It’s mid-2020 and the travel industry is slowly starting to regain its footing. Posadas, Mexico’s largest hotel operator, began reopening the doors to its hotels mid-summer with an eye on opening all 180 properties by the end of August. They are proceeding not only with the caution the situation demands, but with a firm step and a multi-dimensional plan that covers all the bases.
“The Travel with Confidence plan covers five pillars of health and safety confidence, from check-in and check-out to accommodations and guestrooms, food and beverage to public spaces such as the lobbies and meeting spaces, restaurants and bars,” said David Manzella, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for Posadas. “That includes pools and beaches because our primary focus is our 15 resorts that we have under our resort collection (La Colección). Obviously if you’re coming to these beautiful destinations and these amazing resorts, you want to be able to enjoy the pool and enjoy the beaches.”
Manzella goes on to describe the safety program as “best in class,” as it was created in partnership with global brand leader 3M. “Everything that we’re doing with the health and safety protocols, we’ve partnered up with 3M. We also have on site doctors that are trained in this working with local authorities to ensure there’s safety across the board,” he explained. Planners will be pleased to hear Posadas was also awarded the Safe Travel Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in recognition of the strict protocols they’ve put in place.
These protocols include temperature checks for everyone, a “Confidence Kit” for guests, cleaning with electrostatic mist, and digital kiosks for contactless check-in, among other things. Every effort has been put in place in common areas to ensure physical distancing.
Though this year has been a challenge, this strong initiative, coupled with Posadas’ impeccable reputation with the meetings industry and their current flexible policies, has resulted in a win for the company—and for meeting planners. “It’s been a compromise year,” said Manzella, “but we’re being extremely flexible and working with every client individually. I’m happy to say 90-plus percent of the clients are working with us. If they can’t come because they’re not sure they can have the attendance or the visibility right now, they’re moving their events to ’21 or ’22 and we’re working with that.”
At the time of the interview, Manzella mentioned they had recently hosted several site inspections with planners and future events, including a possibility for a large incentive trip late this year for some 600 people. “They’re looking at our Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, our flagship property,” he shared. “There we can properly space everyone out, and we have the proper protocols with social distancing, masks, all the good stuff. They want to reward their people and they still want to bring them in to share.”
For the planners who can’t make site inspections in person, there’s digital. “We have a lot of virtual planners, and we have a great website for planning—we can jump on Microsoft Teams and talk to them, show them what we can do with virtual tours and things like that. We’re working around it right now because eventually people need to meet, we need to all get together again at some point.”
“It’s all about a partnership now more than ever,” said Manzella in closing. “We hope when their business picks back up again, [meeting planners will] say ‘Posadas and Fiesta Americana Grand Meetings Mexico & Beyond’ worked with us.’”
New & Notable
Posadas is also set to open its first resort in the Caribbean in November 1st of this year. The Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic’s Uvero Beach will be an adults-only, high-end property with approximately 12,000 square feet of meeting space and 340 guest rooms, a shoo-in for luxury meetings and incentives. Punta Cana is the island’s premier destination and home to its most upscale accommodations, shopping, attractions, polo, golf, and more. There are plans for a second property in the area, a Grand Fiesta Americana at Punta Cana, with an opening date tentatively scheduled for 2022.
Also on the radar: A grand project in the Riviera Maya, opening June 2021. “This will be our biggest project to date,” said Manzella. “It’s more of a complex that consists of three products: a 50,000-plus square-foot convention center, plus the Fiesta Americana Tulkal Riviera Maya and a Live Aqua Beach Resort Tulkal Riviera Maya.”
For details on all the properites and the Travel With Confidence program, visit Fiesta Americana Grand Meetings Mexico & Beyond.)