São Paulo – Brazilian travel agency Líder Corporate Eventos & Lazer (Lidercorp), whose destinations include Arab countries, has created its own biosafety stamp to point clients towards destinations, hotels, ocean cruise companies, car rental companies, and airlines in pandemic times. The stamp is awarded to travel products in Brazil and the world that embrace best practices in hygiene and cleanliness, and whose staff is trained to perform under standards designed to prevent infection by Covid-19.
Lidercorp is a primarily corporate travel-oriented business. Its GoToBEY division specializes in Brazil-Lebanon travel for Arabs and descendants. Other divisions focus on corporate travel and events and leisure trips for companies’ employees. Lidercorp also boasts an online platform for ticket sales and other services.
One of the agency’s owners, Marcos Destro (pictured), said activity slowed by about 60% from March through May, with demand starting to pick back up in June and more so in July. At the peak of the pandemic, the bulk of sales were in corporate travel. Staff from Lidercorp client companies also had to travel to see close family who’d had Covid-19-related health issues. “Leisure travel really did grind to a halt,” said Destro, noting that some people have rescheduled, while others have made purchases for future trips.
Most countries have closed their airports to foreign travelers during the pandemic. Now, as Covid-19 numbers wane and airports reopen in many places around the world, business is picking up for Lidercorp again, while care over people’s health remains essential. “Our stamp is endorsing suppliers who are concerned and careful,” Destro told ANBA. The stamp is awarded based on information supplied by tourism industry enterprises, many of which have been certification from international organizations to attest that they have embraced the new standards.
As cases in point, Destro mentions hotels that leave rooms empty for 24 hours after cleaning up and welcoming a new guest; places whose staff get training on best practices; and hotels whose check-in hours enable travelers to clean up as soon as they arrive in their destinations. Destro explains that even though all of the options on the market are available from the agency, clients are steered toward places that have adopted safety and hygiene procedures.
Lidercorp is also dispensing advice to travelers. It recommends people to choose nonstop flights for minimum risk of infection. Car renters are advised to bring sanitizer and a cloth to clean up after contact at toll booths or rental shops. Those traveling to an airport in another state are told to bring fresh clothes to change into. “Whatever we’d tell our child, mother or father, that’s what we tell our clients,” says Destro. And everyone is urged to get travel insurance.
Destro claims that most Brazilians traveling to Arab countries right now are bound for Lebanon, to visit family, and the UAE, for business. Lebanon’s airports opened up to foreign travel in early July, and according to Destro, demand picked up in June and even more so in July. Demand for leisure travelers to Lebanon isn’t great yet, although one group is slated to go in late September.
Lidercorp has also created packages to meet the needs of Brazilians who need to drive somewhere nearer home. The Resort Office option allows travelers to stay in one of several resorts, so they can work while their kids study and play. The Millionaire for a Weekend package includes a rented Mercedes-Benz and a five-star hotel. According to Destro, people are feeling safer by traveling in cars.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum