The 3 “C’s” to a Careful Recovery Amidst the Pandemic
By Rodrigo Esponda, Los Cabos Tourism Board Managing Director
In the last year, we have faced the most substantial challenges the world has seen in a century. Tourism, like any other industry, was hit by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Los Cabos had to pause all travel activity for a period of time late March through mid-June 2020 – a challenging decision given the importance of tourism in the destination. Tourism is one of the most important industries in Mexico and provides 4.5 million jobs to the economy. In Los Cabos, 90% of people rely directly or indirectly on the tourism industry. Our hospitality community has a strong commitment to providing a higher standard of care to our visitors – whether vacationers or business travelers, our quality service, sustainability and attention to safety and security is evident.
While we knew a closure would limit our capability to offer great connection to nature, culture and each other, we knew even more so that to support the local economy, our community and our future growth would mean that focusing on health and safety was a top priority. We took a slow, careful and cared-for approach to recovery with every decision thereafter. No choice we made that might have hindered tourism growth was easy, but each decision was made with a resilient spirit and an eye towards the future. During this challenging time, there were three key factors that played a strong role in the destination’s recovery and decision making along the way:
- Collaboration – I’m proud to have seen Los Cabos grow to have such a strong public-private collaboration. This has helped streamline communication protocols amongst hotels, the airport, suppliers, venues, local authorities, health authorities and more. Alignment across partners has helped to get everyone on board to provide everyone a higher standard of care. Los Cabos’ strategic approach and stringent safety protocols. This level of collaboration has also allowed meetings and events to return and continue in a careful and structured manner with specific meetings guidelines for attendees, organizers, venues and providers.
- Consistency – In Los Cabos, we thread our safety-first approach through everything we do, which is critical in providing our higher standard of care. This is important as travelers are looking for reliable destinations that have properly implemented health and safety protocols at every step. To build trust with our travel partners and international visitors, we created the Los Cabos with Care – A Safer Way to Get Away initiative, which is a layered health and safety protocol system that was implemented across the entire destination. Additionally, Los Cabos partnered with Sharecare health security VERIFIEDTM, becoming the world’s first travel destination to be validated by industry experts with global standards across the majority of the destination’s hotels and Intertek Cristal, the highest standard of health and safety protocols in the industry. A remarkable recognition for the Los Cabos travel industry and a testament to the commitment and resilience of the destination.
- Customized Approach – During uncertain times, customization is imperative as every situation demands a specific response and flexible approach. Thanks to Los Cabos’ ongoing collaboration with authorities and key partners, and consistent security protocols, the destination has been able to show a higher standard of care by customizing its response to international requirements established by the CDC, launching an efficient COVID-19 Testing Program. With some changes happening by the day or week throughout the pandemic, maintaining close and streamlined communications to enact change is critical.
An industry that works together with these three values in mind will find that a purposeful recovery is a powerful recovery. The destination’s swift and unified response resulted in a 75% recovery of all travel activity in just under six months since reopening. In a time when travel is being reimagined and health and safety have become the priority, it is our continued commitment to provide a safer environment for everyone and these values guide us along the way.