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Covid-19 Preparation Plan for the Tourism Sector in New South Wales

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Position Statement

From the mid-2020, New South Wales experienced some easing status of its Public Health orders. The situation saw most of its business venues operating with four meters apart from one person to another, distancing themselves through newly established health protocols. The businesses and individuals in New South Wales anticipate that restriction will become more friendly for the rest of 2020. The New South Wales Government has and continues to be responsible for ensuring the issuing and modification of Public Health Orders as the pandemic evolves are in place when and if needed. It develops new guidelines and the safety policies associated with the management of COVID-19 (Benjamin, Dillette, & Alderman, 2020). It is responsible for the reopening of different economic sectors in the region. The Coronavirus pandemic triggering an unprecedented crisis in the tourism industry has continued to experience immense shock.

Covid-19 Preparation Plan for the Tourism Sector in New South Wales

COVID-19 has impacted the tourism industry, causing an approximately 60% decline in the global tourism sector. If the continued shocks and restrictions associated with the disorder continue until December, the reduction will be 80% or thereabouts as per the projections from studies. Domestic tourism is also affected despite the NSW Government trying its best to drive a recovery (Zumla & Niederman, 2020). Sensible and significant policies have been instrumental in dealing with the challenge. The tourism ecosystem should have more than enough strategies to reopen and rebuild different regions destinations. Stimulus packages based on economic developments are instrumental in ensuring that the sector gains the needed boost. The plan tries to create the right strategies in influencing growth in the industry amidst the covid-19 pandemic. These measures depend primarily on how fast the curve can flatten, hoping that there will not be a second wave and the availability of resources to undertake the stimulus packages.

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Background Information on the COVID-19 Pandemic

When it comes to managing the novel coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s countermeasures have flattened the curve. Currently, the federal and provisional governments continue to lift travel bans across the country slowly. The lifting of travel bans is an approach that many hotels and tour operators have gladly welcomed since it gears into getting their business off from the halt and hopefully steer their ventures back to the rails. Despite the changes, not everyone will benefit from the onset; some companies will take a little longer to get to them due to the nature of the products and the services they offer. For example, New South Wales has elegant rooms that have private porches. The luxury rooms want individuals to have breakfast while enjoying the sun. The hotels provide both bed and breakfast. Despite the hotels’ desirable conditions, their beds continue to remain empty due to minimal to no travel at all (Campbell & Doshi, 2020). New South Wales first experienced the fire outbreaks before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the individuals had been living off their savings during the period. The combination of the fire outbreaks and the coronavirus pandemic caused a negative implication on the tourism sector’s growth and development.

Compared to the rest of the world, Australia experienced its coronavirus climax during the conclusion of March. The period saw the country recording over 500 new corona cases daily. The people in the country experienced new restrictions that were formulated and implemented almost daily. On March 25th, the government closed its borders. Less than four days later, Australia went into partial lockdown. Individuals were only allowed to leave their homes to purchase essential goods and services (Cooper & Alderman, 2020). Non-compliance attracted approximately $ 1,500 as a hefty fine. In other words, the country made it impossible for the operations of international and regional tourism operations of any nature even to take place. The most important question revolves around the coronavirus pandemic’s implications on tour operators, travel agents, hotels, and their dependents. 

The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic began in late January. The period had seen the government banning group travel from China. The ban included individual and group travellers, with tour operators paying the hefty price of the ban. Among the most significant agencies comprise of the SeaLink Travel Group. The firm is known to manage several boat tour operators. One of the most considerable travel agency cruises included the Captain Cook Cruises in Sydney. The company reported that it had been forced to suspend all its operations and products, counting huge losses due to that. The company worked with a skeleton team in operating necessary ferry services to ensure commuters can use in Sydney. The company has failed to predict correctly how much longer the disease will continue to affect the tourism sector (Deutsche Welle, 2020). With the lack of a precise recovery date, Captain Cook Cruises’ recovery plan is a conjecture matter. Australia’s quick response to the pandemic is believed to have paid off. Since the beginning of May, the country has seen the declining nature of new infections, making the curve remain flat. Like New South Wales, most states continue to report only very few new cases with each test. 

 The coronavirus precisely hit new South Wales the hardest. New South Wales is Australia’s most populous state. The state had more than 3000 cases of infection (Deutsche Welle, 2020). It also experienced 46 deaths. The State’s Premier was too cautious to ensure that she could promote the right restrictions to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, without compromising on impact while balancing the interests of both the citizens and business entities. She also announced that despite the lockdowns and restrictions, it meant that tourism would soon resume. The Kangaroo Valley associated with New South Wales would also experience a silver lining. January saw the region being ripped by bushfires. The fire, which had hit the area, was considered the scariest thing that the citizens had never experienced. The fire destroyed many parks and killed a variety of wild animals. The situation also saw many businesses losing a significant amount of money (Everingham & Chassagne, 2020). All these, the fire, wildlife death, and property damages have remained an obstacle in building up a Premier recovery plan.

