviewed by local specialists, people who are here in Iguazu and in August we sent the protocols to the WTTC. INPROTUR received the stamp on behalf of all of Argentina to certify regions and destinations. In November, Puerto Iguazu and Bariloche were the first tourist destinations in the country to receive this important “Safe Travels” stamp in the country.
Specifically, how is Iguazu a safe destination (in terms of tourist services, hotels, restaurants, etc.)?
Iguazu is a safe destination primarily because it has grown sustainably for the past years and we were used to work with protocols. Besides, the impact of human activity on the area itself has been very limited leaving the environment as it naturally is, making it easy for us to keep physical distance and outdoors activities first for everyone. We´re also lucky to have warm and pleasant weather all year round.
What future prospects do you foresee for Iguazu as a tourist destination?
Today we know from the surveys and the demand itself that the trend is to prioritize nature, green and wide-open destinations. However, these destinations must be safe: it means that each part of the tourist offer must be armed with those biosafety protocols, keeping visitors, workers and the local community at large, safe.The number of visitors will surely be lower than in previous years, essentially for biosecurity 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 Puerto Iguazu community it is also important to know that it has worked as one destination and we are ready to receive visitors now and in the future in a safe and secure way for all.