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When tough times come our way, we really only have two options. We can simply fear the fire, or become it.

COVID-19 has been a nightmare for many of us, especially those in the travel & tourism industry.

In our case, we are not only wiping out 2020, yet sadly to say we are even wiping out 2019 too….and to add to this, who knows what the future holds? Will people ever get back to travelling freely, as we have previously been accustomed to?

Yet having said that, there is one thing which I am fully sure of, and that is, WE AT THE ROCS GROUP ARE RESILIENT.

Leading the way in the travel industry on the local market for the past 23 years has made us grow in more ways than one. We have had to face it all, had to experience all extremities, and have had no option but to persevere and be resilient. The Travel business is surely not for the light-hearted and learning how to find solutions during the most confrontational times, has been key.

Yes, the truth of the matter is that COVID-19 has hit us hard, very hard. Nothing could have ever prepared us for such a shocking reality. Being the largest leisure travel tour operator on the island, handling an average of 25,000 – 30,000 clients a year has, in a way, worked to our disadvantage during COVID-19. We say this, as obviously we have had many more clients to tackle than any other travel company in Malta. We have had to work day and night, 24 x 7 so as to tackle all ROCS clients who have been hit by this worldwide calamity. Therefore, one can understand that the load on our travel team during the past 4 months has been an enormous one, and cannot be compared to anyone else’s.

We have been shouted at, and gravely threatened by certain individuals who surely have no idea what the word prudence is all about, and although we still don’t yet know when this coronavirus crisis will fully pass, at ROCS Travel we are used to dealing with challenging situations, in view of the large number of clients we handle every year. Undoubtedly, now with COVID-19 on our résumé, we will come out of this challenging situation stronger than we have ever been before.

Do not get me wrong, it will not be getting any easier for us for the time being given that we are still tackling client issues from morning until evening on a daily basis. Yet just as prior to COVID-19 we had grown to become the best in Malta, such a circumstance will only help us grow stronger than ever. Notwithstanding all challenges we have been faced with, our determination is still 100% there. It might take a week, maybe a month, or perhaps even a few of them too, yet WE WILL get back there.

So today, on July 1st 2020, we look forward to the opening of the Malta International Airport with the hope of better days to come. We welcome the lifting of the travel ban by the government, which ban has created unbelievable havoc for us. Needless to say, the nation's health and well-being is and will always be a priority, and hence whether we like it not, we have to agree that the tough decision of the closure of the airport had to be taken.

On a more positive note, a massive ‘Thank You’ goes to our ROCS clients. You have been patient with us, many still are, and for this, we humbly extend our sincere gratitude.

Dear esteemed clients, we assure you that if your travel plans have changed due to COVID-19, we do understand your worries and frustrations, and assure you that we will be there for you in the coming days, as we have been during the past 4 months and furthermore, during the past 23 years.

We are, as we have always been, fully committed to giving you the unparalleled service that the ROCS Group is all about.

Personally, I will make sure that we are preparing ourselves well, and that we will rise again so as to give you the very best holiday packages on the market as we always have.

This is our story, yes we have been hit by this crazy pandemic, yet what matters most is not how hard we have been knocked down, yet all about how strong we will get back up again.

We simply ask you, dear clients, for your kind patience and co-operation until we solve each and every problem which has been thrown at us. We assure you that we will leave no stone unturned until we solve all of them.

I reiterate the value that we have always drilled into all our ROCS Team members - our customers are a priority, and we will not ignore you.

I put myself on the forefront and will be willing to meet and speak to each and every client if needs be, especially those with more challenging situations, needing advice, and help. Please feel free to contact me directly. I am confident that together with our team of committed professionals, with the help of the relevant authorities and our suppliers, we will work hard so as to make sure that we will keep all our clients as happy as humanly possible.

As the inspirational Liverpool FC song goes:
‘At the end of a storm, there’s a golden sky…and WE WILL walk on with hope in our heart’ and WE WILL look forward to sharing the beauty of the skies and that of travel with you all again.

On behalf of our beloved Chairman Charles Alexander Vella, my fellow Directors, our CEO, Managers, and fabulous ROCS team, we augur all the very best to all ROCS Travel Partners local and foreign. Let the ‘new normal’ of travelling begin…..

Rachel Vella

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