Successful opening of the National Hospitality Congress and ExpoCotelco 2020
With the participation of more than 2,500 attendees and important authorities, the first day of the event that is held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic
The academic agenda called "Challenges of the hotel industry in Colombia post covid19", has had excellent comments. The conference of the president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council Gloria Guevara, who spoke about the new tourism competitiveness in the post-covid era19 - challenges and key factors of success, gave many lights to hoteliers on the importance of staying competitive in the new reality that we are living and to stay united working in the search of strategies that generate security for tourists to stimulate them to travel. In this sense, she presented four principles for the recovery of the sector:
A coordinated international approach to establish effective operations, reopen borders in a coordinated manner between the public private sector and other countries. Possible air corridors to countries with similar circumstances (political and tourist doctors) to remove barriers, eliminate non-essential travel alerts, replace 14-day quarantine measures throughout the country with quarantines for positive cases; have an internationally agreed framework of comprehensive testing and tracing programs, with acceptance of basic data exchange for tracing.
Implement the Seamless Journey Experiens by adding health components, combining with the latest technologies.
Before the vaccine, investment in extensive rapid tests of less than an hour trust them in more than 97% and at low cost (less than U $ 15) approximately, to be applied before departure (symptomatic and asymptomatic). Make an international framework agreement for the tests (type, application process and term).
Post-vaccination, potentially integrating a digital record into the traveler's information before the trip begins. Adoption of global health, hygiene and safety protocols and common standards: provide consistency, reduce risk and generate confidence in the traveler that it is safe to travel again. They are seen adopting standard policies (eg: where, how and when to wear the mask). Continuous government support to the sector, in terms of tax incentives, liquidity, worker protection and investment promotion.
Regarding the panel "Post-Covid Scenario - an international vision" that had the participation of very high-level international panelists such as Maribel Rodríguez, Vice President of WTTC; Helen Kouyoumdijian, Executive Vice President of FEDETUR (Federation of Tourism Companies of Chile); Holbach Muñetón, president of FENECAPTUR (National Federation of Provincial Chambers of Tourism of Ecuador); Jordi Busquets, advisor to FEHGRA (Gastronomic Hotel Business Federation of the Argentine Republic); Mar de Miguel, General Secretariat of AEHM (Madrid Hotel Business Association), panel moderated by Dr. Gustavo A. Toro, Cotelco's national executive president, demonstrated the situation of the hotel and tourism sector in different countries of the world and how it has developed this period in which everyone has been affected by the Covid in different nations, but mainly experiences and actions that have been generated from this difficult situation were shared, and it became evident once again, how united the public private sector and actors of the tourist chain including tourists, tourism will be able to resume the development that it had been having throughout the world.
The talks prepared by SOHO APP on transformation and technological adaptation of the hotel sector in an even more digitized scenario and the webinar called creative thinking presented by SPRING mattresses, were well received by the attendees.
During the installation ceremony, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, José Manuel Restrepo Abondano commented on the way in which the Government has faced the crisis generated by Covid and on the multiple measures that have benefited the tourism sector. He affirmed “770 measures, never in the history of the country have so many measures been taken, and all seeking to benefit the business sector. Between January and September, credit guarantee lines of almost 15 trillion pesos have been extended (…) Thus we have accompanied more than 500 thousand companies of the million 700 thousand that exist in the country (…) The line of 2, 3 billion for microenterprises and we hope to support more MSMEs with these mitigation lines. In a second stage is the selective reactivation, which allows through the protocols for accommodation, beaches, public places for people's recreation, to build confidence in the tourist and that it is possible to go out to do tourism in our country safely ”.
The Minister also commented: “Next comes the accompaniment to the tourism sector called commitment to Colombia, talking about how the Government can support the efforts of the sector, this as a first step. The second step is focused on the economic incentive in the bill with an urgent message, which has had the best response from the congressmen, an action led by Vice Minister Julián Guerreo seeking to eliminate VAT for one more year; the reduction in air ticket rates, hopefully permanently, which will also favor the hotel industry; eliminate the energy surcharge for one more year; the modification to the vallejo services plan; strengthen hotel infrastructure projects with public-private alliances, among other points. It seeks to strengthen the country's competitiveness in the sector, support sustainable tourism and advance in the balance of the actors that provide tourism services. We have been generating a national promotion strategy, starting with local tourism, accompanying these projects, with the support of governments. Formalization continues to be strengthened and all within the framework of improvement, with the generation of trust. So much so that we are nominated in the Word Travel Awards, remaining in the view of foreign tourism organizations, in a transition to a new normal towards sustainable and competitive tourism ”.
Minister Restrepo closed his speech by commenting "here is a government and a minister conscious of continuing to accompany tourism in reactivation and formalization, through the bill that modifies the General Tourism Law."
In this regard, the national executive president of Cotelco Gustavo Adolfo Toro Velásquez commented: “We know that, working hand in hand with the National Government, we will be able to get back on track and overcome this ordeal that the covid19 has imposed on us. Precisely in search of strategies that support the reactivation of our sector, we have prepared for our Congress an academic agenda called "Challenges of the hotel industry in Colombia post Covid 2020", in order to analyze actions focused on the reconstruction of tourism from sustainability , that generate trust and security, and that allow us to evolve towards greater competitiveness”.