Azerbaijan launches health and safety campaign

Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) has launched an innovative health and safety campaign to reboot tourism.

ATB, together with the State Tourism Agency (STA) of the Republic of Azerbaijan and in cooperation with Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (AQTA), has launched an innovative programme called SAHMAN (Sanitation and Hygiene Methods and Norms).

SAHMAN means immaculateness in Azerbaijani, and is a nationwide campaign set to transform Azerbaijan’s existing health, safety and hygiene standards.

Supported by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), it reaffirms the country’s commitment towards providing a safe tourism destination for citizens and international visitors.

ATB is working with international consultancy firm PwC to audit and certify these standards.

SAHMAN will adopt a holistic approach to fuel innovation across the tourism industry, ensuring the involvement of all relevant public and private partners, and the safety of those working in the sector. It will culminate with the launch of Azerbaijan’s Domestic Tourism Campaign this summer.

Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of ATB has commented, “The SAHMAN programme calls upon all stakeholders in Azerbaijan to adopt even better practices in their businesses in the interest of safeguarding public health and supporting the regrowth of the industry. With this long-term shift in behaviour, we aim to ensure that these higher standards will be upheld beyond the current crisis.”

The campaign is also supported by the Azerbaijan Hotel Association and regional municipalities and marketing organisations, with plans to also invite other government sectors to commit to maintaining top-quality standards across the country.

The programme will focus on accommodation, food and tourist transport providers – three key aspects of the tourism value chain.

Stakeholders will be expected to commit to sector-specific checklists introducing initiatives such as mandatory precautionary measures, safe distancing, disinfection, quarantine areas, cleaning methodology, and more.

Participants will be supported and incentivised through three primary support programmes – training, amenities and promotion – all financed by the STA.

Implementation will be carried out by enrolling in the programme through; participating in online and onsite training and certification; labelling; and validation.