The First Steps To Recovery for Maldives Guesthouses
How To Travel The Maldives On a Budget
25 May, 2020
By Ruth Franklin
With announcements in the Maldives this week of proposed Guidelines To Commence Safe Tourism in the Maldives and the easement of restrictions once the current lockdown directive ends on the 28th May, many tourism businesses will be looking ahead to taking their first cautious steps towards reopening, the big question for many guest house owners is how?
It goes without saying that the final guidelines for Safe Tourism when published will play a large part of both your timeline and strategic plan. Ensure you are clear on what the final expectations are when they are published and do not be afraid to ask for clarity if you are unsure. It’s important both for your business’s reputation and for the Maldives that the safety of your staff and your guests is exact from the start.
In the meantime however there are aspects of your strategic plan that you can be working on if you have not already started doing so.
1. Review your reviews
Take time to read all reviews on your property from the last six months. Check all review platforms where you are listed and note the areas of improvement that previous guests have highlighted. Post COVID-19 operation provides you the opportunity to start afresh and allows you to put actions or processes into place to ensure every review is 5* .
2. Maintenance and renovations
There has never been a better time to ensure that your property is in the best condition to open its doors to guests. Take time to walk through your property and view it through the eyes of a guest. Start outside at the entrance, walk the perimeter and then walk through every part of your property. Check every area, those that are guest facing and those areas that are not. Enter every room, open every door, cupboard, window. Check every tap, shower, toilet. Review every plug socket, light switch. Are they working and in good condition? Check for areas that may need painting or decoration. These details as owners you may not normally see but are noted by guests.
Once all maintenance and renovation has been completed perform a deep clean even if this was performed as part of your close down operation. Work from top to bottom ensuring no corners are missed. Pull out furniture, clean inside cupboards and drawers. Follow HPA and WHO cleaning guidelines, everything must be sanitized and safe at all times. This cleaning process will form part of the new norm and once Safe Tourism guidelines have been published you will need to establish a clear cleaning program and policy for your property.
4. Operational Space
Take time to consider how you will provide services to your guests whilst maintaining social distancing. It may be necessary to remodel spaces especially in dining areas, which in turn will allow you to understand your capacity/occupancy constraints. Following publication of Safe Tourism guidelines it is likely you will need to consider reception areas; how and where guests will check in/out, how payment is taken for example.
Use your marketing budget wisely. Understand which markets will be able to travel and focus on these. This may mean changing your current advertising and communication targeting. If you are not already connected with MMPRC yet then this maybe the time to do so.
Review your marketing material, are your fact sheets up to date, have you planned your rates for 2020-2021? Have you reviewed your booking terms and conditions as well as your cancellation policy? Remember now is the time to offer flexibility. Consider publishing rates through to the end of 2021 as many travelers may choose to travel later.
Check your website, is it up to date? Is your image gallery inspiring and current? Likewise review all OTA platforms in the same manner.
Have you been in contact with your key local and international agents? Have you shared all relevant information with them in order that they can market and promote your property with confidence?
Hopefully you have continued to keep in touch with your guests through social media and your website. Now will be the time to display the preparations you are making in order to welcome them back, building up to your final plans in regard to health and safety and social distancing. Now is the time for your guests to feel reassured.
Managing your potential guest’s expectation is hugely important at this time. Clearly communicate when you plan to re-open on all channels where your potential guests may find you with a caveat that this may change if the government advice changes.
Consider preparing a ‘we are open for business’ campaign. It is essential to stay close to your guests, maintaining a continuous and positive relationship that instills confidence and assurance.
7. Team Preparation
Take time to communicate and train your team no matter what size your team is. Every member of your team needs to understand your pre opening plan and the part they play in delivering it. Once you have guests in house your team will play a hugely important role. Their actions and behaviors, how they demonstrate the required health and safety and cleanliness guidelines will be the reason that you receive further bookings. If they are not trained effectively on processes and procedures they will not be able to deliver the service level guests are now looking for.
8. We are in this together
This is also a time of opportunity for the guesthouse community and associated businesses on each local island. It’s the time to build strong relationships by working together and not in competition during the recovery process.
Creating a reopening strategic plan will take time and consideration. However it is time well spent as a clear plan will reassure guests, allowing them to enjoy the experience you offer. Your team will be happy knowing that their employer and place of work cares about them, which in turn will lead to a positive customer experience for your guests. Finally, you will be supporting your community and rebuilding your local economy.
