Crown & Champa Resorts to fast-track resort renovations amidst coronavirus closure

Crown & Champa Resorts has announced plans to fast-track planned renovations to its resorts during the current suspension of operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive Martin Vossen said his team will embrace the temporary suspension of operation by fast tracking planned renovations to the group’s resorts and providing time off to employees who greatly deserve the rest and recuperation.

“Be on the lookout for exciting new additions, soft and interesting structural updates we will be sharing online through the Resort and our Crown & Champa Resorts social media channels,” a blogpost by the chief executive read.

Vossen also said flexible booking policies are in place for guests whose travel plans have been disrupted and for those who need to rebook for future dates.

Crown & Champa Resorts had in March announced a three-month closure of all of its eight resorts due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“During the past weeks, across our collection of hotels and resorts, we have seen moments of heroism measured in the smallest acts of kindness and care that the team here at Crown & Champa Resorts (CCR) are so well known for. We are pleased all of our guests have arrived home to their loved ones safe and well,” Vossen’s blogpost read.

“We are assured that the decision to suspend operation in our properties is the correct one for the safety and wellbeing of all of our guests, team and wider community. At this time, we anticipate this to be necessary until the end of June, and we will continue to monitor the global travel restrictions and international travel advisories to guide us in our next steps.”

Crown & Champa Resorts, a leader in the Maldivian hospitality industry with over 40 years’ experience, currently runs eight resorts — each targeting a unique traveller with the aim of offering great quality and value in different segments.

Crown & Champa Resorts’ diverse collection of resorts include Hurawalhi MaldivesKudadoo Maldives Private Island by HurawalhiInnahura Maldives ResortKomandoo MaldivesVeligandu Island Resort & SpaKuredu Resort MaldivesVilamendhoo Island Resort & SpaMeeru Island Resort & Spa, and one city hotel, Champa Central Hotel.

The group had earlier announced plans to open its ninth resort, Kagi Maldives Spa Island, later this year.

The Covid-19 outbreak has hit the Maldivian economy hard, as travel restrictions and other preventive measures affect the country’s lucrative tourism industry, which contributes the bulk of the island nation’s state revenue and foreign reserves.

Before the pandemic, the government had been bullish about tourism prospects, targeting two million, high-spending holidaymakers this year after last year’s record 1.7 million.

However, tourist arrivals saw a year-over-year decline of 22.8 per cent in the first 10 days of March. Officials say the number of tourist arrivals to the Maldives could drop by half in 2020.

With arrival numbers falling and a blanket visa suspension in effect, several resorts across the Maldives had been closed.

Tourism has been the bedrock of the Maldives’ economic success. The $5 billion-dollar economy grew by 6.7 per cent in 2018 with tourism generating 60 per cent of foreign income.

However, the government is at present projecting a possible 5.7 per cent economic contraction this year — an estimated $778 million hit.

On March 8, Maldives reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago.

Seventeen more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels except four Maldivians who had returned from the United Kingdom — were later identified.

However, 13 out of the 17 have made full recoveries. The four Maldivian patients are being treated at designated quarantine facilities, whilst the other two had been repatriated to their home country of Italy.

The Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, the first such declaration under a recent public health protection law.

The public health emergency declaration has allowed the government to introduce a series of unprecedented restrictive and social distancing measures, including a partial curfew in capital Male and its suburbs, and a nationwide closing of schools, colleges and universities. Non-essential services and public places in the capital such as gyms, cinemas and parks have also been shut.

Restaurants and cafes in the capital have been asked to stop dine-in service and switch to takeaway and delivery.

A nationwide shutdown of all guesthouses, city hotels and spa facilities located on inhabited islands is also in effect.

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