Cozumel 4 You asked six different Cozumel Island business owners about how they see their business during and post-pandemic COVID-19 closures. Cozumel 4 You interviewed tour operators / Excursions, restaurant owners, businesses with storefronts and even a hair salon.
Leo Waltman, Founder & CEO of Fly Cozumel took part and we publish his answers to the questions of Cozumel 4 you. For the full interview with the other business owners, click here.
Is your Business currently open?
Fly Cozumel is open and fully operating; of course within the limits issued by the government and special measurements are being taken before and after each flight.
How/When do you see the Island re opening for Business? How will your Business re open or gear up into full operation?
I would like to take the opportunity to say that it is a misunderstanding to think the Island was completely closed for Business. Business on Cozumel Island can attend 2 markets: customers that live here / the region and customers that come here to spend vacation time / Excursions. For example if you have a restaurant, pick up and delivery has always been able over the last few months. If a restaurant was focused on tourism, then this period was an excellent opportunity to focus on local customers.
A water sport Business had to be more creative. The waters around Cozumel got closed for (scuba) diving, fishing and tours; and then what do you do? In my opinion that does not mean you have to (temporarily) close your Business. Neither did the government oblige a Business to close. I was quite surprised seeing scuba dive companies starting a GO FUND ME campaign. That was not necessary. Instead a dive company could have thought of a promotion for the theory of a diving course online “at home”, with an offer “you can’t refuse” for the practical part in Cozumel when traveling is easy again. Etc.
At Fly Cozumel the majority of our flights used to be with tourists to popular destinations like Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Excursions to Chichén Itzá. I expect the tourism market in Cozumel opening up again during July / August, but by the end of this year it might not even be 50% of the level of 2019. For Fly Cozumel it is a matter of having more operations and to different destinations, but we are, and have always been, ready!
How do you think your Business will change post-quarantine?
I expect Fly Cozumel to keep growing comfortably. Why? I have this feeling more and more people will appreciate life and freedom more than ever; and that we will be consuming in a more conscious way. Quality and passion will be key in tourism. Traveling in a more private way, getting a true experience (with a soul) is what Fly Cozumel stands for. These months we have been flying for the local / regional market and I am convinced that our new customers will continue flying with Fly Cozumel and this will be a part of our growth.
What are some positives that have come to your Business – or you personally – from this situation?
Personally I am enjoying the changing circumstances thoroughly. It is positive to turn off your “automatic pilot” and to get challenged. This situation made me realize again that each and every single day I should be very, very, very grateful to live on this fantastic Island full of opportunities and to do what I love to do. With clarity, hard work and “some guts” a company will simply make it here. Business wise I am experiencing various positive aspects. Diversification is one of them. Another one is growth of the team: we are bonding more than ever, proud of our company.