Ongoing training needed in hospitality sector, says THAG president

Hospitality establishments and operators have been reminded that the extremely competitive nature of the hospitality industry demands that there is ongoing investment in human resources development.

This was the reminder given by President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) Daniel Gajie on Wednesday at a one-day customer focused training conducted by US based Hospitality Management Specialist Janice Hall, at the Cara Lodge hotel. The programme was hosted by THAG in partnership with Carigold Associates, a group of North American based Guyanese training professionals.

Gajie, a press release from THAG said, stressed the importance of high standards of service from all stakeholders in the industry.  “With proper training and the right attitude, all can play an important role in building a strong, vibrant and sought after tourism destination,” he said.
He also disclosed THAG plans several other training programmes for 2013 in partnership with Carigold Associates.

He noted that in 2012, recorded statistics revealed that over 500,000 arrivals passed through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. He said that tourists from around the world, including overseas based Guyanese, are responding to the many marketing initiatives and promotions of Guyana that are carried out by both the private sector and the government.

The one day seminar was attended by 24 representatives from hospitality establishments across Guyana, including hotel and resort managers, tour guides, food and beverage staff, reservation and frontline employees.  It was entitled “Wowing guests in the hospitality industry: delivering a five star customer experience.”

The programme covered customer service, barriers to outstanding service delivery, gauging customer satisfaction levels, communicating effectively with guests, food and beverage challenges, turning complaining guests into repeat visitors, dealing with stress and a plan for self-improvement.

Hall, who is based in New York, is experienced with three decades of frontline customer service in hospitality, public relations and real estate in Jamaica and the US.  She said she was thrilled to share her expertise and to make a contribution to Guyana’s efforts to grow the hospitality industry.  She stressed the importance of ongoing tourism education and recommended that hospitality standards and expectation of guests be taught from primary school level.  She also highlighted the need for more effective marketing of Guyana.

Carigold’s Chief Executive Consultant Sandra Ann Baptiste said that the next training programme will focus on developing Standard Operating Procedures SOPs for every department in hotels, resorts and for tour guides and operators.

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