We asked some of the CEOs and Heads in our Company to tell us how they and their teams dealt with the long hiatus, the the work-from-home situation, the vast changes that took place from March 2020 onwards. The pandemic hit us, but it also unlocked our strength. And our executives kept the organisation together, never failing to motivate their teams and taking care of their staff. Peter Payet, CEO, Desert Adventures Tourism, tells us how it went in their part of the world.
What, in your opinion, are the top three challenges that you faced in the past year?
Last year had many challenges, but I think they can be put into four main categories:
- No travel and lockdowns (destination and markets)
- Financial implications (clients and suppliers)
- Business continuity measures and communication (staffing levels, technology, sales & marketing activities)
In our daily work we always face different challenges and are, by nature of our business, solutions providers and problem solvers. But at this time, the biggest challenge of all was the fact that we had to face all challenges with the markets, the clients and the suppliers all at the same time. It was a different scenario all together.
What measures did you take to meet these challenges?
First and foremost were business continuity measures, where we did come into the situation quite prepared with all our systems being cloud based and accessible. Secondly, quite early on we agreed upon, and implemented, immediate savings measures across the organisation. After that, the most important thing was to enhance communication on all levels: with our team members, with our clients and with our suppliers.
During these times of great uncertainty and an ever changing situation, it was paramount that we keep the communication open and honest at all times. We ensured this through regular and frequent senior team meetings, where the team leaders in turn did the same with their individual teams. Consequently, each one was always fully aware of the issues we were facing and became an integral part of the solution.
During 2020, our team conducted over 150 product and destination webinars with over 2,000 trade participants across five continents. We issued over 50 special advisories as the situation unfolded, and prepared comprehensive health and safety documents, giving our clients up to the minute information and re-assurance about our destinations.
What was your key message to your team during the lockdown and how did you keep your team morale high?
The key message was team work, perseverance and learning. I believe each of the team members has come out stronger and with additional skills acquired through multitasking and learning through new projects we have launched during 2020.
List five words to describe your team.
Resilience, adaptability, resourcefulness, creativity and care.
What message would you like to share with your team today?
Keep looking forward! Tough times come and go…tough people always survive.
CEO-Desert Adventures Tourism LLC-UAE