Earlier this summer, Playa Hotels & Resorts launched the “Work and Learn from Paradise” program, and a new trend in the travel industry was born.
Stay for 14 days, be upgraded to a suite room, receive free spa treatments and have all your needs taken care of you through an all-inclusive package – sounds amazing, right?
Throughout August a number of resorts followed with variations of extended stay offers.
How does Playa Hotels & Resorts feel about that?
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” said EVP & Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Froemming. “I think everybody sort of identifying this, I think it’s great that we lead the way. We paid a lot of attention to our travel agents and quite frankly, this has been something that we’ve been thinking about for quite some time on our executive conference calls.
“We’re glad that the rest of the industry is catching up with us on this. I think it’s great for the industry to see people coming back to the resorts and these type of programs are going to help our industry recover faster. From our perspective, we want everyone to come here, but we realize that there are others out there, so we welcome it as a part of our industry recovery.”
The peak of the summer travel season may be gone as the Labor Day has come and gone, however, the future bookings and vacations are slowly but surely trending up.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of bookings,” Froemming said. “We’re well over a million dollars in revenue on this particular program already.”
Playa also invested in stronger WiFi to ensure no guests complain about internet access to handle remote working and virtual learning for the kids.
“I think it’s one of the best ideas or resorts come up with it a long time,” said Tyson Wharton, Owner of Sioux Empire Travel. “If people are stuck at home and their kids are learning from home, there’s no better place than right here. Everything is taken care of for you, you can focus on your work, your kids can focus on school and then once you’re all done, you can have a great time with the family.”
Travel agents and advisors certainly love the unique new way to sell a vacation to their clients.
But how do guests experiencing it feel?
At the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic last week, paradise views made virtual learning and remote working a breeze.
15-year-old Josh Wright is missing sports, but thanks to the 14,000 square foot gym he can focus on staying in shape.
“I really love the training aspect because back at home all the gyms are closed. Since sports are not happening, I’m still able to train here and get that done and I really love that.”
And what did his 14-year-old brother Brady Wright think?
“Well, I just love the idea of it, just like having freedom to do whatever you want, like you can study in the coffee lounge or even in your room on your balcony…you have your own freedom to do whatever you want, you’re not just cooped up in your room at home.
St. Thomas University President David A. Armstrong raved about the WiFi access and its strength.
“Well, I’ll tell you, the moment we walked in my spirit was lifted,” Armstrong said. “But I had all kinds of meetings. I had a board executive meeting with some very big decisions, I had meetings every day and I’ll be honest, this is going to sound bad, but the Wi-Fi is better here than I have at my school and at home so I was more effective from a virtual standpoint here than I’ve been anywhere else so far.”
The “Work and Learn from Paradise” program at Playa is currently being offered at Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Cap Cana, Hyatt Ziva and Zilara in Cancun, Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Rose Hall in Jamaica, and as mentioned earlier, coming to Los Cabos soon.
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