Mallorca, Tenerife, Dominican Republic, Riviera Maya and Jamaica will be the first places where in a few days several hotels of the Piñero Group will open. It will be next July 1st, date for which they are preparing with a solid plan of reactivation and the firm determination to face the moment as an opportunity of improvement. We have transferred the questionnaire of questions to know the plans of our clients to LLuisa Salord, SVP Global Sales, Contracting & Distribution of the hotel company based in Palma de Mallorca. These are his answers, with a forceful analysis of the possibilities by market and a whole proposal in positive. Without avoiding the seriousness of the moment, in Piñero they prefer to approach the process with serenity, seriousness, and, why not, a lot of illusion and confidence in the return to the activity.

How has it been and is it being for your hotel group at the moment?

At Grupo Piñero, from the beginning, we have been aware of the important role that companies play and that we must work immediately and together, with two main objectives:

  1. To safeguard the sustainability of Grupo Piñero over time.
  2. To turn this situation into an opportunity generator.

We know that we must work to adapt to the new economic, social and environmental paradigm, but above all we must be able to generate changes to improve it, and thus achieve our reason for being: a relevant company maintaining our 100% family essence, with a responsible and sustainable business model to offer the best experience to customers and employees, and actively contribute to Sustainable Development.

We are facing this unprecedented moment with serenity, allowing us to adapt our value proposal to what our customers, employees and society need now: well-being. To this end, we have designed a plan of action and a strategy to deal with the Covid-19 crisis based on sustainability criteria, using the recommendations of the United Nations Global Compact as a framework for action, since they are an essential engine for sustainable development and human prosperity.

And for the employees, how do you summarize the during and after: the closing, the adaptation to the new protocols, the involvement…

We have made difficult decisions, always following the indications of the authorities and in accordance with the legislation of each country, but, above all, we have done so with the utmost responsibility, to maintain the sustainability of the company and to ensure at all times the health and safety of our customers and employees, who are the heart of our company.

We are currently designing the Post Covid-19 business strategy to, as we said, turn this crisis into a generator of opportunities; in short, a stronger and more competitive organization, with committed employees and a high degree of talent. The involvement and initiative of the employees in the different phases and in all aspects has been incredible. At this time and more than ever, this family essence that characterizes us is helping us a lot to be able to face this restart of our activity with the greatest guarantees.

What are your forecasts for openness, under what conditions and with what prospects?

With regard to the dates for the resumption of activities, we have estimated dates that we will review in the coming weeks, as official information from governments and authorities, as well as from other agents in the travel value chain, are notified. The first openings will be on July 1st, when we will open 1 hotel in Mallorca, 1 in Tenerife, 2 in Dominican Republic, 1 in Riviera Maya and 1 in Jamaica.

We are currently reinforcing our health and hygiene protocols, according to the recommendations of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the Ministry of Health of the Spanish Government, specific to the tourism sector, and other recommendations from the governments of the countries where we operate. And always under the guidelines of the World Health Organization, to ensure the safety of people, the health of the planet and to continue contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.

With an integral vision we are focusing on four fundamental principles of action:

  • To ensure safe and healthy environments that promote peace of mind, comfort and enjoyment in the customer and employee experience.
  • Watching over people’s health
  • To guarantee safe and responsible services with a careful and personalized attention.
  • To enhance a digitized and adapted experience.

Will it be possible to ‘save’ the 2020 season?

I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to “save” the season. What we are clear about is that we are going to try and fight it with all our might. We know that it will be complicated and that profitability will be very low in these first months, but we want to be part of this revival. The British and Russian markets are the great unknown, but we are confident that Germany, the rest of the central European markets and Portugal (together with the national market) will help us to boost this reactivation of our activity. In the case of Mallorca it will probably be more complicated due to the seasonality of the destination, but in the case of Tenerife I am more positive about the last quarter, when we hope to have all our hotels operating.

In the Caribbean destinations and in the short term (July and August) we will mainly count on the North American markets, in addition to local tourism, since the Europeans will first start their operations in the short/medium term. In this case we think that by November (when the high season starts in these countries) we will be able to have flights from all the main issuing markets. Even if it’s less capacity than we had in 2019.

What’s the message for your customers?

During these first months, in which we had to stay in our homes without being able to have direct contact with the outside world, we tried to follow our clients as closely as possible by setting up an initiative that we called Bahia Principe Together, with the aim of accompanying them and encouraging them to overcome their confinement. This initiative has consisted of live performances on social networks, with streaming entertainment and sports activities for all audiences, live music, cooking etc. In short, we have tried to transfer the experience of our hotels to the homes of our customers. The result of this initiative, which came about spontaneously, has exceeded our expectations and the feedback we have received has motivated us even more to try to restart our activity as soon as possible and to be able to welcome back all these customers who are waiting for us.

In this new phase that will begin with the resumption of the activity, we understand that the experience of the traveler will continue to be to look for exciting experiences, unique experiences and ultimately to feel authentic happiness. At Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, connecting with the authentic happiness of our guests has always been our maxim and, at this time, we know that connecting with this happiness means generating the greatest possible peace of mind through increased health and safety measures.

So now, more than ever, we continue our evolution as a company by reviewing our processes and standards, always taking into account the health of people, the health of the planet and social awareness.

What other important things for your group would you like to convey to those reading this interview?

The critical situation generated by the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the relevance of our cross-cutting commitment to the creation of economic, environmental and social value in the short and long term, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals. We are convinced that companies can actively participate in this global effort and that a dynamic link must be created between nature, health and business.

Health and Wellness are now stronger than ever. Therefore, ensuring the health of people (employees, customers, suppliers and local community) and the health of the environment of the destinations where we operate are two basic pillars on which we have been working over these years and on which we will continue to focus in the short and medium term.

We want to take care of people, look after their health and peace of mind. That is why we have reviewed our health and safety protocols throughout the company, without forgetting the wonderful environments in which we work, those pieces of paradise whose beauty and richness we want to share with those who visit us, because they are also our home and an essential part of the legacy we will leave to future generations

We are working tirelessly to ensure the maximum health and well-being of all our stakeholders through the design, implementation and certification of health and safety measures throughout the travel cycle.

Committed to #HotelReactivation management

If during all these months we have continued to support our clients, now more than ever, from Dingus we want to thank them for their confidence and to continue by their side for the recovery and management of the reactivation scenarios. That is why we value your words so highly:

“Without a doubt, technology plays a key role in all aspects at this time. In the specific case of Dingus, we can say that we have been one of the first hotel chains to bet significantly on its technology and that, especially at this time, has greatly facilitated the management of all reservations as well as the implementation of new sales initiatives. At a time like this, where all companies have very limited resources, relying on the manual management of a third party would have limited us greatly.

We are also finding all the market data they have developed in recent months very useful and are sharing with all customers. The investment made in recent years in technology is helping us a lot to manage these difficult months. If it’s being complicated having a good base, I don’t want to imagine if it would have caught us without all this work already done”.

LLuisa Salord- SVP Global Sales, Contracting & Distribution Grupo Piñero