Frontline hotels are hospitality heroes – Manila Bulletin
Not all heroes wear capes, as the new generation of heroes we admire are dressed in white coats, scrub caps, and the ever-elusive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Our medical heroes have been fighting on the front lines for over a year, as we remain mired in a global health crisis. To them we are truly indebted.
Recently, the Interagency Working Group on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) also recognized the valiant efforts and sacrifices of the men and women of our tourism industry. The front lines of the hospitality industry have also served on the front lines, welcoming and providing a safe haven for our returning compatriots and essential travelers.
Last June, Resorts World Manila (RWM) took his hat off to all frontliners with Frontliners Month. RWM wanted to celebrate life’s greatest joys and achievements because it fully embraced its credo of making the most of life. To celebrate Frontliners Month, RWM shone the spotlight on its frontline hotels which have remained true to their duty even during difficult times and have continued to represent the company’s commitment to rocking the world whenever ‘they have the opportunity.
Maricris Manimbo, customer service leader at Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City (HIEx), recalls 2020 as one of the most difficult years of his career, “As early as January we started to see a series of cancellations of previous bookings due to the Taal Volcano eruption, and then immediately after, concerns about the virus began to surface. “
While some hotels have closed, HIEx has remained operational to accommodate outgoing travelers in March amid growing concerns about the pandemic. “Before closing, we were serving a lot of outgoing foreign nationals. And then immediately after, we asked to be a quarantine hotel for our returning kababayan. “
At the Savoy Hotel Manila, front office associate Joshua Randel Tandoc initially feared for his personal safety and job security at the height of the pandemic and the initial lockdown. He shared: “We were slowed down during the height of the pandemic last year. It was really a difficult time as most of our colleagues were unable to report to work due to the confinement. Of course, we were afraid, it was uncertain times, a lot of hotels were closing at the time. Despite the inevitable, we were able to turn this season into an opportunity to learn more, grow together and show the true meaning of Filipino hospitality.
In these difficult situations, even the smallest things can go a long way. At Belmont Hotel Manila, F&B Service Ambassador Trixie Anne Paraiso explains how she was able to provide respite to returning OFWs who remain in mandatory quarantine at the hotel.
“The pandemic has radically changed our approach to customer service. There has been an adjustment, to be able to interact face to face, now everything is done by phone. It’s hard when we’ve been so used to seeing our guests and welcoming them with a smile, now we can only talk to them over the phone. It’s difficult because we know it’s difficult for them too. Most of them just want to be reunited with their families. So, for our part, we really want to offer the best possible service as the hotel becomes their first home back home. We try to make them feel at home by checking them in from time to time over the phone and addressing them by name. Customers really appreciate even the simple things we do for them, sometimes they leave little thank you notes saying how much they enjoyed their stay with us. These little acts of kindness in the chaos really keep us going. It puts into perspective why we do what we do.
The pandemic has truly changed lives and livelihoods around the world. Quarantine warrants and security guidelines have created a wedge between people and the way they interact. Despite this, the Filipino spirit and hospitality exudes warmth that can keep human relationships alive.
To learn more about RWM, visit www.rwmanila.com or follow RWM’s official social media accounts, @rwmanila on Facebook and Twitter, and @resortsworldmanila on Instagram.
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