Resorts adjust in midst of COVID-19 outbreak

Without speaking specifically about adjustments to staffing levels, restaurant closures or guest numbers, Baha Mar said in a statement sent to Guardian Business yesterday said that it is making adjustments to its operations that align with the changing demands in business.

Atlantis, in a statement sent to Guardian Business yesterday, explained that although it is the spring peak season, its occupancies have been below 60 percent for two weeks due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The company has had to ask its staff to take voluntary vacation.

“Asking team members to take voluntary time off or vacation is standard practice when occupancy dips below 60 percent, as it has for the last two weeks,” An Atlantis spokesperson said in the statement.

“What’s unusual is that this normally occurs in September and October, never during the height of our season.”

The spokesperson said this decision is necessary for the long-term protection of the organization.

Baha Mar said it continues to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19, which has left much of the world’s population shut in. It continues to be in close contact with the Ministry of Health, as the fallout from the country’s first confirmed case of the virus unravels.

“The well-being, safety and health of our guests and associates is our first priority at the resort destination of Baha Mar,” the resort complex’s statement noted.

“Baha Mar is in close contact with the Ministry of Health and all pertinent government agencies and rigorously enforces the highest health standards and practices, while adhering to all mandates set forth by the Ministry of Health.

“In light of this dynamic and unprecedented situation, Baha Mar is making adjustments in line with evolving business demands.

“Baha Mar’s leadership closely monitors global events and decisions in regards to COVID-19 and will align with actions that are in the best interest of associates and guests at all times.”

Last week, Baha Mar officials contended that Easter and spring break numbers continued to look promising. But the spread of the virus through this country’s largest tourist market, the United States of America, continues to bring with it uncertainty.

Another large source market, Canada, has closed its borders to anyone other than returning Canadians, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

The British Colonial Hilton hotel, in an internal memo, has also asked its staff to take vacation.

Sandals Resorts International (SRI) in an official statement sent to Guardian Business yesterday, revealed it has “seen some shift” in booking patterns by its guests, but the company is confident that the shift is “temporary”.

The resort added that it is prepared for the impact of COVID-19 and its sanitation and hygiene protocols have been ramped up.

“After nearly 40 years in business, we have seen all manner of disruptions to global travel and we are prepared for any situation,” SRI’s statement pointed out.

“We are saddened by the impact COVID-19 has had globally and we are working diligently and taking many proactive measures at our properties to ensure our guests and team members’ safety.

“We continue to hear from guests as they departed in recent days and they wish to come back again soon, which is always a positive indicator. The obvious result that travel businesses should expect from a global health concern and increased travel restrictions is that booking patterns may shift for a period. While we have seen some shifts, we are confident that they are temporary.

“While some guests are choosing to change travel dates if they are booked 14 days out, we are still receiving reservations for travel. As there are zero recommendations against travel to any of our destinations, the risk level remains very low and therefore our customers should remain confident in visiting us at Sandals Resorts.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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