Sol Melia´ Prepares its Hotels in Mexico for Swine Flu
Prevention Protocol is Put Into Action Redirecting Some Bookings at No Extra Cost to Other Caribbean Destinations
The Spanish hotel company Sol Meliá has shared its concern on a humanitarian level with the situation in Mexico, but has also been quick to deny rumours of a major impact of the virus on company performance. According to Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sol Meliá, the impact is expected to be mild given that “the problem has come about in what is the now the low season in the region, with the revenues from Mexican hotels in May and June making up only 1.04% of the total”.
While still awaiting a full assessment of the impact of the flu virus on bookings – basically from travellers and tour operators from the North America - Sol Meliá expects to redirect part of the Mexican demand to other Caribbean destinations in which it operates such as Costa Rica, Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, at no extra cost to guests or intermediaries. Although the situation requires a great deal of caution at the present time, both individual guests and tour operators are giving a positive response to a possible change in their destination or the postponement of their vacations or meetings rather than their cancellation.
There are also signs that some tour operators are also acting in the same way in their booking management.
Sol Meliá is working very closely with the Mexican authorities, as they are accustomed to crisis management and close cooperation with hotels.
PROTOCOL AND BEST PRACTICES
Sol Meliá has experience in emergency situations similar to the swine flu outbreak in México. During the bird flu epidemic in Asia, for example, hotels in Bali, Banten, Jakarta, Java, Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam developed an extensive protection protocol and action plan.
The protocol is built around best practises in the hotel industry to protect staff and guests and to keep up a certain level of business activity during the crisis, ensuring that service continues to be provided to guests and that there is a means of isolating guests in hotel interiors if required.
The most important actions involve information and training (hygiene education) to raise awareness amongst guests and staff, personal hygiene, cleanliness in hotel facilities, heightened supervision and strict compliance with the most rigorous food handling regulations, together with measures for isolation and disinfection if any case were to arise in the hotel.
The monitoring of the health of staff and their families is also essential given that any suspicions of symptoms amongst staff must cause their immediate separation from their place of work to observe their condition as it evolves.The company also wishes it to be known that there have been no cases to date amongst staff or guests in the hotels in Los Cabos, Vallarta, Ixtapa or Cancun. It also highlights the fact that no country has yet to close its borders to travellers from México.
About Sol Meliá | Founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Sol Meliá is the largest resort hotel chain in the world and market leader in Spain in both business and leisure travel. The company currently provides more than 300 hotels in 30 countries on 4 continents, and employs 32,500 people under its Meliá, ME by Meliá, Tryp, Sol, Paradisus, Innside and Sol Meliá Vacation Club brands. .
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