When covid-19 hit the region, most people barely had the time to recover from the fires’ implications. The government saw that lifting some of the travel restrictions would become the first step in having to manage the recovery and steer the state in the right direction (Farell et al., 2020). Many hotels and guest houses instrumental in accommodating wedding celebrations in the area were shut down with the pandemic hitting hard on the state. Since the government had failed to prepare itself significantly, it meant that most of its officers were trying as hard to ensure that they came up with some fast enough regulations to handle the looming issues of coronavirus (Philip & Myers, 2021). Among the pandemic’s issues included an increase in the number of deaths and new cases.

The period also saw the tourism sector experienced significant losses because individuals failed to attend festivals, visit national parks, sleep in hotels, dine in restaurants, and enjoy the long voyages. The situation also saw the tourism industry losing billions of dollars to influence the economy’s positive developments. Many people in the tourism sector have also experienced the loss of their jobs, trying as hard as possible to deal with the negative implications of the economy and the rising living standards. 

With foreign travel starting to revitalize from the ruins, the impacts from it is a bag of mixed feelings because there is a danger of the second wave of coronavirus brought by foreigners simultaneously, the economic importance and gains brought about by the travel cannot be overlooked. Indeed, the Premier is in a dilemma of the best approach in coming up with a less risky recovery plan.

A Statement of the Need

The government has already begun ensuring that the tourism sector is cushioned against the issues that come with the pandemic. For example, the NSW Government has slowly started to lift restrictions associated with travelling. Some businesses in the tourism sector can access liquidity supports. The industry is taking another turn in terms of dealing with the associated implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many will be crucial in ensuring that the tourism sector begins to fully experience the required developments (Zheng, Goh, & Wen, 2020). The following are the measures to be implemented through the plan to create the necessary results: 

 Aligning the Tourism Sector with the Healthcare Sector for employees’ safety

The approach focuses on dealing with the health and safety of the employees working for the tourism industry. It means that the tourism sector has a safe and healthy workplace for its different employees (Gelaw, 2020). The disease’s implications can deal well with stakeholders such as customers, visitors, patrons, and clients. A safe and healthy workplace ensures that many hotels, restaurants, and parks can follow covid-18 preparedness regulations to eliminate the pandemic’s effects. Managers and workers can also become responsible for implementing the policies associated with their employees’ health developments. The collaborative efforts between the tourism and health sectors are instrumental in establishing and maintaining all individuals’ safety and health in the workplace. 

 The procedures in undertaking the partnerships may be administered by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, which is vital to maintaining the overall authority and responsibility of ensuring that the sector remains compliant. Regular testing of employees in different businesses and public areas supported by the tourism sector should be undertaken. Employees should also provide information regarding their family members’ health background concerning their possibility of contracting the virus. With this, it becomes easier to determine the individuals who should go through isolations before being inducted back to their working environments (Hoque et al., 2020). The approach differentiates between healthy employees from those who have reported positive results. 

The Role of Managers and Supervisors in creating Awareness and Capacity Creation

Employees should also be provided with the mandate to support, implement, and comply with the NSW Government recommendations to improve the sector’s preparedness in dealing with the pandemic. Ensuring that employees and their supervisors have the power to deal with the implications of coronavirus makes them become responsible individuals. Employees should be in a position whereby they are not forced to deal with the pandemic (Liu et al., 2020). The lifting of the various mandatory regulations that have banned travels in the past shows that the economy is recovering from the pandemic. With this, employees should play a role in protecting themselves and those they serve in the tourism sector (Chinaz et al., 2020). It means that the NSW government should work with the tourism sector to develop training programs for the industry managers and employees.

The Ministry of Health should introduce programs that focus on strengthening employees with the required knowledge of identifying the disease (Liu et al., 2020). The experience should also evaluate the employees’ capacity to measure customers’ temperature and help them gain quality healthcare services in dealing with coronavirus’s symptoms and implications. Knowledge management among employees and managers is also essential since it uses the employees to assist tourists in managing their health effectively (Gao & Ren, 2020). Since employees are the most significant force in dealing with these approaches’ provisions, they should be accorded with the needed respect. Their role in trying to deal with the implications of the pandemic should be encouraged. 

Empowering Employees to Deal With the Pandemic

 As reiterated in the above segments, it is essential to protect employees concerning the disease’s development and spread. Workers’ involvement is necessary since it allows a successful preparation plan against covid-19. The participation of employees in this process should revolve around ensuring the collection of suggestions and feedback. They should talk about their experiences associated with the implications of the disease in the market. Employees should provide input regarding the period before the pandemic and after it hit the tourism sector. They should communicate about the improvements they would like to experience when the tourism sector opens to the outside world (Lone & Ahmad, 2020). The same applies to giving information on areas of the tourism sector that need improvements and those that should be eliminated. With this, the employees may also identify their colleagues who were victims of the pandemic and devised possible ways to receive the required assistance.

