Guy Hutchinson, chief executive of Rotana, has issued a statement outlining his hopes for the future of the hospitality industry in the wake of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
He praised the governments in the Middle East, frontline healthcare professionals and other key workers for their decisive response to the global crisis, and urged the public to adhere to social distancing guidelines during the holy month of Ramadan.
Take a look at his thoughts below.
The holy month is a time for togetherness, sharing and helping others. As we celebrate the arrival of Ramadan, we do so under unique circumstances. The global Covid-19 pandemic has caused untold disruption to nearly all aspects of modern life, including our plans to spend time with family and friends.
Yet, in many ways, by remaining steadfast in our practising of social distancing, we are embracing the true spirit of Ramadan. Although we will miss our traditional gatherings, this is a sacrifice we must all be prepared to accept for the greater good. Following government guidelines is vital if we wish to help others. By uniting behind this shared sense of purpose, we are coming together as a community in new and profound ways.
We are very fortunate that governments in the region were quick to respond. Our leaders have spared no efforts to combat the spread of the virus and minimise its impact. As a result, the region has managed to limit the number of confirmed cases, despite being a major hub for corporate, leisure and religious travel.
The entire world is deeply indebted to the frontline healthcare professionals and other key workers who are selflessly risking their lives to protect us. Their tireless efforts serve as an example to us all. It’s also been inspiring to see increased cooperation between the public and private sectors as governments and businesses come together to help safeguard people.
At Rotana, we have further enhanced our industry-leading health and safety practices by implementing stringent protocols to protect our guests, staff, and partners. We’ve also reached out to governments across the region to offer our properties and resources in support of their efforts to deal with this unprecedented situation. As always, the health, safety, and welfare of our team members remains our highest priority and we would like to thank every one of them for their commitment.
The travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors have been hit hard by this global crisis. However, the latest projections show the regional market is likely to rebound when restrictions on movement are eased. Several upcoming mega-events will also play a vital role in accelerating this recovery.
In the meantime, governments have extended generous support measures and multi-billion-dollar stimulus packages to ensure business continuity. These are complemented by timely humanitarian initiatives such as the ‘Ten million meals’ campaign announced by sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, which embodies the spirit of giving associated with Ramadan.
Rotana has weathered many storms during its almost three-decade journey. The challenges we have faced together have further strengthened our resolve and fuelled our success. This pandemic provides us with an excellent opportunity to revisit our business models and long-term strategies. It’s also a time to explore new collaborations and fresh paths to innovation, which will be key to our resurgence in the post-crisis market.
Ramadan is traditionally seen as a time of renewal. Let us embrace the spirit of the holy month by approaching the coming weeks with a renewed sense of optimism. Countries around the world are beginning to ‘flatten the curve’, offering rays of hope during this time of uncertainty.
The hospitality sector will surely recover. Whether our new reality will be the same as before remains to be seen. Speaking as a passionate hotelier, I would like to think there will be some differences. I believe the dark hours we have faced will lead to a heightened appreciation for the joy of travel, making us realize just how privileged we are to serve our guests through this incredible industry.
Together, we will reach those brighter days ahead. Stay safe and Ramadan kareem!
Find out more about Rotana on the official website.