At a time when tourism and global travel are no longer viable or possible, hotels and resorts around the world are focussing on recuperating and preparing for the inevitable (we hope) comeback of travel. Most experts believe that once things take a turn for the better, the travel industry will see a quick boom, though most of the traffic may be domestic for a while.
In countries like Vietnam, where coronavirus cases have not crossed the 500 mark and no deaths have been reported, the focus is already on domestic travel. Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Vietnam has "already prepared several attractive offers in anticipation of a recovery,” though they remain cautiously optimistic and ready to respond to any changes.
In some special cases, like Thailand’s Samujana, Koh Samui, guests have chosen to stay at the property rather than face the situation at home. The resort is also supporting the local community by distributing food packages to people who have lost their jobs.
In most cases though, guests have returned home and the focus is on the employees and maintaining the thread of communication with the world. For Oetker Collection, following the guidelines by WHO and ensuring the safety of their staff is a big priority. The brand, which offers traditional European hospitality, has properties in France, Germany, Brazil, Antigua and London. With their properties temporarily closed, their online campaign is aimed at bringing “virtual smiles”, says Anne Benichou, head of Global Communications, Oetker Collection. “Our #WeStayUnited campaign was launched [on] March 27 and is a boost of happy content, say a recipe from a Michelin-star chef or a testimony from a friend of the Collection.”
For guests who already had bookings for the coming months, all possible adjustments are being made. “Travelling is not a priority at this moment, but health and wellbeing are,” observes Vaipanya Kongkwanyuen, General Manager, Chiva-Som, Hua-Hin, Thailand. “We are flexible with our policy and as a pioneer in transformative wellness practices, Chiva-Som is utilising all its resources and knowledge to support our people”. The property is providing an online wellness service with health advisors, a naturopath team and fitness practitioners that everyone can use without leaving their homes. They also have a bank of on-demand wellness content, recipes and guides all curated by the resort’s world-class team of experts.
The future (if it wasn’t already moving in that direction before) is very clearly health, wellness and all things eco-friendly. “After this period, the approach for tourism will be different,” says Patrice Landrein, General Manager, Pimalai Resort & Spa, Krabi. “People will expect higher standards from 5-star properties and will definitely want to avoid crowds and venture into nature”. It will be a time for revival and rejuvenation, with a sharp focus on wellness for the body, soul and mind. And the hotels will be ready and waiting.