Last week March 8th, La Vista Resort received its Platinum SafeSeal recognition. SafeSeal is an immediately recognizable emblem for companies that are verified that they adhere to strict cleanliness and hygiene guidelines to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. The platinum level is obtained when resorts pass both an online exam, and in-house training.
At first glance for its many regular visitors, La Vista did not change much – but that is because small interventions can carry great effect. General Manager Andrea Bartlett noted, “The majority of our guests enjoy laying in either the sun or the shade at either of our two on-site pools. In order to encourage social distancing while enjoying themselves at the pool, we have arranged all lounge chairs in sets of two, about 6 feet apart from each other. This allows our guests to still enjoy a relaxing day by the pool without having to worry about their neighbors being too close to them. We also have signage reminding guests of the COVID-19 practices such as keeping your distance, washing/sanitizing hands frequently, and many more.” Additionally, beach towel pick-up locations are now contactless and La Vista streamlined its check-in and check-out process to minimize the amount of time guests need to spend at the front desk when they arrive and before they leave.
In these uncertain times, Bartlett understands the hesitation people have about going on holidays. However, she predominantly sees happy faces and no regrets. “I can ensure any tourist that they will be so glad they came!” She sees St. Maarten as a great getaway option. “We are proud to say that our cases have been at a manageable level for months, and we have been welcoming visitors with negative COVID test results for a while now with no large spike in case numbers.” She stands proud with all of the businesses that have put measures in place to enhance customer safety, who are dedicated to keeping these measures in place to continue welcoming visitors to the island in a safe manner. “We have also heard from many visitors that the process of coming down was much easier than they thought it would be. Many have even extended their stay because they feel so safe on the island. Come on down and see for yourself!”
SafeSeal standards have been devised by medical and occupational safety professionals. The methods and practices have been used to grant acknowledgement of best COVID-19 prevention practices to 1,700 companies in the Caribbean. For St. Maarten, the checklists per sector have been validated to the published governmental guidelines on stmaartengov.org.
By highlighting best practice companies, supporting organizations St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association and occupational health company Medwork want to spread the word that Sint Maarten is making its best effort to be a safe destination. More information regarding SafeSeal can be found at www.shta.com/safeseal and travel information updates at www.stmaartenehas.com.