Now that the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in New Zealand, we caught up with CEO of Polynesian Spa in Rotorua, Gert Taljaard. While Polynesian Spa was fully closed under lock down levels 3 and 4, they are now operating and looking forward to rebuilding.
How did the lock down go for you? Were there a lot of adjustments to make?
With Polynesian Spa being a location-based business, the biggest adjustment during lock down was trying to connect with team members and that was challenging at first. Having challenging conversations in the remote world isn’t always that pleasant either. We did take advantage of the virtual world and kept the business going through level 3 & 4. We really took this time to analyse the business and ways we could sustain ourselves; we were thrilled when we were able to open again in level 2!
What were your thoughts leading into lock down and how are you feeling now it’s over?
Going into lock down I had concerns about what the business would look like, including concerns about the lack of government understanding for what could happen to the tourism industry. I was concerned for the team and the decisions the business might have to make.
Coming out of lock down, my team and I have remained positive. Being able to engage again with day to day activities is great for the wellbeing of our team. The team and I will use our talents, insights and energy to get the business back on its feet again in no time. There will be a huge learning curve for us however, we’ll take the initiative and charge forward into this new normal and adapt to the current market.
What did you miss about your workplace?
I missed the team, we are really one big family. As soon as we were allowed, we had a catch up in person to run over operations and how everything would work once the doors reopened. It was just so good to see them and speak to everyone. I had been catching up with the executive team twice a week via Zoom so it was good to see those I hadn’t spoken to as well.
How are you now catering to the domestic market?
I’m proud of Polynesian Spa’s heritage and value with Kiwi’s. As a household name, we have always had fantastic domestic support over the last 50 years. I don’t feel there is a huge need to pivot our marketing strategies too drastically. We are looking at engaging locals even more and creating some offers but we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Check out the Polynesian Spa website to see some deals they are running to help domestic travel get moving.