The Caminito del Rey, Ardalestur and Galeota Tourism in Ardales, Sondytour Viajes (Travel) Agency) in Antequera, El Caminito del Rey Guesthouse, La Garganta Hotel and Restaurant, Casa Domingo country guesthouse and the town museum in Álora have gained this award named 'Covid Safe Place'. These are the first places which were given the above distinction in the Province of Málaga, as well as in Andalusia.
Referring to the above reward, Margarita del Cid said that "on its way to recovery, tourism firstly has to include the maximum safety of visitors", and that the health and safety are new values and an inevitable condition in tourism industry. Therefore, varied public bodies have been developed protocols and safety measures which can be used by tourist establishments in order to guarantee the best COVID-19 response measures for their clients and staff.
Ms Del Cid explained that the use of these protocols would lead to voluntary participation in the awards, such as those obtained by the previously mentioned companies, that recognize the tourist establishments and services which meet all stipulated health and safety measures. In accordance with these actions, the Costa del Sol started up consulting and support services in tourism industry in order to build trust with customers and support companies in this difficult situation.
This company's representative claimed that "the great effort carried out in these hard times is bound to have positive outcome and, therefore, we won't let our guard down. In the name of the County Council and the Costa del Sol Tourism and Planning, I say that we will do everything possible to revive the economy as soon as possible and go back to job creation and economic growth."
Through the SICTED Project, the Secretary of State for Tourism supports the tourist establishments which participate in it during the process of adaptation to the 'new normal' after the coronavirus health crisis.
For that purpose, a good practice guidance was created by the Secretary of State for Tourism and the Spanish Ministry of Health, together with the Spanish Quality Tourism Institute (Instituto de Calidad Turística Español, ICTE) in order to reduce the risk of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-19 in tourism industry.
The establishments involved in the SICTED project, which were chosen at the Extraordinary Inter-Destination Committee meeting, on 31st July, have implemented all necessary health and safety measures to reduce SARS-COv-2 infections. They also developed contingency plans, improved cleaning and maintenance actions and trained their staff.
Afterwards, there was an external assessment which guaranteed strict fulfilment of all the requirements which form part of the SICTED COIVD-19 Advanced Good Practice Guide. This was meant to provide their clients with more controlled and safe service.
The SICTED Caminito del Rey project was started in 2018. It was lead by the Environmental, Inland Tourism and Climate Change Department of the County Council of Málaga, and assisted by the Costa del Sol Tourism and Planning. Its aim was to improve the quality of the tourist service around the Caminito del Rey. Today, seventy-five companies from Antequera, Álora, Ardales, Carratraca, Campillos and Valle de Abdalajís participate in this project.