Azerbaijan Tourism Board (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 announced the launch of an innovative program called SAHMAN (Sanitation and Hygiene Methods and Norms).
“SAHMAN,” meaning “immaculateness” in Azerbaijani, is a nationwide campaign set to transform Azerbaijan’s existing health, safety and hygiene standards.
Supported by the UNWTO, ATB is finalising talks with international firm PwC to audit and certify these standards, which will ensure safe conditions for travel post the pandemic.
As part of the countrywide measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, SAHMAN will culminate with the launch of Azerbaijan’s Domestic Tourism Campaign this summer.
“The current global pandemic has brought to light the need to reassess and enhance our standards across the industry. 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,” said Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board.
To launch the campaign, ATB and STA have partnered with the Azerbaijan Hotel Association (AHA), Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (AQTA), regional municipalities and DMOs, with plans to also invite other government sectors to commit to maintaining top-quality standards across the country.
The programme will focus on accommodation, F&B and touristic transportation 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.