TUI has introduced a 10-point plan with a set of measures and standards to reopen its hotels.
Europe’s biggest travel firm says the measures will enable guests to enjoy their holidays in the knowledge that the highest hygiene standards in relation to Covid-19 have been put in place.
In addition to organisation, capacity planning and hygiene measures, the plan also includes intensive training of local staff.
TUI says the new standards will not only be implemented in the group’s own hotel brands such as TUI Blue, Robinson and TUI Magic Life, but will also be made available to the group’s joint venture and hotel partners.
It is part of a more comprehensive package of measures that covers all of the tour operator’s service components, from retail, flights and transfers to hotel stays, local excursions and cruises, it says.
“Customer surveys clearly indicate that safety and hygiene will be of paramount importance for holidaymakers after the lockdown,” Sebastian Ebel, board member responsible for holiday experiences, was quoted in a statement, as saying.
“With our group-wide, integrated health and safety management system, we can ensure that our hotels meet guests’ high expectations and offer the best possible protection against infections during these unusual times. We are laying the foundations for an agile and safe return to business so we can be ready to offer our unique holiday experiences again as soon as possible”.
- Online check-in: Holidaymakers can make check-in contactless at many hotels by checking in online via the hotel’s website or via their smartphone.
- Distance rule: In public areas such as in the restaurants, corridors or gyms, all employees are required to keep a distance of 1.5 to two metres between them and the guests. For example, tables in restaurants will only be cleaned when guests have vacated them.
- Personnel planning: Staff will work together in fixed teams in order to reconstruct possible infection chains.
- Restaurant: To limit the number of guests in restaurants capacities will be significantly reduced. Tables will be set up at a minimum distance of 1.5 metres apart.
- Extension of opening hours: In order to provide sufficient space for all guests, the opening hours of restaurants and other hotel facilities will be extended.
- Entertainment and activities: Only events, sports and entertainments involving a small number of participants and without close contact will be made available. Golf or tennis, for example, can take place, but football tournaments cannot. The spa offer will be adapted and childcare will be organised according to new standards in line with the requirements of the destinations and guests’ countries of origin.
Hygiene and disinfection
- Expansion of disinfectant dispensers: The number of dispensers will be significantly increased so that guests and employees can disinfect their hands at all important contact points. For example, all locations where food and drink is offered, sports facilities and in the lobby area.
- Room cleaning: Extensive new cleaning practices will be put in place to provide the best possible protection against potential Covid-19 viruses. All rooms will be thoroughly deep cleaned before the arrival of guests and the same intensely robust cleaning protocols will be applied during every guest change over. The most frequently used areas, such as bathrooms, and most used devices and appliances like TV remote controls will receive particular attention.
- Restriction of self-service: Self-service offers such as buffets will be reduced to a minimum. Wherever possible, food and beverages will be served to guests by staff wearing protective masks.
Extensive training programme
- Training by independent auditors: TUI will train all employees in its own hotels. The first training documents will be made available this week.
TUI says these measures will be in addition to the statutory regulations of the respective destinations.
In order to ensure an equally high level of safety in partner hotels not operated by TUI, the group has also launched a comprehensive training and inspection programme in cooperation with the leading hygiene and safety consultancy Cristal International Standards.
This includes training materials, webinars, checklists and customer information and will be made available to the joint venture partners and hotel operators imminently.
“With this set of measures we are creating the framework required to ensure we can offer our guests enjoyable and safe holiday experiences as soon travel restrictions are lifted. TUI can be relied upon to continue working hard, in close partnership with tourist destinations around the world, towards the gradual opening up of global tourism,” Ebel said.
TUI Group runs two hotels under its Robinson brand — Robinson Club Maldives and Robinson Club Noonu — and another two under it RIU brand — Riu Atoll and Riu Palace Maldivas — in the Maldives.
The group’s tour operators across Europe also cater to several other resorts in the Maldives.
Emirates undertakes largest known fleet retrofit project
Emirates has kick-started its plans to upgrade the entire interior cabins of 120 Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft – two of the largest commercial aircraft types in service today.
This ambitious project, representing a multi-billion dollar investment to ensure Emirates’ customers “fly better” for the coming years, officially commences in November and is managed entirely by Emirates’ Engineering team.
The target is to completely retrofit four Emirates aircraft from start to finish every month, continuously for over 2 years. Once the 67 earmarked A380s are refreshed and back in service, 53 777s will undergo their facelift. This will see nearly 4,000 brand new Premium Economy seats installed, 728 First Class suites refurbished and over 5,000 Business Class seats upgraded to a new style and design when the project is complete in April 2025.
In addition, carpets and stairs will be upgraded, and cabin interior panels refreshed with new tones and design motifs including the iconic ghaf trees which are native to the UAE.
No other airline has handled a retrofit of this magnitude in-house, and there’s no blueprint for such an undertaking. Therefore Emirates Engineering teams have been planning and testing extensively, to establish and streamline processes, and identify and address any possible snags.
