With the tourism sector getting ready to welcome the return of international visitors on June 15, one of the Caribbean and Jamaica’s biggest attractions says it is far advanced in regard to health and safety protocols, as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Chukka Caribbean Adventures in St. Ann, with more than 800 employees locally and 1,000 more at locations across the Caribbean, told JIS News that it has instituted a programme – dubbed ‘Chukka Checked’ – which is designed to ensure the well-being of its team members and guests “throughout our nature adventure experiences”.
“On our water-based tours, all water equipment will be sanitised before and after every use. Also, no footwear will be allowed on board and all boats/vessels will be sanitised after every activity,” explained Chukka’s Group Marketing Manager, Khristina Rose.
The company, which operates more than 60 adventure tours for all ages in Jamaica, Belize, Dominican Republic, and Turks and Caicos Islands, including horseback riding, zip line canopy, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safari, river tubing/kayaking, river rafting, waterfalls, power snorkelling and catamaran, further stressed that there will be full sanitisation of all areas prior to and after all tours, and employees are mandated to adhere to all health and safety guidelines, including social distancing.
“The same procedure will be applied to our motorised and culinary tours and also horseback riding. Our Chukka team members are dedicated to delivering clean, safe and fun nature adventures. Guests can expect to create memorable experiences with the peace of mind that their well-being is of upmost importance,” Ms. Rose said.
For his part, Chukka Caribbean Adventures’ Chief Executive Officer, Marc Melville, said like other attractions and tourism entities, the COVID-19 pandemic had taken its toll on operations, and everybody is now eager to return to some semblance of normality.
“We have used this period productively to focus on the things that could be improved. We re-engineered our sales and marketing programmes, conducted staff training, secured our assets, made repairs and maintenance, did location improvement, and focused a lot on information technology (IT),” Mr. Melville explained to JIS News.
“We will be relaunching with electronic check-in and waivers, plus a myriad of other IT projects. We made a list of all the things we wanted to improve about the business, team and structure, and we used this period to focus on that. The truth is that our business can only return to a sense of normalcy as fast as our clients are comfortable doing experiences and activities, such as ours, as we are a very interactive, social and fun business. So we’ll be guided by their level of comfort,” he said.
Mr. Melville said there is no doubt that the demand is there, and it “is just going to boil down to the comfort level of our guests and the regulations of the Governments in markets we operate in”.
“We have budgeted for receiving customers for this summer at different levels and look forward to a decent winter season,” he noted.