Many of us remember where we were, in early 2020, when we first heard the word ‘Covid’ or ‘Corona’ but few of us had any idea what a truly massive impact it would have on the world and on us as individuals or how it would affect every area of our lives. For some, more fortunate, life went on with somewhat of a minimal impact while others lost jobs, quality of life and, sadly, their very lives. One of the biggest impacts on the human race was the removal of our freedom to travel, explore and discover the world.
As travel and tourism have become a normal part of everyday life for so many in recent years, we have become accustomed to having any choice of destination at our fingertips. That freedom, which we often gave no thought to, came to an abrupt halt in a global effort to stunt the spread of the virus. For this reason, the tourism industry has been hit hard – harder than most sectors, by this pandemic. However, the industry has not given up the will to survive and to allow us the freedom to travel again. It is the aim of every travel-related business to get things moving forward and to make a way for travellers to return to family and to appreciate new and exciting experiences once more.
What have Orascom Hotels Management done to help get the ball rolling more quickly?
At OHM, we have valued our staff and our guests above all else. They are the very lifeblood of our business and it is for this reason we have taken every possible measure to protect each individual. 2020 saw us close all our doors across the world for over 50 days in order to reevaluate our hygiene protocol. This was not an easy decision but the health and wellbeing of our staff and clients was and continues to be at the forefront of our minds.
Since then we have run programs across our hotels to better understand what works best and how we can be more efficient in implementing safety strategies. Sanitizers at key points, 2-meter spacing regulations, and daily temperature checks for staff and guests are but a few of the more obvious precautions we insist upon while, behind the scenes, we provide video training provided by the World Health Organization, have a clinic and doctor on-site at all times and insist upon a non-contact room service policy. Cleaning, sanitizing and protecting surfaces, cutlery, handles, linen and towels have also been ramped up to give all those working and visiting our hotels extra peace of mind.
We also understand that COVID has not only affected our staff or their loved ones physically but that it may have had an impact on them mentally and emotionally too. In 2020 we implemented the ‘Together We Can’ campaign to encourage and support our staff and to remind them that they are not alone. The aim was to spread awareness that together, united and working as one, we can see this virus through and overcome the obstacles associated with it. Audited by TÜV Nord Egypt to confirm that the practices undertaken do confirm to international standards of hygiene and sanitation, the campaign was a huge success. We really do have our staff to thank for making this possible because together, as a team, we managed to achieve safer working conditions which meant we could get back to doing what we do best, more quickly.
El Gouna is Orascom Hotels flagship town, hosting 17 of their total 37 worldwide hotels. Due to the high turnover of tourists all year round, and Egypt’s reliance on tourism, we at Orascom Hotels have decided to vaccinate all our staff in order to ensure their safety and the safety of our visitors.
Vaccinations in El Gouna have been incredibly efficient. Stations have been set up at various hotels across the resort town as well as at the Bustan football stadium, thus providing easy and quick delivery of the vaccine. Each vaccination lessens the chances of spreading the virus and also ensures that those who may contract the virus, are at less risk of fatality. This impact, repeated over hundreds of staff members, can make a significant impact across the world as people travel to and from El Gouna.
Hotel and tourism staff are not the only Orascom staff present in El Gouna. Orascom are involved in multiple development projects, are responsible for the Marinas, the international school and so much more. Incredibly they have made the vaccine available to all their employees over all sectors to ensure safety and a continuance of service, thereby protecting more and more people and ensuring that staff are provided with a safer work environment as well as offering a less risky environment for clients across the board.
What is our goal?
We want nothing more than carefree and safe travel for our guests and to provide a safe environment for our staff. The world is still learning to cope with this pandemic and we are learning alongside the leaders in world healthcare. As we aim to stay completely up to date with the constant changes, we also cast an eye backwards to learn from our successes as well as our failures. With vaccinations being rapidly rolled out and safety measures in place, we are confident that we are providing a safer space for all who wish to enjoy what the Red Sea has to offer. We are proud to be playing our part in vaccinating our staff as well as continuing all sanitizing protocols now in place to reduce the spread and effect of the virus on our most valued asset, our people.
We dream of once again safely providing the gorgeous gateway to the Red Sea and allowing the world to discover the wonders of the Red Sea coast, the rest of Egypt and all our locations across the globe. We have our staff to thank for our success thus far and Together We Can continue to succeed.
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