Despite the ongoing challenges being faced by the hospitality sector, from staffing issues to restrictions, Westin Dragonara Resort General Manager Michael Camilleri Kamsky credits a strong recovery plan implemented at the onset of COVID-19 with setting the hotel firmly on the road to recovery today.
Of course, he notes, “we have taken all the necessary precautions outlined by the Superintendent of Public Health to protect both our associates and guests, and continue to place these measures at the forefront of our operation.”
With travel restrictions in place and tourism numbers continuing to be low until the summer of this year, the General Manager says that whilst business levels were low, the team took the opportunity to complete the hotel’s refurbishment project. “Today, The Westin Dragonara Resort is fully refurbished to the highest standards, in line with our Five Star Superior category. We also looked into improving efficiencies and our product, and focused on training. With regards to business, we enjoyed an excellent patronage from the local market who opted for a staycation rather than travelling overseas – my team and I were delighted to welcome many Maltese and expat families who live on the islands,” he reveals.
Shifting to the current situation, Mr Camilleri Kamsky affirms that from mid-July, when the health protocols stabilised across the world, business started picking up, and from August until the end of October, the Westin Dragonara registered “acceptable levels of business”.
“It is good to note that the UK has been the dominant market,” he continues, adding that “going forward, it seems that we shall continue enjoying a good movement of business, albeit very last minute, and taking into consideration the natural dip during the winter months. We forecast a good and positive summer 2022, subject to flights options in line with 2019 frequencies and destinations.”
Looking into the long-term effects of the pandemic on Malta’s hospitality industry, the General Manager maintains that, while we have to accept that COVID-19 is still with us, all countries today have a better control of the situation. “I believe that unless there is a black swan event, we should continue enjoying a return of good performances. Summer 2022 should give us good results for the individual leisure segment. Hopefully, conference business will follow from mid-2022 and with the combination of both segments, I am hopeful for 2023 and 2024,” he reveals.
These comments were featured as part of an in-depth story on the future of hospitality in Malta as it emerges from the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The full-length feature can be viewed on the December edition of Business Now magazine, the sister brand to BusinessNow.mt, produced by Content House Group
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