Breaking Journey Information talks to Michal Smejc, basic supervisor at Velaa Non-public Island within the Maldives, concerning the vacation spot’s intensive well being and security programme, which has enabled it to proceed working since rising from lockdown final July.
BTN: Maldives re-opened to tourism in July. What operational adjustments have you ever carried out at Velaa Non-public Island so as to proceed receiving friends by way of the pandemic?
Michal Smejc: We put took many precautions to maintain our island secure, and I really consider Velaa might be a job mannequin for different resorts.
To start with, we constructed our personal PCR laboratory together with one other resort on an area island.
Right here, we additionally leased three homes for the quarantine of our workers returning to the island.
Which means all our workers would bear a PCR check previous to arriving at quarantine, they might then quarantine on the native island earlier than present process a second PCR check previous to arriving at Velaa.
For friends, we’re conducting fast antibody checks on arrival (along with a PCR check earlier than flight) and one other one after 5 days.
We now have additionally elevated hygiene and security measures at Velaa.
All of those measures have resulted in zero optimistic instances at Velaa to date.
BTN: What recommendation from Velaa’s experiences would you supply to different resorts but to emerge from lockdown?
MS: To make it possible for when boarding workers again to the island, strict security measures are adopted to keep away from unfold on the island.
Additionally to rethink all security measures and processes earlier than reopening the resort.
We had been fortunate sufficient to proceed working all through the lockdown.
BTN: How have the worldwide journey restrictions, specifically the continuously shifting journey corridors, impacted your operations?
MS: It’s paradox, in that this disaster made our quarter 4 of 2020 and quarter one among 2021 the most effective in Velaa historical past.
Maldives is one among few nations the place it’s doable to journey to and on prime of that, it’s vastly safer as you will have one island and just one resort which creates pure social distancing.
What we are able to clearly see is that Europe and USA will not be performing as nicely and Asia has additionally seen a major decline, however the CIS is booming because the Maldives is one among only a few permitted locations.
A transparent development in the intervening time is that individuals are coming for longer stays and reserving greater classes to take pleasure in further consolation.
We now have had some friends staying with us from July!
One other new development we have now seen has allowed friends to work from the island with their households while their children proceed their schooling on-line.
BTN: Why is collaboration throughout the journey business important to navigating the post-virus panorama?
MS: Evidently the hit from the Covid-19 disaster to the business has been important.
It is just pure in a disaster that individuals want to assist one another so as to survive.
It’s no totally different for the journey and hospitality business.
Constructing sturdy partnerships may help you survive and rise from disaster even stronger.
I feel many journey brokers and accommodations must rethink their strategic strategy fully and transfer from being income targeted to placing the visitor expertise first.
BTN: What tendencies in journey and tourism do you see rising within the aftermath of the disaster?
MS: The business will most definitely shake closely for a while and market shares will likely be reallocated.
For resorts, I consider security will change into a fundamental matter for the following few years with individuals prepared to pay extra for worth (security, privateness, high quality of service).
There can even be a contest for friends with many resorts providing important reductions to safe enterprise.
We alternatively, selected to do the alternative and are as a substitute specializing in buyer expertise which has resulted in an enormous progress of each repeat friends and revenues.
BTN: Have you ever had any optimistic adjustments in your personal outlook in response to the disaster?
MS: I feel the phrase ‘optimistic’ will likely be absent for a while.
As I mentioned, we have now had the most effective months in our historical past.
The issue is that a lot is altering every single day, the place at some point you could be on a peak and the following day underneath lockdown.
Nevertheless, I do really feel that the rising variety of repeat friends will final into future certainly.
I hope to see the world returning to a detailed regular by 2022 as vaccination improvement continues and new medicines change into out there.
Velaa Non-public Island is taken into account the Indian Ocean’s Main Luxurious Island Resort by voters on the World Journey Awards.
Discover out extra on the official web site.