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#Together: Giorgio Ascolese, AR Diamante Beach SPA Hotel

AR Diamante Beach SPA Hotel is located in Calpe, on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. World Travel Awards talks to Giorgio Ascolese, General Manager about the measures he has implemented at his hotel in reaction to the pandemic.



WTA: What is the current status of operations at AR Diamante SPA Hotel? And what changes did you implement in order to continue operating during the pandemic?

GA: One of the first safety measures that we implemented was to listen to our customers and to understand what their concerns, expectations and wishes were in regard to enjoying their holidays.

Once all this information was analysed, along with all the safety guidelines, both from the government and from the main hoteliers’ association, we reformulated our operations and modified our facilities in order to guarantee safety measures against Covid-19 and to improve guest experience.

The creation of an open-air theatre, a new children’s waterpark and the restyling of our buffet are some examples of the great changes that we made, and that met with overwhelming approval from our guests.

WTA: With the resumption of international travel thankfully back on the horizon, how do you see the next year mapping out for you?

GA: We have a clearer forecast, because we already have a vaccine and this is an important change.

Besides, the measures established by the Valencian government to make this a safe destination for tourism have been effective, so we can look to the future with optimism. Moreover, our customers are contacting us to resume planning of events and activities, which had to be postponed because of the pandemic.

WTA: Describe the lockdown experience in the Alicante, and how did this compare to normal times.

GA: The Covid-19 crisis seriously affected the whole country, including the Valencian Community. The same as in many countries worldwide, citizens were forced to stay inside their houses, in an environment of uncertainly, where many businesses (especially from the hospitality field) registered their worst ever economic results.

The coastal cities, like Calpe, were left without the traditional Mediterranean atmosphere at bars and restaurants and the wonderful beaches were practically deserted, until the arrival of the summer, when it was finally possible to see the town come to life again, in the way we are accustomed to.

Now, thanks to the collaboration of citizens, the quick and effective reaction of the government in the region, along with the advances in the vaccination process, we are even more optimistic looking towards this summer and we are sure that the situation will continue to improve.

WTA: What makes Alicante the ideal destination to visit post-pandemic?

GA: The Valencian community has a constant and relentless vaccination rate and has become a European benchmark, having the lowest cumulative incidence rate in Spain.

Moreover, being such a popular region during the summer months and, given the experience acquired from last season, we can assure that the region of Alicante and, specifically, Calpe are totally safe destinations to enjoy a well-deserved holiday.

The capacity control at the beaches, the use of face mask and strict safety measures in bars and restaurants, guarantee the safety of visitors, allowing them to disconnect and enjoy their holidays.

WTA: Why is collaboration across the global travel industry essential to navigating the post-pandemic landscape?

GA: To overcome a crisis, it is necessary to have a strategy in place based on the strengthening of the relationship between competitors in order to restore visitors’ confidence in a destination.

In the same way, it is important to reaffirm the commitment to public-private collaboration as a formula to reactivate the activity of the sector in Spain and in the world, based on the pillars of digitalization, innovation and sustainability.

WTA: What trends in travel and tourism do you see emerging in the aftermath of the crisis?

GA: I think that the robotisation, the arrival of 5G and other technological innovations are going to revolutionize transport, logistics and hospitality.

This crisis also opens a scenario of opportunity. New players, like start-ups, large technological businesses, real estate companies, among others, will be eager to get behind a sector with as much potential as the tourism industry.

WTA: Have you had any positive changes in your own outlook in reaction to the crisis?

GA: The Covid-19 crisis inspired us to re-evaluate every aspect of the hotel and find new ways to interact and strengthen our team.

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About #Together

The World Travel Awards #Together initiative aims to galvanise the recovery efforts of the global travel and tourism industry.

#Together serves an on-going resource of information, practical advice and insights from the travel industry’s thought-leaders and decision-makers to aid the collective recovery by bringing the industry together as a global unit, pooling collective knowledge and fostering cooperation.

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