Reopening of Elements Beach & Nature Resort in Sri Lanka
Earlier this year when Sri Lanka opened its doors for the first time in the pandemic with a number of precautions, we became a 'Level 1 Safe & Secure' resort, complying with the requirements and guidelines stipulated by Sri Lanka Tourism (SLTDA). This was our only ticket to open our doors, and welcome our guests from all over the world who wanted to visit Sri Lanka and experience the tropical sea life.
Now that guidelines are much more relaxed and Sri Lanka is entirely open for fully-vaccinated foreign travellers, we are welcoming all fully vaccinated foreign tourists and local travelers to Elements Resort again. We cannot be more excited about our reopening and for so long, we’ve missed the clinking sound of coffee cups in our beautiful lounge, the vibrant sound of laughter and the dinnertime chitchat. We are looking forward to having you all with us, and here’s Marcel Bobay reflecting on our journey so far in the pandemic and what’s ahead for us.
Also read: Dolphin and whale watching in Sri Lanka
1. Tell us about the challenges you faced and what worked for Elements during the pandemic?
One big challenge was of operational nature. This was to constantly ensure that all the SLTDA guidelines and protocols were maintained. The second big challenge is of economic nature. Maintaining all the protocols, PCR testing, quarantine cost, expensive extra COVID equipment and gadgets became very expensive while we only could generate about 20% of booking volume during the period, which drained all the company reserves quickly. We were then forced to raise substantial funding from shareholders, friends and guests. We managed to raise the amount which equals the turnover of five high season months before Covid, and we are extremely grateful for the support coming from all over the world.
2. What are you grateful for during this period?
We, as a family, are extremely grateful to have been able to live up here inside the resort, live with nature, get up with the sound of the waves, and live the day in sync with the rhythm of nature. Also the homeschooling worked very well for our two girls. We had spent much time with our amazing team and the few guests who came through our hotel. Many of them we got to know on a very personal level. They came as guests and left as friends and some of them have already announced to come back again - some of them already did :-)
3. Elements have reopened and are operating as usual from Dec 12. What are you looking forward to in this season?
We truly look forward to feeling the “old” pre-corona freedom again and also to spontaneously welcome travellers from Sri Lanka and all over the world. And of course, we are looking forward to the many great kite and foil sessions, scuba diving on the nearby reefs, fresh lobster, beach fires and above all, good company.
4. What’s new at Elements?
We believe in the future of tourism in Sri Lanka, therefore we are using this time of low demand to build our new sundowner beach bar which we hope to inaugurate in only a few days.
5. What is the message you have for travelers coming to Sri Lanka and Elements now?
Come now! You will never again find Sri Lanka like 20 years ago. Those who are courageous will be greatly rewarded with empty beaches and kite spots, historic sites in their authentic beauty. No crowds, no stress — a great, great time to enjoy Sri Lanka at its best.