The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mrs Dupe Olusola said the key priority of its properties, Transcorp Hilton Abuja and Transcorp Hotels Calabar, is safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
She spoke at the Africa Tomorrow Hospitality conference.
It was during her spotlight discussion led by Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, founder and Chairman on APO Group, a pan African communications Consultancy.
The discussion was on the hospitality brand’s strategy to keep its hotels open at the outset of the pandemic, the ancillary revenue streams it tapped into and their post- COVID-19 plans for recovery.
On the impact of the pandemic, Mrs Olusola said: “The COVID-19 crisis is challenging for all industries. However, the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit due to the lockdowns implemented globally. The African Union estimated that Africa’s tourism industry lost about $55billion in Travel and Tourism revenue. Bringing this home, we witnessed a drop in numbers in our occupancy and revenue metrics when the virus hit.
‘’Regardless, we set our priorities at the outset of the lockdown, which was to stay open to cater to our extended stay guests, make their safety and that of our employees our topmost priority and also keep operations running at a minimal level.
“Not closing down the hotel during the lockdown was one of the best decisions we made. It gave our hotels clarity on the hygiene standards we wanted to maintain, constantly training the staff members on operating cleaning protocols and set guidelines from health experts to get to where we are now. Our learning curve has been quick as we are better prepared more than ever to welcome all our loyal guests back.”
She expatiated on the programme, saying that it emphasised extra disinfection of frequently touched areas in guest rooms, such as light switches and door handles, increased cleaning frequency of public areas including elevator buttons, hand rails and others.