What changes you implemented due to Corona do you think will stay beyond the pandemic? Will it have a long-term impact for you?
The Cyprus Government took fast and serious action to fight the pandemic. We evacuated our guests from Cyprus in the end of March. The time of evacuation was very busy and it was interesting to see how different people react in crisis situation and in expectation of the unknown. The evacuation process proved once again the magic of team work and made me feel very proud to be part of the TUI team.
The hectic times of the evacuation changed soon to full lock down. We were able to request permission to leave the house only once a day. If you had to visit a doctor and do food shopping it required some planning.
To be honest I quite enjoyed this period of time and beauty of the simple life in the beautiful spring weather. Long walks in the sunshine, home cooked food, wine in the garden and long conversations with our children around the dinner table felt important and meaningful and brought us closer together. My usual exercise routine was replaced with running outdoors (well, jogging) while listening to audio books.
As sad as the situation around the pandemic is, for me personally it has been good to calm down and remind myself what is important and rethink my time management and priorities in life.
Do you have an example for creative solutions to new problems?
We re-started our operation with a small team and small arrivals from Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the end of June. In all honesty, for the first couple of weeks my head was spinning. We had to overcome so many aspects of what we had considered as important parts of delivering great service. However, we adapted the new standards quite fast, safe ways of working and we became comfortable with the new Health & Safety restrictions, new guest concerns and paperless, digital service.
The most important and effective solution for most problems has been an open and positive mindset and team work. Helping each other and sharing our skills and strengths within the team and with suppliers have been vital.
Is there anything or anyone you are extra grateful for?
I am grateful for all learnings I have taken with me from this time. I have learned to “let go” and go with a flow as the new normal is constantly changing. I am also grateful for my team for being so open, adaptive and flexible at this time. It has been amazing to be part of the restart in Cyprus and to see happy guests enjoying their holidays again!