A new unit has been formulated within the Ministry of Tourism. A team of workers from various tourism departments whose original job functions may have been curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have been trained and redeployed as Compliance officers to make constant checks on properties which have been previously certified. According to Policy and Planning Director St. Clair Soleyn, “The unit is divided into two teams consisting of four people will be deployed according to districts and approximately 5 properties will be inspected daily.”
The process is going to be continuous until the pandemic has been cleared by the World Health Organization a statement outlined. “The certification and compliance process is going to be cyclic as there is currently a growing room-stock of persons who have private homes and rooms that are placed on platforms such as Air BnB and we have to ensure that they conform to the general set of standards as the larger properties”, the Director said.
Appoy Robinson, Environment and Hotel Standards Officer within the Ministry of Tourism and Investment and coordinator of the compliance unit, said following the assessments, properties found to be non-compliant will be notified and recommendations will be made for improvement. He said subsequent checks will be done and any property found to still be in breach of the guidelines and protocols could have their certification to operate revoked.
Owners and operators of all small and large hotel properties inclusive of Air BnB properties with stand-alone units desirous of recommencing business are asked to register for inspection and certification for operation with The Ministry of Tourism and Investment. Over two hundred (200) properties have been certified and approved for operations in Antigua & Barbuda since the reopening of the country’s borders on June 1st.