What changes you implemented due to Corona do you think will stay beyond the pandemic? Will it have a long-term impact for you?
I have learnt even more to appreciate the small things and also not stress over things we cannot control. I was in Cape Verde when the initial outbreak happened. This was a very challenging time, repatriating guests in my areas of Cape Verde, Portugal, Madeira, The Gambia and Senegal. While ensuring the guests were ok, I also needed to repatriate my staff and leave Cape Verde myself. I have since relocated temporarily with my 2 suitcases to Portugal and feel eternally grateful for this opportunity to have led the restart of the Algarve back in June.
As we had to reduce our working hours, I learnt to take care of myself more and daily exercise became a part big of my routine. This is something which I am continuing now that we are much busier as we are operational. I have also been doing more Portuguese lessons, which for me is very challenging but something I will be continuing to try and conquer!
Do you have an example for creative solutions to new problems?
One thing that Corona has done is accelerating our Digital Transformation in TUI DX: Overnight we have become paperless, cashless and changed our Service Proposition giving our guests much more information digitally and providing service to them via the TUI Digital Assistant (TDA).
We were used to having much more face to face meetings with our destination teams but due to the fact our offices remain closed, we are now using Microsoft Teams for our resort meetings with our Service Delivery Teams – not only with colleagues in different destinations but also locally.
Leading an International Guest Facing Team one of the things we always teach the teams is the importance of a smile and now under masks you cannot see the smile so instead we have all learnt to smile through our eyes!
Is there anything or anyone you are extra grateful for?
I am grateful at this time to all my colleagues in TUI and my manager Fiona Downie to give me the opportunity to move to Portugal temporarily. Flying out to Portugal from Heathrow on 9th June was a surreal experience, I think I had the same adrenalin as I did when I took my first flight to work as a Rep over 17 years ago! I am so excited and feel exceedingly grateful to be part of the restart in Portugal, one of the first destinations to restart back in June for TUI DX. Being at the Airport to see the first guests arrive on holiday on 17th June from Germany was exhilarating!