“There is light at the end of the tunnel.” A reiterated message I’ve been sharing with our team and stakeholders as our organisation forges ahead facing what appears to be a never-ending barrage of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
We defeat those we can defeat and pray the Serenity Prayer for those that we can’t!
The PACE of the vaccine roll out is the elephant in our room - the one we seemingly cannot defeat. Or can we?
From well before the start of the vaccine roll out, our hopes as hospitality stakeholders has been resting on an efficient and speedy vaccine roll out for South Africa, which would gear us towards reopening our borders and providing the stimulus for tourism – a crucial move for us to bounce back from the dire state of domestic and international travel and the enormous losses we have collectively suffered in our particular sector.
Much to our collective disappointment, but true to form of our government, availability of vaccines, and the lack of educating, promoting and reinforcing South Africa’s vaccine program has been more dismal than any of us could have anticipated.
Though we could easily run through a lengthy list of why and how we feel disappointed in our government, we find ourselves far beyond that point now and can no longer blame anyone one person or faction for our current situation.
Within the BON community, we will reach 90% of our head office staff vaccinated by the end of this August 2021 and then 75% of all of our staff by 1 October 2021. Whilst no one can legally enforce anyone yet to take the vaccine I see it is our responsibility to take a hard-line vaccine approach, even as a caring organisation, who take pride in the well-being and safety of our guests and staff. Unvaccinated staff, suppliers and guests are going to feel the pressure from us to vaccinate; this may take the form of ensuring that unvaccinated staff do not physically work at our hotels as well as maintaining and even retaining the right of admission to our hotels and restaurants for unvaccinated guests.
Let me be frank – there is no more time to dilly-dally around the vaccination ethos. Every vaccinated South African represents an opportunity for the country to get closer to where we need to be as an accessible tourist destination.
I encourage other businesses to lay down strict vaccine markers for your workforce, plan and then implement campaigns with your staff and guests as well as reward staff and guests for vaccinating.
There is no more time to dilly-dally around our South African vaccine efforts.