COVID-19: Olivier Jolivet, CEO of COMO Group, on the future of travel in a post-pandemic era

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 2 July 2020 - Luxury hotels and resorts have always
positioned seclusion, exclusivity and a host of wellness options as touchpoints
in their offerings. Moving forward, the Covid-19 pandemic begs the question of
whether the travel industry will follow suit.


With over two decades of experience in the
business of luxury travel and private equity, Olivier Jolivet, CEO of COMO
Group, is one of the far and few professionals fit to divulge the future of
luxury travel in a post-pandemic world.


Supporting COMO's Community & Employees

COMO's brand DNA is not without its focus on
well-being. Through its social media channels and Stories newsletters, COMO has
been reaching out to those staying at home during the period. The
organisation's group of therapists are also plugged into improving wellness,
both physically and mentally, in employees and communities.


Likewise, in the spirit of support and
sensitivity, COMO waives all of its cancellation fees - offering the option of
either reimbursement or postponement of travel dates to 2021. Retaining their
employees is also part of the efforts despite closing off 90 percent of their


Extending the commitment to well-being
beyond COMO's direct influence, food, supplies and beds have been provided to
healthcare organisations to aid front liners in the fight against the pandemic.


Travel & Its Future in a Post Covid-19

As unprecedented as it is, the Covid-19
crisis is unfolding at the pinnacle of travel - causing ripple effects onto
international travel and even putting a stop to it momentarily. To Olivier,
luxury travel has always been about space, privacy and choice. This cannot be
farther from truth in what constitutes our new normal.


Given our current and recent experiences,
Olivier considers that travellers tomorrow may opt for smaller groups, more
intimate locations and specialised offerings instead of 300-bedroom hotels. In
this respect, destination-focused hotels, unique suites and wellness programs
have always formed the nucleus of COMO's business model.


Intentionally so, the vision COMO's founder,
Christina Ong, had 30 years ago has led the brand to unrivalled success and
certainly so, not by chance. As Olivier calls it, the COMO model for modern
travel and living is, without a doubt, significant in today's context.


Although relevance is key to staying in
business, Olivier believes that it isn't the right time for a new marketing
decision - at least for COMO. He advises against remodelling messaging -
indicating that crises are not opportunities and using them in that way can be


Mitigating Covid-19 Impacts on the Travel Industry

It all starts with your brand DNA, remarks
Olivier. How it relates to the environment you operate in, people you serve -
from employees and guests to stake-holders present - factors in your crisis


Cushioning the impact of a crisis of this
scale requires intervention in some form. If the government is financially
capable, monetary initiatives point in the right direction for repair and
recovery. Still, this could be an issue for emerging economies.


This article is originally inspired by Robb Report Singapore.

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