Several days ago we celebrated the International Tourism Day
Several days ago we celebrated the International Tourism Day, congratulated each other and noted that the industry was recovering, hotels were opening. The pandemic, of course, had a great impact, first of all, on the hotel management in the world: my forecast is that the recovery will take another year. And all of us should accept it understandingly and patiently.
Many forced changes in standards, it is difficult to assemble the team (and often a new team) after a long break. The latter depends on the owner of a particular business, but, unfortunately, there are so many examples when a “convenient” solution in COVID conditions is not to pay wages or reduce them to the level that does not allow the staff to cover their basic needs or merely covers them. Even with the recovery of sales, “the COVID is still brutal” for many owners of hotel businesses. All of it is reflected in the resulting quality of the product and service that we can receive. The Velaa Hotel in the Maldives, where I am staying now, has more than 600 employees for less than 50 villas. This is one of the few hotels that did not close during the pandemic and where food did not disappear: if necessary, everything was delivered by private planes, and the staff received their salary in full. And they will receive during the renovation, for which purpose the hotel will be closed from May to September 2022. 60 percent of the staff has been working in the hotel since the first days of its opening (2013) and 60 percent of the guests come back here again. This is impressive, isn’t it?! All of this is thanks to the fact that the owner considers the hotel his home, rather than business, and does everything as if for himself. I am already feeling “at home”, and I always want to come back home! I guess, Velaa is one of the best hotels in the world in general and in the Maldives in particular. In September, we acted as a partner and sponsor at the Astoria Golf Cup, which successfully took place in St. Petersburg. I could not attend it, but I was glad to have my first golf training in the Velaa golf academy and I am planning to continue training. I liked the game, and the number of club members who play golf is growing! On October 14, I am planning to attend the ceremony of Michelin Stars award in Moscow. Of course, everything is kept strictly confidential, but my colleagues and I decided to make our forecast, reflecting the list of restaurants that will receive the award, in our opinion, in the restaurant digest. We will know soon if we were right. We are registering growth of sales in Thailand, many members of Affluence have already closed the New Year and mountain skiing, some club members are already closing March and the Maldives. The trend for early planning and booking continues: this primarily concerns the flights, but also some of the hotels, where the necessary categories are not available either for the New Year or for March 2022. We are registering a stable demand for vaccination abroad.
As a part of the current expedition in the Maldives, we will see Finolhu, Patina and try to manage The Ritz. The next expedition to the Maldives has been approved. It includes: Cheval Blanc, both Four Seasons and all products of the brand in the Maldives, Waldorf Astoria, One&Only and Joali Being.
The nearest approved expeditions include:
- Cannes and Monte Carlo
Most importantly, be well and thank you for being with us!