Tourism entrepreneurs believe that labels saying "You are safe here" could increase sense of safety for the upcoming season, giving tourists confidence that all Health Board requirements are met at the particular location. The Enterprise Estonia campaign began in Pärnu and Tartu last year and 270 companies have applied and received the designation.
In addition to Tartu and Pärnu, the islanders of Saaremaa have gotten off the tourism season blocks best this year, hoping that "You are safe here" labels could lead to a successful summer.
"As of yesterday (Saturday - ed), we had 52 members. Accommodation and catering entrepreneurs make up most of that with some leisure locations also included. But for foreign tourists, the knowledge of us coming out and announcing that we are dealing with safety and it is critical to us - it is a criteria of choice for them," Saaremaa municipality tourism specialist Kristina Mägi told ERR.
A label applicant is obligated to enforce all requirements and recommendations provided by the Health Board, meaning that a "You are safe here" label should not be considered just another label.
Liina Maria Lepik, director of Enterprise Estonia's tourism development center, said entrepreneurs hold full responsibility, everyone should therefore notify the center if label-carrying companies do not comply with the requirements.
"There will certainly be spot checks, everyone has to be prepared for their label to be checked. And if they do not comply with what has been promised, it is a reputation threat for us all. We take it very seriously and in that case, the label would be removed and a respective mark is added to the Visit Estonia database, that this service provider has had their label removed because they were not responsible," Lepik said.
Terje Nepper, owner of six different tourist-oriented catering and accommodation destinations in Saaremaa, has applied for the designation in all of her six locations.
"I am asked often, already asking ahead by telephone - how will we ensure all these requirements that are mandatory today and how will we guarantee that they will not receive the infection here. We confirm that we monitor them, monitor the health of our people, monitor the health of our clients. We have disinfectants, we are able to maintain distance and all else that comes along with it," Nepper said.
What does "You are safe here" stand for?
According to Enterprise Estonia's article on the designation, the mark of "You are safe here" at the applied Estonian destinations and companies means the establishment ensures, as follows:
- does not allow their employees to come to work with Covid-19 symptoms;
- has staff regularly disinfecting their hands;
- informs all visitors about the Covid-19 Code of Conduct;
- has enough space indoors for staff and guests to keep a distance;
- has disinfectants available for everyone;
- has staff monitoring guests and sending people with symptoms home;
- will thoroughly clean the surfaces that have come in contact with a person displaying symptoms;
- does not sell alcohol to people with signs of intoxication and asks intoxicated people to leave;
- constantly ventilates the indoors areas.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste