Discover the Palm Beaches Unifies Businesses and Increases Traveler Comfort with Destination-Wide GBAC® STAR Facility Accreditation
Known as America’s First Resort Destination™, The Palm Beaches in Florida is a group of 39 distinct cities and towns, each offering their own charm, culture, and beauty. Tourism is a major industry for the area, generating approximately $7 billion in the local economy. Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), a destination marketing organization, serves as Palm Beach County’s travel planning resource for domestic and international visitors, and meeting professionals.
“The Palm Beaches is Florida’s finest vacation experience, and DTPB is dedicated to growing the tourism economy,” said Aly Fernandez, Associate Vice President, Destination Services and Tradeshow Activities, Discover the Palm Beaches. “Part of positioning a destination as a must-visit place is giving travelers the peace of mind that their safety is a top priority.”
The Palm Beaches’ strong commitment to health and safety was the catalyst for pursuing GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a Division of ISSA.
GBAC STAR is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation. The performance-based program offers reassurance to residents, visitors, and the tourism community as businesses reopen amidst the pandemic and beyond.
“Committing to pursuing a destination-wide accreditation was an actionable way for Discover The Palm Beaches, the Tourist Development Council, and its agencies to support the recovery of the hospitality industry, the destination, and our local facilities and partners,” added Fernandez. “We partnered with the GBAC STAR team to provide in-person and virtual trainings to help venues and facilities complete the accreditation process.”
GBAC STAR accreditation is one of numerous tactics implemented by Discover The Palm Beaches. The Palm Beaches Pledge, a unified promise from local businesses to follow infectious disease prevention guidelines from health and government officials, declares to:
Wear a facial covering when around other people in public spaces
Create six-foot buffers between people
Keep places of business sanitized, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines
Pursue GBAC STAR accreditation (if applicable)
“Working with a third-party organization like GBAC helps us to provide consistency, trust, and confidence among travelers, staff, and local businesses that we are committed to being a safe and healthy destination, during the pandemic and after,” said Fernandez. “The Palm Beaches will continue to regularly include GBAC STAR information in its communications and marketing to highlight the value and impact of this accreditation.”
The Palm Beaches is the first destination in Florida and one of the first destinations in the United States to support hospitality businesses in pursuing GBAC STAR accreditation on a destination-wide basis.
Accredited businesses include the Palm Beach County Convention Center, Palm Beach International Airport, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, Flagler Museum, South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, Hilton West Palm Beach, Hyatt Place Boca Raton, Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa, and more. The benefits of accreditation include:
Unifying businesses in The Palm Beaches. Accreditation brings consistency to the destination by uniting diverse businesses with one of the industry’s highest safety standards. Businesses that pursue the accreditation undertake a rigorous 20-step training and implementation process, complementing safety protocols, procedures, and best practices already employed by these venues.
Building confidence among travelers and residents. Says Fernandez, “The Palm Beaches has a lot of advantages in recovering from the pandemic, including many outdoor spaces and activities, but we also need to extend that comfort level to our indoor spaces.” Communicating about GBAC STAR and showcasing the seal creates confidence among travelers that the destination is safe to visit, and among residents who want to return to their favorite local attractions and businesses.
Positioning The Palm Beaches as a top event destination. GBAC STAR accreditation is instrumental in the recovery of meetings and business events in The Palm Beaches. Event planners can feel confident marketing The Palm Beaches knowing that wherever attendees go, from the airport to the convention center to hotels, facilities are following the same health and safety standards. This maintains a consistent experience for visitors. Adds Fernandez, “We saw a significant increase in tourism in late 2020 and business events in the first half of 2021 and continue to see increased bookings and inquiries.”
“With third-party validation of business’ cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention programs, both locals and tourists know that their next visit will be both fun and safe, allowing them to focus on making lasting memories in The Palm Beaches,” said Fernandez.