Quick thinking saves the day for Swiss-Belhotel during pandemic

‘We had to change our business model very quickly’

By Zainab Shahid

Dubai, UAE: While quarantine measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic brought most hotels to its knees, one managed to dodge the bullet and get a big share of the travel market. Here’s how.

“We were able to grab the largest share of the repatriation market,” Priyanka Kapoor, Swiss-Belhotel International senior regional director of sales and marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) told Dubai Vibes Magazine in an exclusive interview.

She explained that as big companies needed to keep going and send executives across the globe despite the pandemic, these business organizations needed to follow certain protocols, among them the quarantine of their officials arriving at a particular city.

“Companies were sending their people elsewhere so they require quarantine,” explained Kapoor. “We have a strong network of corporations. We did their needed quarantine paperwork for them,” she added.

As a result, Kapoor said, “All of our hotels remained open throughout the Covid time.”

“We didn’t have to close any.”

Kapoor said they had to “change our business model very quickly.” She said that consequently, they did not have to let employees go or be on leave without pay as most hotels did. “There was always a percentage reduction (from their salaries),” she said.

Swiss-Belhotel International has four properties in Bahrain; two in Qatar; one in Oman and two in Kuwait, said Kapoor.


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