When employees become the central factor to consider in managing the tourism sector’s health status, the industry will improve its operations. This is because the employees will work collaboratively to ensure that introducing the right protocols occurs in dealing with the pandemic’s implications. Employees may ensure that the workplace undergoes cleaning regularly. The same applies to protocols associated with disinfecting the workplace environments to fight the virus and ensure that it is not shared between individuals (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2020). Employing the employees’ efforts in the pandemic will ensure that the sector does not use much money in dealing with the pandemic. Much of the money will be put into sustaining operations and ensuring significant expansions on the industry. This will protect both employees and customers involved in developing the sector to deal with the pandemic while enjoying the tourism products and services provided in the industry. 

Encouragement of Innovation and Investments

 Everyone needs to know that any sector depends heavily on investments and innovation to move forward. In this case, the tourism sector is also a significant factor that requires considerable investment and innovation. The nature of the disease and its implications has somehow made tourists (both local and international) lose faith in its various infrastructure and spaces. It will be necessary for businesses to rebrand themselves to become more defined in operational developments. Innovation means that the companies in tourism will be crucial in exposing themselves to existing and new opportunities in the tourism sector (Mostafanezhad, Cheer & Sin, 2020). The use of technology is an essential framework for companies to ensure that they can remain ahead of the disease’s negative implications. 

 Scope of the Proposed Process

The introduction of policies that are more focused on influencing a high possibility of communication between tourists and the stakeholders in New South Wales is essential. The healthcare system should have an integrated communication system that allows it to become more relevant in influencing the required developments. The flow of information between the healthcare system and the tourism sector should be founded on policies such as Medicaid and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (Nicola et al., 2020). When drugs are available throughout the State of New South Wales state, it means that individuals may have the capacity to deal with any disease with similar symptoms as the novel coronavirus.

Policy development and implementation are crucial for the development of the tourism sector. The main reason for this comes from the fact that it instils specific behavioural consequences among individuals. It ensures that individuals can become careful when accommodating the various protocols that the government has established in the country as countermeasures to dealing with coronavirus (Pachana et al., 2020). They are instrumental in enabling the New South Wales state to open up to the world without considering coronavirus’s negative implications.

The NSW tourist sector needs to consider promoting practical strategies instrumental in reducing funding in marketing the industry (Hall, Scott & Gössling, 2020). The organization of online webinars, workshops, and conferences on different tourism opportunities and discussions regarding the sector’s improvement are instrumental in determining the required development.

Also Study: Steps Taken by International Airlines to Control COVID-19

The government is one of the most instrumental factors to consider when influencing development in the sector. The government has the power to restore confidence among travellers. With this, the industry may stimulate demand with new safe and clean labels for its different operations. The government-private partnerships in the tourism industry will take advantage of the information apps for domestic tourism promotion campaigns and attract more customers to develop the sector. A recovery plan with a comprehensive background is crucial in enabling the industry to gain a more social outcome. It is essential to rebuild destinations and rethink the nature of the tourism sector through such partnerships (Zumla & Niederman, 2020). The tourism sector’s current status is different from the one experienced before the pandemic took a toll on the world. Due to restrictions such as physical distancing and lockdowns, it would be essential to ensure that more than enough videos are undertaken to promote online visitation of parks and other exciting places. 

The government should invest heavily in augmented and virtual reality experiences to enable tourists to feel what they should have even when they are at home and cannot visit their favourite tourist destinations. When the restrictions are fully lifted, the government should ensure that they promote an aspect of affordability for any tourist who visits their goals (Rwigema, 2020). The above factor ensures that individuals can remain attracted to visiting more places, motivating encouraging positive financial collection mechanisms in the sector. The sector depends entirely on campaigns to increase the number of visitors. With this, the government can work with private companies and public institutions in developing social movements that are more focused on attracting a large number of visitors. 

Proposed Process

The plan has shown that the sector has had significant problems in the last nine months. New South Wales began the year with ravaging fires that destroyed infrastructure, tampered with natural ecosystems, and killed some community members. However, the government tried as much as possible to deal with the issues. In January, the coronavirus pandemic created a new turn of events. Since New South Wales has the largest residential areas due to the large number of citizens working and living in its environment, it experienced an exponential increase of positive coronavirus cases and deaths. Despite this, the plan focuses on ensuring therapeutic procedures and protocols such as testing employees, hygiene, and collaborations with the medical sector to improve operations. Partnerships with the government also create safety measures for the industry (Wand et al., 2020). New South Wales government should also undertake some benchmarking activities to interact with other countries’ state and federal governments to identify the type of strategies they have employed in dealing with the novel coronavirus. This means that it should send delegates to these countries to interact with government officials to develop effective strategies for managing cases and increasing deaths in New South Wales.

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