Trials began on an A380 in July, where experienced engineers literally took each cabin apart piece-by-piece and logged every step. From removing seats and panelling to bolts and screws, every action was tested, timed and mapped out. Potential impediments to completing the installation of Emirates’ new Premium Economy Class or the retrofit of the remaining three cabins in just 16 days were flagged and documented for expert teams to review and address.
As part of the programme, new purpose-built workshops will be set up at Emirates Engineering to repaint, re-trim and re-upholster Business and Economy Class seats with new covers and cushioning. First Class suites will be carefully disassembled and sent to a specialised company to replace the leather, arm rests and other materials.
From the trials, Engineers discovered several unexpected solutions for instance: that existing food catering trucks could be easily repurposed to move parts destined for refurbishment from the aircraft to the workshop for their refresh, as these vehicles had doors of the right width and offer sufficient space.
Until the retrofit programme starts in earnest in November, a cross-disciplinary team has been assembled to regularly review the planning process, address any issues, and track updates on various aspects of the project such as procurement, staffing, and training.
Emirates’ new Premium Economy cabin class, which offers luxurious seats, more legroom, and a service to rival many airlines’ business offering, is currently available to Emirates customers travelling on popular A380 routes to London, Paris, Sydney. More customers will be able to experience the airline’s new Premium Economy cabins starting from year end, as the retrofit programme picks up momentum.
Eleanor helps over 30 Maldives hotels elevate guest services
Eleanor has been named as one of the top 10 concierge software providers globally.
Based on accurate, timely reviews from real users, the HotelTechAwards rank the world’s best hotel software firms and products and it also provides hoteliers direct access to a growing network of hotel technology professionals and decision-makers.
“The guest experience is the cornerstone of our platform. Our unified resort wide solution, Eleanor, has been built for resorts off the back of many years working in the industry and addresses the needs of both Sales and Marketing departments and perhaps just as importantly, the operational requirements of the team on the ground at the property. The days of resorts working with disjointed systems are now behind us,” says Darren Caple, co-founder and CEO.
“We are on a mission to make the guest’s resort experience as easy and as frictionless as possible. Whereas traditional providers in the market have come at this purely from a guest communication perspective, our background in resorts has allowed us to combine this basic requirement with the streamlining of operational processes. The result is truly a resort wide solution that removes the need for countless different systems to be deployed.
Eleanor allows resorts to deliver consistent, superior service levels to guests across all stages of their journey with contactless features helping to alleviate sensitive touch-points in the post pandemic period. More than 30 properties in the Maldives use our Eleanor platform to help butlers and guest services elevate the guest experience. These properties are seeing an increase in incremental revenue by over 30% and operational efficiencies of 600+ man hours per month. We are also beginning to roll out the platform in some Caribbean properties!”
Eleanor is making waves in the hospitality industry by pushing the conventional limits of what a resort guest app can achieve through its unique ability to facilitate direct bookings for services and activities. The traditional ‘request to book’ feature that is common amongst almost all other hotel apps is removed by a power booking and operational platform sitting at the heart of the solution that covers all the resorts’ departments. It’s this module which realises enormous operational benefits and insights for the resort.
“We, at Eleanor, are humbled and honoured that our clients have provided such positive reviews. Feedback from our clients, partners and hoteliers are incredibly valuable for us and we will continue to improve our offering and services”, said Caple.
To celebrate this success, Eleanor is currently offering resorts a free one month trial, together with free setup and training and discounted monthly fees.
Eleanor, founded in 2018 and has its headquarters in the United Kingdom. Created from over 15 years of hands-on expertise, Eleanor allows resorts to deliver consistent, superior service levels to its guests across all stages of their journey with contactless features helping to alleviate sensitive touch-points in the post pandemic period. Eleanor also helps to unlock operational efficiencies and boost incremental revenue and guest loyalty.
Hotel Tech Report’s Best Concierge Software 2022 Runner Up, reviewed as a preferred and reliable hotel software product by the global hotelier community.
For more information, visit www.eleanorapp.com.
Emirates’ recruiters scour the world for cabin crew talent with 30 city stops
Emirates, the world’s most global airline, is seeking talented people with a passion for service to join its award-winning cabin crew team.
As air travel returns with a vengeance, the airline’s recruiters are busy meeting and hiring candidates in 30 cities from now until the end of June. In this latest drive, Emirates’ teams will travel from Australia to the UK, and dozens of European cities in between, as well as Cairo, Algiers, Tunis and Bahrain.
Abdulaziz Al Ali, Emirates Group’s Executive Vice President for Human Resources said: “There’s no more exciting airline than Emirates for anyone interested in a flying career, and we’ve received tremendous interest since we began our recruitment drive for cabin crew in November.”
“While parts of the application process are done online, we always make the effort to meet our candidates in person whenever we can, and that is why our Talent Acquisition team is doing a whirlwind 30-city tour over the next 6 weeks to assess prospective candidates.”
Emirates’ truly global cabin crew team represent 160 nationalities, reflecting its customer mix and international operations in over 130 cities on six continents.
All Emirates crew are based in the exciting cosmopolitan city of Dubai, with company-provided accommodation, tax-free salary and more benefits.
Interested candidates can read more about the Emirates cabin crew role, and apply online at: https://www.emiratesgroupcareers.com/cabin-crew/
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