Crown & Champa Resorts enhances coronavirus cancellation policies

Crown & Champa Resorts has enhanced the group’s flexible cancellation and re-booking policies during the current suspension of operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Crown & Champa Resorts had in March announced a three-month closure of all of its eight resorts.

Under the enhanced policies, existing reservations for future arrivals until June 30 will be cancelled at no charge.

Re-booking with the existing booking details up until December 23 is also possible, but has to be confirmed before April 30.

New reservations will be accepted only for arrivals from July 1.

“If you booked through a travel agent, please contact your agent directly to amend or cancel the reservation. If you booked directly with the property, kindly get in touch with the resort’s reservations team,” an announcement read.

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.

Eighteen more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels except five Maldivians who had returned from abroad — were later identified.

A six-case cluster of locals, detected in capital Male on Wednesday, confirmed community transmission of the coronavirus. Several more clusters have since been identified, bringing the total number of confirmed case in the Maldives to 52.

However, 16 out of the 52 have made full recoveries.

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 stay-at-home orders in capital Male and its suburbs, a ban on inter-island transport and public gatherings across the country, and a nationwide closing of government offices, 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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