The SHA scheme aims to elevate Thailand’s tourism industry standards and develop confidence among international and domestic tourists. It is also intended to prepare Thai tourism operators to be ready for the return of tourism post COVID-19, Dr Panpimol explained yesterday (June 24).
“SHA is a safety standard for tourists to check the places that have been allowed to reopen,” she said.
“We also give business owners suggestions through the TAT website and send officers to inspect places periodically, in order to stimulate them to prepare for new normal and create health safety for business owners, workers, and visitors,” she added.
Dr Panpimol urged the owners of 10 types of tourism businesses to register to receive SHA certification: restaurants; hotels or accommodation and conventions; recreational activity and tourist attractions; transport operators; travel agencies; health and beauty service operators; department stores and shopping centres; tourism sport venues; theatres, cinemas and other venues for entertainment and activities; and souvenir shops.
“The places to receive certification must have three types of basic health and safety measures in place: measures to maintain the hygiene of building and equipment, cleanliness management to protect the virus [COVID-19] from spreading, and protection measures for workers,” Dr Panpimol explained.
“The Department of Health has participated in the standardization of SHA by using sanitation and environmental health rules, such as indoor air quality management, waste management, sanitation in hotels and restaurants, among others,” she added.
In announcing the joint-launch of the SHA scheme in late May, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the guidelines will urge operators to legally register their businesses and work with local hotel and tourism business associations, as soon the agency will introduce an incentive scheme for certified hotels that operate legally.
According to the THA, there are about 1.8 million rooms nationwide. But registered hotel rooms account for only 800,000 rooms.
Mr Yuthasak said the coronavirus outbreak can be an opportunity to create a new tourism platform that focuses on safety and hygiene for tourists, as going forward people will look for accommodations providing trustworthy standards.
The number of illegal rooms will be reduced automatically as people seek products with high standards, he said.
“The TAT plans to provide support via incentives for the additional costs from new hygiene equipment to legal operators that receive the SHA standard, especially small and medium-sized hoteliers who need support to adjust to the new normal,” Mr Yuthasak added.
To register for SHA accreditation visit ThailandSHA.tourismthailand.org
An explanation of the registration process is available in thai language here.