When you are a resort in the Maldives, where it is expensive to operate and the competition is intense, people work very hard to achieve impressive bottom lines. But there is a time to do business and there’s a time to build relationships, Stephane Laguette, executive vice-president Sales & Marketing at Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, tells TTN. “This is not the time for short-term gains, but a time to be helpful and giving, and above all, flexible.”
“Not just the Maldives, the entire world is suffering due to Covid-19 and yet, people keep surprising me with their kindness. Most of our suppliers have been proactive in supporting us during these difficult times - we intend to do the same.”
“We are being very flexible with our current bookings. Firstly, guests can feel free to cancel their booking any time until April 15, 2020 without being charged any penalties. This applies to all our properties, to every source market and is blind to the channel of booking. Whether you booked direct with us, through a tour operator or a travel agency, your money is safe. We are happy for our guests to rebook their holidays until the end of April 2021, without any surcharges.”
The management has also created an ‘extension rate’ specially to deal with the current situation, to aid guests who are already in the resorts and do not wish to leave but to extend their stay. “There are some guests who do not wish to leave our resorts because their flights back home have been cancelled or because borders of their home countries have been closed. For these guests, we have created an unprecedented low rate, which is 40 per cent of the contract rate. Also, regardless of which villa you are in, you pay the entry room category.”
This extension rate, applicable to the various plans that the different resorts offer, is valid only for inhouse guests and does not apply to any new bookings.
“We are trying to be extremely flexible for both cancellations and extension of stay. We have relatively good occupancy despite the chaos, for instance, OZEN by Atmosphere was 60 per cent in mid-March.”
In the wake of cancellations and postponement, ATM Dubai will be the first major travel trade show since the beginning of 2020. “Everyone will be quite excited about ATM 2020 this June, to be active and reactive together as one industry, one community.
“It is great that Reed Exhibitions announced the postponement of the April event much in advance. We are looking forward to ATM Dubai at the end of June to reconnect with our Middle Eastern partners, of course, but also to touch base with our European partners who are increasingly coming to Dubai and our Indian associates to find workable solutions on how to revive the industry.”
Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts stays true to its brand’s core philosophy – The Joy of Giving, by opening up its fifth resort VARU by Atmosphere as a location to station government teams and increase nationwide efforts against Covid-19. Health and security measures have been increased by The Maldives Health Protection agency to combat and minimise the spread of Covid-19 within the country.
Strict measures have been implemented for both the travel sector and the local population along with new initiatives coming from the Maldives Ministry of Tourism. All guests travelling to VARU by Atmosphere from now and until further notification will be relocated to one of the Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts sister properties.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
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