Playa Hotels & Resorts has good reason to be optimistic for 2021. For one thing, the company is seeing an uptick in destination weddings, reunions and milestone celebrations, and beyond that it has two new properties that are causing some buzz. In this edition of Take Five, we chat with Rose Cosentino, Vice President, Sales – Canada & Eurasia about Playa’s early recovery amid the pandemic and what’s in the pipeline for Canadian travel agents.
- Which resorts are currently open to tourists?
We’ve been extremely fortunate to have reopened all our resorts last year in 2020. We first opened our resorts in Cancun and Jamaica in July 2020, followed by our Hyatt Ziva/Zilara Cap Cana and Sanctuary Cap Cana. By October 2020 all our remaining resorts opened and had our resort teams trained on Playa Safe Stay protocols.
- What is Playa doing to ensure health and safety among its guests?
Playa Hotels was one of the first in the all-inclusive space that embraced all the necessary precautions and implemented Safe Stay protocols. Playa & Resorts announced the Playa Safe Stay initiative on May 4, 2020 in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elevating guest expectations, it focuses on preventive anti-viral measures, reassuring guests with confidence that only Hyatt or Hilton can deliver and bringing key sectors of the travel industry together for solutions.
Here’s what it entails:
- Employee Care & Personal Protective Gear: Personal protective gear is standard throughout the resort along with regular health screenings and temperature checks.
- Social Distance Standards: Our associates and guests are observing safe distancing standards at all times.
- Methodical Treatment & Cleaning: High traffic areas and high touch points in common areas are sanitized and cleaned hourly.
- Redesigned Seating at Dining & Entertainment Venues: All of our dining venues, common areas, pool decks and any gathering areas have been reimagined.
- How are bookings looking for winter 2021?
I continue to remain optimistic that Canadians will be back to travelling by Q4. We are seeing a number of travel advisors working with their clients to book their holidays and seeing very encouraging numbers for destination weddings, family reunions and milestone celebrations. ‘Revenge Travel’ or ‘pent-up demand’ is a real thing. We are seeing bookings coming in very strong for 2022. Canadians love to travel to the sun destinations and as we continue our efforts in getting as many Canadians vaccinated, we can begin to resume our normal lives. I, for one, can’t wait to get on a plane to one of our resorts.
- We recently reported the addition of The Yucatan Resort Playa del Carmen to Playa’s portfolio. When is the resort expected to open, and are you surprised that Playa is continuing on a growth trajectory during this time?
We are so excited about this gem of a resort. We officially welcomed our first guests on May 12. It’s a 60-room, adults-only, boutique resort right in Playa del Carmen. Guests who wish to stay at this resort, for a small fee, can access the beach, restaurants and spend the day at Hilton Playa del Carmen.
We also officially announced our next new project opening this September, the 438-room Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun. Nestled between the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea and the lagoon of Bahia Petempich, Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun will be stirred by dramatic ambiance, exciting cuisine, local culture, state-of-the-art amenities and heartfelt service in a sophisticated resort atmosphere where everything in included but quality is not compromised. Couples, families, friends and groups will all find what they are looking for, from the serene Zen Spa to the brand new winding water park.
- Is there anything in the pipeline that Canadian travel agents should add to their calendars?
I am so fortunate and grateful to have my BDM team working very closely with all travel agents. They are constantly doing agent contests and incentives and training is a key focus across the country. Definitely watch out for Freddie and Amanda’s weekly TAKE 5 updates and Christian’s French version of La Pause. Anyone looking for training support or who has questions can always reach out to their BDM. We are here for you.
Amanda Morris, BDM Ontario: Amanda.Morris@playaresorts.com
Christian Roussin, BDM Quebec & Atlantic Canada: Christian.Roussin@playaresorts.com
Freddie Marsh, BDM Western Canada: Freddie.Marsh@playaresorts.com