Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi this morning visited the Dolmen Resort Hotel in Bugibba as part of a programme of visits with the aim of meeting management and employees at their place of work. Dr. Gonzi who was accompanied by the Minister for Tourism, the Environment and Culture Dr. Mario De Marco was welcomed by the General Manager of the Dolmen Resort Hotel Alex Pace and members of the hotel management and after a briefing in the hotel lobby proceed to meet employees in various areas of their place of work.
Amongst the various areas Dr. Gonzi toured were the Linen Room, where all hotel laundry is stored, and cleaned on an ongoing process; the hotel kitchen and ancillary food preparation areas where kitchen staff are involved in a sizable operation to cater for the requirements of both hotel residents and dining guests; various hotel restaurants which service both residents and outside guests for casual dining and functions, as well as the Plant Room which today has grown considerably in size and incorporates a whole array of machinery including chillers, boilers and the reverse osmosis plant .
The Prime Minister than proceeded to meet a number of hotel employees in the Dolmen Room where various questions were put to him re various topics that were of concern to them.
Investing in the wider tourism product
The Dolmen Resort Hotel has just initiated an investment programme of € 3.0 million for the period 2012 – 2013. This is the final stage in a long series of staged investment processes which has seen the total investment by the hotel reach € 12.6 million over the last 8/9 years where the wider tourism product such as the general property and hotel rooms have benefitted from substantial upgrades. Testimony to all this investment as well as the performance & quality upgrade of the standards of rooms and the quality of service is the recent Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. This award was based on the comments and feedback hotel guests have posted on this leading industry website which makes it even more meaningful as it is a client driven recognition. All this has been possible over the years due to the visionary strategy displayed by the directors in consonance with a hard working and efficient, management and staff committed to achieve high customer satisfaction and give utmost value for money.
The whole investment programme started way back commencing with the major refurbishment of €5,5 million undertaken in 2004 following a Bond Issue. There then followed other investment initiatives notably of €4.1 million between 2008–2011 which were undertaken by the company. These investments were focused in various areas such as solar water heating and the replacement of old equipment by modern energy saving equipment. In addition there have been other investment initiatives which were undertaken assisted by the Maltese Government such as the interest rate subsidy scheme & reduced tax rates scheme through the Business Promotion Act.
Investing in ‘Green Tourism’
The Dolmen Resort Hotel has throughout its existence been very aware and committed to minimize the adverse impact its operations might have on the environment whereby since 2003 the Hotel has consistently been awarded Eco-Certification by the Green Commission of the Malta Tourism Authority.
The hotel also took advantage of its close proximity to the sea and installed a reverse osmosis to cater for most of its water needs of that time and for the foreseeable future. Today, it has invested in a larger and more modern plant producing 240 cubic meters of water daily and just recently recalibrated the complete toilets’ flushing mechanism saving just over 450,000 litres of water per annum based on a 80% hotel occupancy as part of a long series of environmentally friendly measures. Various other similar measures have included:
Waste separation at source, using separate waste receptacles in a number of public areas.
Disposing of all hazardous waste responsibly , besides recycling waste whenever possible.
Use of degradable garbage bags, paper products, detergents and chemicals from suppliers committed to reducing the adverse impact of their operations on the environment by adopting environmental friendly management systems.
Participation in environmental care activities such as planting trees, country-side and seabed cleaning and distributing information to guests and staff to create more awareness of the need to protect the environment.
Installation of a key-card system, to automatically switch off room electricity once guests exit rooms, and sensors to automatically switch off air-conditioner once balcony doors of guest rooms are opened helping save energy as well as reducing fire risks from electrical components overheating.
Providing greater accessibility
The hotel’s management has also striven to ensure that the premises are adequately accessible to people with mobility constraints where today the hotel has 4 rooms which are specifically equipped to cater for guests with special needs. Family friendly measures also extended to the benefit of guests, where the hotel employs a team of animators who organize activities involving children of guests so that parents may enjoy themselves with the knowledge that their children are cared for in a safe and fun environment.
Work-life balance for employees
The hotel also prides itself in being an equal opportunity employer where staff members are recruited and provided with means for developing their career irrespective of their gender, race, religion, nationality. As at the end of July 2012 the Dolmen Resort Hotel employed a total of 380 Full-Time and Part-Time employees. The Dolmen Resort Hotel has also established the “Dolmen Welfare Social Association”, an in-house organisation run by a team of hotel employees whose aims are to organize social activities and provide support for the benefit of all employees and their immediate family members.
The Dolmen Resort Hotel’s policies and initiatives in improving its operations and commercial competitive advantage, together with its commitment towards its corporate social responsibility obligations, will ensure that the Hotel will keep contributing towards the financial and social well-being of its investors, employees and customers whilst supporting the Maltese tourism industry.