COVID-19 UPDATE: #ALLINTHISTOGETHER

COVID-19 Update: #allinthistogether

Updated Monday 16 March 2020

This page will be updated as often as needed, as the situation changes.

Dear customers and friends,

I am writing to update you on our position regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how we are handling this new challenge to our industry.

I would like to start with a quote from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation, that has become our mantra here at This is Beyond – and I hope will become the mantra of the entire travel industry: “This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumours. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma. We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together.”

The situation is changing daily and the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors, staff and the communities in which our events take place will always remain our number one priority. While we remain cautiously optimistic that PURE Life Experiences, Further East and PURE Pursuits will go ahead as planned, it is with an extremely heavy heart that we have had to postpone We Are Africa and Conservation Lab 2020 (full statement available here) and L.E/Miami 2020 (full statement available here).

On behalf of This is Beyond, I would like to extend my support and best wishes to all of those – whether industry associates or citizens – who have been affected by the recent outbreak in many parts of the world. I also want to express my sympathy to our friends and peers in the travel and meetings industries whose businesses have unfortunately suffered. Like SARS, Ebola and Zika, as well as various natural and manmade disasters, COVID-19 is yet another new difficulty to overcome – but there is no business more resilient than travel.

We are taking our cue from the proper authorities

As a global events company, we have a responsibility to help contain the situation, which is why our team are constantly checking alerts and following the advice from the World Health Organisation (available here) as well as local and national public health authorities and best practices operated by our peers. We will continue to closely monitor the latest developments, recommendations and preventative measures available. In the meantime we strongly urge our delegates to refer to the everyday protocols suggested by the WHO (available here) and those of public health authorities to contain, delay and mitigate any further spread of the virus.

Regarding the admission policy at our events, we will follow the guidelines of WHO (available here) and also because our company is registered in the United Kingdom, we will be following the same precautionary advice as the ones established by the British Government regarding entering the UK (which can be found here). We also want to remind everyone that our host countries may implement additional precautionary restrictions, with entry guidelines likely to vary from country to country and from time to time, and it is important that each of you is diligent in adhering to the latest travel advice before flying.

To further protect our delegates, all our events will have enhanced sanitary precautions implemented, including strengthened hygiene, sanitisation and disinfectants, strengthened medical support, public health messaging for sanitary recommendations (such as washing your hand frequently, avoiding handshakes, maintaining social distancing, coughing in the crease of elbow avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, etc.). Further measures could be put in place as required to ensure the safety and health of all visitors and exhibitors and we will update you if we need to take further action.

We are responding rationally

An important part of supporting the global response to this situation is staying calm, rational and compassionate. The hospitality and meetings industries provide millions of jobs around the world, boosting the global economy as well as the exchange of progressive ideas. If all forms of travel or meetings would be cancelled indefinitely, we would economically harm many individuals; make the path of recovery for those affected much more difficult; and encourage xenophobia.

It is therefore our collective responsibility to act with caution but also to keep the economy going whenever we are still authorised to do so by the proper authorities. That is why our teams are planning for every eventuality so that, where possible, our events can go ahead at some stage. We are constantly looking at all possible scenarios and how to rationally mitigate them in the interest of every stakeholder, should we need to.

We can prevail with a united approach

The travel industry has always been a key factor in economic and social recovery during times of crisis, and has great power to lead the way by inspiring connection, trust and positivity. If we come together and commit to sharing knowledge and expertise, shunning misinformation and fear mongering while following proper health and safety guidelines, I am confident that we will overcome the effects of this outbreak like we have many other challenges before – and our community will bounce back stronger than ever.

Thank you for your on-going support and confidence in us, and I hope to be welcoming you to one of our events soon.

If you still have any questions and would like to respond directly to this message or feel we should add something to our response, please feel free to engage with me by sending an email to serge@thisisbeyond.com or follow me on Twitter (@sergedive) where I’ll be sharing the latest updates and advice from recognised authorities as often as possible.

Kindest Regards,

Serge Dive
Founder & CEO, This is Beyond Ltd.