A Better Normal

 The Covid-19 pandemic changed the world and the worst hit is the travel Industry. As a Travelife Certified Sustainable Tour Operator, Keralavoyages had a priority to equip ourselves to curate a safe and sustainable protocol in handling our guests in future. Travelife recognized that this is an unprecedented event that requires an unprecedented response. The starting point for a safe and sustainable restart of the industry is therefore a clear understanding and recognition of the changing face of tourism and consumption patterns of the travelers.

Covid-19 Resilient Training

Our team has passed the Travelife Covid 19 Resilient training on common practices, insights and toolkits for interaction and implementation that tourism businesses can be doing now to plan for strong & sustainable recovery ahead of our operations commencing. This training helped us to develop a clear plan for a successful resumption of business operations, helping to restore confidence for staff and customers alike. The extensive training on Covid 19 Resilience by Travelife in association with Switch Asia Grants Program, gave our team a detailed input on the following areas in particular and all other aspects in general.We are committed to continue this training for regular updating and health advisories from time to time.

Nature is in crisis, threatened by biodiversity and habitat loss, global warming and toxic pollution. Failure to act is failing humanity. Addressing the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and protecting ourselves against future global threats requires sound management of hazardous medical and chemical waste; strong and global stewardship of nature and biodiversity; and a clear commitment to “building back better”, creating green jobs and facilitating the transition to carbon neutral economies. Humanity depends on action now for a resilient and sustainable future.

How long does COVID-19 last on surfaces?

Studies suggest that coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). The below chart gives an idea on the life Corona Virus on different surfaces.

Basic protective measures

The best way to protect yourself is the same as you would against any respiratory infection. Practice good hygiene by following basic rules for everyone. We have been guided by an extensive hygiene and safety protocols as per international standards but this page will have only a set of highlights. Anyone wants any further details may please write to our Sustainability Manager who will be happy to help you.

 

Hand hygiene

 Don’t touch your face: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.(Not an easy thing !)

  • Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands: Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose off used tissue & wash hands immediately.

  • Wash your hands frequently: with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when you can’t use soap and water.
     

Why using face masks?

The use of masks is part of a comprehensive package of the prevention and control measures that can limit the spread of COVID-19.When an infected person coughs, they can send showers of tiny droplets – known as aerosols – filled with the virus into the air. In the right conditions, the virus can linger in the air for several hours and still infect people if breathed in. Face masks could help to reduce transmission in the community particularly if used in public transport and crowded areas.

 

Mask & Environmental Concern 

World Health Organization defined & advised 2 types of masks to wear: Fabric mask & Medical mask. Many commercially available masks are made from layers of plastics and are designed to be single use. According to an analysis by scientists at University College London, if every person in the UK used one single use mask each day for a year, an extra 66,000 tons of contaminated plastic waste would be created. According to the best evidence, reusable masks perform most of the tasks of single-use masks without the associated waste stream. 

Social distancing

  • Keep 1.5 -2 meters away from others wherever possible.

  • Avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses while travelling.(Especially to unknown people or someone out of your group)

  • Use contactless payments instead of cash where available.

  • Practice extra care if you are using public transport.

  • Avoid crowds and large public gatherings. Our team will give information according to the itinerary, but still it’s a personal responsibility to be away from unknown crowd.


Our advice on using Public transport

  • Only use public transport if necessary. Please talk to your local Tour Operator for proper advice

  • Avoid crowdedness.

  • Travel at off-peak times.

  • Take a less busy route and reduce the number of changes.

  • Keep a safe distance (1.5m) between yourself and other passengers when boarding or leaving the public transport.

  • Use a single row per person.

  • Do not sit in the seats immediately behind the driver.

  • Stay at the same location during the full trip.

  • Do not travel by public transport with complaints that resemble coronavirus.

  • Prepare Hand Sanitizer and paper tissue.

  • Avoid cash payment. Use the public transport card/ticket instead of using cash to buy a ticket for every trip.

  • Use face masks for passengers on public transport, particularly if physical distancing cannot be guaranteed, paying attention to proper mask use and disposal.

  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds after completing the journey.

  • If possible, use 75% alcohol spraying on the surface of the clothes, shoes (including soles), electronic devices (smartphone, iPad, laptop, etc.), and shopping bags.

 
Manage the risks 

Our priority will be to eliminate the risk. If that cannot reasonably be achieved, then we will minimize the risk to acceptable levels. If we cannot eliminate the risk or minimize it to acceptable levels, then we will not run that part of our operation.

Standard operating practices (SOP)

We operate on General SOPs to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance while complying with the directives of WHO/National Health Advisory and reducing the chances of the spread of COVID-19 infection.

 

Hygiene and personal safety

  • We encourage regular health checks for staff and arrange daily temperature screening.

  • Our Airports and hotels have a temperature screening upon arrivals of the guests.

  • We encourage staff to stay at home if they feel unwell, or if someone if their household has flu-like symptoms.

  • We provide hand washing and sanitizing facilities such as soap, sanitizers and running water to both guests and staff.

  • We always advise staff and customers to wear protective gear (wherever necessary).

  • We always look for ecological and biodegradable alternatives to plastic


​Keeping our customers informed

  • We keep our clients up to date of the travel advisories of your destination(s) for the different target markets to stay up to date about the travel restrictions in place.

  • We will proactively communicate the measures being taken by airlines, tour operators, accommodation providers, cruise operators and attractions to minimize the threat of COVID-19.

  • While respecting the concerns of our guests, we will try to redirect travel flows to regions or activities which are not subject to government restrictions and provide them with the safest ways to undertake their intended trip.

  • We advise our  customers to check the governmental website of the country they are in on a daily basis to keep themselves informed;

  • Please talk to your Tour Operator to understand what travel insurance does and does not cover in relation to COVID-19.

  • We shall address our customers’ concerns openly.

  • Our customers have the right to know what we have done to be better prepared for any risks and crisis in the future.

 

 

PROMOTE LOCAL TRAVEL AND HELP YOUR COMMUNITY 

Our Company has done all possible actions to support the local community and our staff during this crisis. We have not sent out any one of our employees during the covid pandemic and supported financially for their sustenance.

Community impact assessment 

  • We shall protect and guard small, remote, or vulnerable populations that may not have been affected by the virus.

  • We will avoid over-stressing medical and health services in a destination.

  • We respect decisions made by communities who chose to not welcome visitors for a certain period of time.

  • When planning visits to vulnerable communities, we will follow expert advice, which is in line with government regulations and undertaken in consultation with these communities.
     

Suppliers

  • We shall ensure all suppliers adhere to local government and official COVID-19 guidance and protocols specific for their business type (accommodations, restaurants, transport, attractions, etc.)

  • We will give preference to businesses, which meet hygienic standards while also minimizing waste, in particular single-use plastic.

 

Drivers 

  • We ensure our  drivers meet required health and hygiene requirements, as regulated by the local standards and protocols

  • Use protective barriers for the driver, when the driving compartment is not physically separated from the travelers;

  • We will minimize the number of employees using the same vehicle.


​Carrying Capacity 

  • We always assign an appropriate vehicle for the size of the group to avoid overcrowding

  • Carry a capacity that ensures social distancing, except for private safaris or for family members travelling together.
     

Communication with customers

  • We shall identify the concerns of our customers.

  • We make sure that our organization has done all it can to ensure consistent operations our customers need and expect.

  • We shall always inform our customers, if there are delays in processes or timing.

  • We have provided much useful information on our website and still for any additional questions, you may contact our Sustainability Manager through email or phone