“A moment with no record that caught us by surprise and two hotels open.” These are the first words with which Gabriel Llobera remembers the recent past, which three months ago made the forecasts for this 2020 come to nothing. Garden Hotels has a long history in the hotel industry: 34 years ago it was born as a family business, it has reinvented itself and consolidated itself with 11 hotels in 4 Spanish destinations… but nothing prepared the tourism industry to face this situation. Or did it? Do hotel chains that are solvent in terms of experience and adaptation to the socio-economic ups and downs of the last few decades really not have an advantage in the revival? Perhaps if it depended on them, yes, but the company’s strategy, its workers, suppliers, clients and governments of the issuing countries, are only part of the puzzle that was blown up and now it’s time to put it back together again. Perhaps success depends on that piece(s) that will inevitably be lost and will have to be reinvented to fit together again. The pilot project to open hotels in the Balearic Islands could well be one of them…
We spoke to the executive vice-president of Garden Hotels just before the Balearic Islands begin their pilot tests for tourism. While Gabriel Llobera answers our questions, the Alcudia Garden Aparthotel is preparing to reopen. Or well, simply to open in other conditions, which our customers of Garden Hotels have collected in their project ‘Safety Consciousness’ to strengthen the safety of guests and employees. The establishment of the pilot plan will be followed by “two more hotels on the 1st of July: the Playa Garden in Playa de Muro (Mallorca) and the Garden Playa Natural in El Rompido (Huelva). Later, gradually and according to the interest of purchase, others could be opened. We are aware – says Llobera – of the difficulty of trying to save the high season, because we have already lost the low-middle one. But we understand that it starts on the first of July and that the occupation will increase in a staggered way”.
All of these new plans stem from what happened in March, when the pandemic forced a complete halt to non-essential activity “at a time when we were caught off guard with two hotels open. The excessive confinement of three months has led to a paralysis of business and labor that may hinder economic recovery”. According to the executive “the implementation of the pilot test in the Balearic Islands will be the driver of national recovery of the Spanish economy, something very necessary because, by adverse situations, the brand Spain has suffered a deterioration in Europe. The Balearic Islands is the right place to lead this recovery in confidence in safe tourism”.
Security for customers and employees
For this reason, Garden Hotels assures that what they are going to transmit to their clients in the family segment, only adults, sports and wellness, is “a message of tranquility, where we give our firm commitment that we will maintain and respect all the established protocols in a very strict way, to offer our clients the safest possible holidays”. Also the employees “have received courses of information and protocols about the Covid-19, so we guarantee the fulfillment of the same, to reinforce the security of the clients and of the employees themselves”.
The truth is that the Garden staff has suffered “some very hard times” acknowledges Gabriel Llobera “where they have been forced into an unprecedented situation in which they do not receive a salary or minimum unemployment benefit. This scenario drags families into a situation where their welfare is in danger. All this is caused, as I said before, by excessive labour paralysis”.
Dingus works for hotel recovery
If during all these months we have continued to support our clients, now more than ever we want to thank them for their confidence and continue to be by their side for the recovery. That is why we value your words so highly:
“Dingus technology is essential to keep the sales status up to date at all times. Thanks to its integration it keeps us both bookings and cancellations up to date, its excellent market information allows us to have the pulse of the situation at all times. The regular DataHotel DINGUS® reports guide us to exactly where the market and its trends are going, which helps us in our decision making”.
Gabriel LLobera. Executive Vice President Garden Hotels