About the author: Ruth Franklin is the Co-Founder of local tour company Secret Paradise.
Secret Paradise has provided local island experiences since 2012. They annually audit their partner accommodation properties and are currently finalizing a program to support their guesthouse partners in being ready for business.
Recent Posts 15.05.2022
- Covid-19: Now everyone can travel to the Maldives
- The Travel calendar for May in the Maldives
- Discover an Oasis of Health and Wellness at Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives
- How to Travel green in LUX* South Ari Atoll
- Princess Cruises introduces All-inclusive premier package
- Heritance Aarah Is among World's Top All-Inclusive Resorts
- Say, “Cheers!” to The Platinum Jubilee Weekend at Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives
- Blue Force expands its Liveaboards Fleet in the Maldive
- OBLU XPERIENCE Ailafushi opens 19th May With Exclusive Private offer
- Latest News from Meeru Island, May
- Euro-Divers Opens Its Doors to Guests at Alila Kothaifaru Maldive
- Soneva Jani welcomes to a Culinary Journey with Lee Westcott
- New AQV Expedition Ship, Ocean Victory, Sets Sail in Alaska
- Dusit Thani Maldives Partners with Local Brand Ogaa
- Alila Kothaifaru Maldives resort Announces Key Appointments
- Three Additional Princess Cruises Ships Return to Service
- Kuredu & Komandoo listed among the 10 Best Dive Resorts in the Maldives
- HAL Adds New Cruises to Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia
- Scuba Schools International launches New Diving App
- Amilla Resort recognized as Sustainable Travel Standard in the Maldives
- What's Hot in The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, May
- Kudadoo Maldives awarded Prestigious Forbes 5-star Rating
- Sip Your Way into Wine Culture at Kuredu Maldives
- AirAsia returns to the Maldives
- Hotel-to-Table: Dine Sustainably at Gili with New Menu and Chef’s Table
- JUST VEG Celebration is Back at Atmosphere Kanifushi
- Latest News from Kandima, May
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Honors First Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award
- Can't-miss deal of the week: 30% Off Special Offer in Filitheyo Island
- OZEN LIFE MAADHOO opens LONU: New age Maldivian concept
- Where to Spot Celebrities in The Maldives
Maldives on a Budget
Budget travellers choose Maldives as their destination of choice thanks to the variety of affordable stays available, which range from budget guesthouses to backpacker-friendly hotels – there are all accomodation available for under USD 50 a night! The Maldives is a fascinating country to travel to independently, not least because it’s only been possible to do so for the past decade.
Undoubtedly, Maldives is'nt getting more cheaper every year, but it’s equally true that the gorgeous islands offer something for everyone – backpackers and budget-conscious travellers included! Here’s our dedicated section that guides you through everything you need to know about enjoying Maldives on the cheap. We’ve also included a section with useful tips on enjoying Maldives on a shoestring, and another which shows you all the free, and almost free, things you can enjoy for your cheap holiday in Maldives. Here for you the ultimate guide to enjoying Maldives on a budget. Read More
Beach or Water Villa?
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly revamped to cater to the needs of families visitingRead More
Best Maldives Resort Offers & Packages
Find out more about the most unparalleled Maldives hotel deals and special rates, when Book Direct your next beach holidayRead More
Maldives Hotel Reviews
Some of the best hotels and resorts in the Maldives are already included in this list, and the good part of them offers the best prices. We will constantly add new hotelsRead More
10 Exclusive Resorts in Maldives
The Maldives is paradise destination that should be on the bucket list of every discerning travelers. There's a special breed of hotels there that cater to the most tasteful of luxury travelers Read More
The Maldives’ Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings for 2022
hese are the hotel openings in the Maldives is most excited for in 2022 for planning your next luxurious getaway Read More
Maldives Luxury Guide
Here's the best of Maldives for luxury travellers. We've compiled the finest recommendations of places to stay, ranging from the most celebrated five-star resorts to luxurious private islands Read More
Maldives Romantic Guide
The ultimate ‘flop and drop' and honeymoon destination, the Maldives is the playground for the most amazing and finest utilization of each second of this extremely valuable and hopeful time with each other in tota Read More
Maldives Budget Guide
Budget travellers choose Maldives as their destination of choice thanks to the variety of affordable stays Read More
Maldives Family Guide
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly Read More