Most hospitality businesses are looking forward to a busy summer despite the unpredictable tourism market caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Closed borders have caused these establishments to rely heavily on domestic tourism which has dramatically increased over the past two years.
“The operators include everything from cafés and restaurants to hotels and day trip organisers. Everyone has been affected by the pandemic in some way. It has not only impacted the demographics of our clientele but has also added a lot of pressure on our resources,” says Assistant General Manager for The Gerald Apartment Hotel, Gemma Clark.
The Gerald Apartment Hotel has recently launched a new summer menu at their Old Man and The Sea rooftop restaurant which is situated on the hotel’s premises. Looking to offer something different to both the local and domestic market, this comes with great expectations around the festive season.
“We have put a lot of thought and planning into our new summer menu, not only for visitors from around Australia but also for our local market in Geraldton. We are fortunate to have wonderful produce in the area and wanted to specifically display the wide selection of locally sourced seafood. This is part of the rooftop restaurant’s DNA with a definitive seafood theme running throughout the menu, fitting for a venue overlooking the ocean,” Clark added.
The hotel will also be running several accommodation specials throughout summer with good value for money being the main priority. Domestic travel has been excellent during the pandemic for obvious reasons and Clark says that these specials are tailor-made for the domestic market.
“The pandemic has brought about financial pressures for most households and it became clear to us that our summer offerings needed to have incentives that would provide guests with good value for money without compromising on our premium quality” she confirmed.
The hotel has launched a Staycation special, a Christmas promotion as well as an Escape at the Gerald package. These offerings are available for the next few months and more information around these can be found on the hotel’s website.
Despite the efforts to meet the demand of the increased domestic travel, there has still been a shortage of resources. The industry has faced staffing challenges with the lack of overseas-based workers travelling through Western Australia being one of the reasons for the shortage of workers.
“In the hospitality industry the backpacking community is key to employers in regional areas and this has been placed on hold while international borders remain closed. We have been relying solely on our Geraldton based staff who have done a phenomenal job. The team has been working tirelessly and it is now more important than ever for us as regional employers to look after staff wellbeing and meet their needs in terms of career satisfaction, growth and training,” Clark concluded.
There will no doubt be more challenges as Western Australian borders open and new requirements get implemented within the industry. However for now the hotel seems set on enjoying a successful summer through these new innovations, offerings and lots of hard work.