Coronavirus hits tourism hard


THE tourism industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, a local hotelier and businessman says.
Sir Peter Barter, the managing director of the Melanesian Tourist Services Ltd based in Madang said, for example, the Sepik cruises aboard the Kalibobo Spirit had to be cancelled because passengers were afraid to travel.
They were also worried about going through the mandatory 14-day quarantine on their return to their countries.
“The Covid-19 is a work in progress with no light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
“It remains indefinite. We have (a plan) to roster staff to one week on and one week off.
“Prevention is the best option.
“We have had meetings with the 150 staff, showing them a film that explains the disease and symptoms and more importantly, the way in which we can reduce the chances of infection, which include washing hands thoroughly with soap, not to smoke or chew buai, stop shaking hands and touching their faces and avoiding body contact.
“We have rearranged tables in our restaurants to allow as much space as possible between chairs.
“Our cleaning staff are continually cleaning door knobs, hand rails, taps in public toilets and in our guest rooms and we have ordered the appropriate disinfectant that can be sprayed to kill the virus.”
Sir Peter said hand sanitisers were made available at their front office, rooms, vehicles and restaurants.
“In the event the virus infects a guest or staff, we will take steps to report this to the Department of Health,” he said.
“Apart from masks we have in stock, we have no preventative clothing to protect our staff, nor have we been advised about the nearest testing facility. We are very conscious of the social effects of Covid-19, the effects it would have towards health and economy.
“We are working together in partnership with the various responsible authorities.”
Sir Peter said the Melanesian Foundation was funding awareness signs to be erected on feeder roads off the Bogia, Ramu and RaiCoast Roads.
The foundation also plans to distribute soap to settlements to encourage the people to wash their hands regularly.

One thought on “Coronavirus hits tourism hard

  • Sorry Sir, I thing its best we stick to the Plans for those in Authority (The Government of the Day). At the end of the Day, it is them who are going to be blamed by Millions in this country for allowing the Deadly disease through their indecisiveness over the pandemic that is consuming people world wide..

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