Palladium Looks To Future With Strong Travel Advisor Partnerships
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
Pilar Arizmendi-Stewart, VP Sales & Marketing - Americas, Palladium Hotel Group
Sergio Zertuche, EVP Sales and Marketing, Palladium Hotel Group.
With four of its Caribbean properties having reopened in JUL (and the rest scheduled for fall), Palladium Hotel Group is looking forward to better, busier days post-coronavirus pandemic, and it was clear from a recent virtual press conference that the brand sees travel advisors as a key element of the tourism rebound.
"Travel agents play an important role in this equation. It's important they know that we back them up during these difficult times," Pilar Arizmendi, VP of Sales and Marketing - the Americas, Palladium Hotel Group, said during the webinar.
Palladium has been supporting the trade by being as nimble as possible, rolling out flexible cancellation and rebooking policies, says Arizmendi. Guests can cancel up to 48 hours before arrival, and can change their booking to a future date or another hotel. Palladium is also providing medical insurance for all guests, free of charge, applicable at all properties.
Further aiming to instill confidence in travel advisors, guests and employees, Palladium has developed enhanced health and safety policies.
"We know the most important thing for our travellers right now is the reassurance of the safety and security of the travel experience," said Sergio Zertuche, EVP Sales and Marketing at Palladium Hotel Group, who noted the company's policies are certified by global inspection company SGS and the WTTC.
Measures include temperature checks for guests and employees, hotel occupancy limited at 35%, mandatory masks for guests and staff, and implementing an assisted buffet service.Click herefor a comprehensive list of Palladium's health and safety protocols.
With the sense of traveller safety extending beyond the property itself, Lizzie Cole, Executive Director of Promotion of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board, said the destination has been working closely with its partners to ensure cohesiveness in a safe travel experience. (Palladium has two properties in Quintana Roo: Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres and TRS Coral Hotel.)
"The importance of the relationship with our key partners is crucial at these times," she said. "We have been working very closely with the airlines over the past months, tour operators, hotels to make sure that everything is in place to provide visitors with the feeling of a safe experience and an easy process."
Cole said CUN and CZM have developed "very strict" protocols of safety and sanitization that involve thermographic cameras, deep cleaning, temperature checks for both passengers workers and the monitoring of social distancing measures.
She highlighted Cancun was one of the first destinations in the world to receive the WTTC's Safe Travels stamp, awarded to governments and businesses around the world which have adopted the organization's health and hygiene global standardized protocols.
Mexico, she explained, is reopening based on a traffic light monitoring system, with the colours green, yellow, orange and red reflecting which activities are permitted based on the epidemiological risk of COVID-19 in that region. Quintana Roo is currently orange, which means hotels, parks, restaurants and other tourist attractions can open at 30% capacity.
Despite these changes to the vacation experience, Palladium's message was clear that travel will rebound, albeit with a little help from Mother Nature.
"Tourism plays a critical role and we know the travel industry will come back," concluded Arizmendi. "Let's keep going and we will come back stronger than ever. This is just a moment we are going through but I'm hoping that for winter, all the bookings come back. That people are chased off by the cold weather and they start coming to the Caribbean."
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry