HOTELIERS, IT IS THE RIGHT TIME TO GET BACK TO THE BASICS Comments Off on HOTELIERS, IT IS THE RIGHT TIME TO GET BACK TO THE BASICS 869

During the past years, I have through my humble professional experiences came across different people of the hospitality world. Whether into operations or at senior head office level, with a good exposure to their respective and distinct objectives and goals to achieve. I met more than a hundred of people, be it team members, HODs, GMs, guests, agents, tour operators, to name a few.

I feel today, surprisingly concerned about the difficulty in finding new perspectives, to rethink and bring a new dynamic to this very complexed sector. Not to generalize, but we can count a few of the leading hospitality groups which not only have a clear vision of where they are heading to, but are also giving them the means to achieve these results and who finally respond faithfully to their respective brand promise.

Today we all focus on the term ‘’experiences’’ – Name it… Culinary, Golf, Spa or wellness, family, wedding and honeymoon. Just have a look at most hotels’ websites, and you’ll find them. It is true that we do need to put forward the experiences that our guests will encounter. However, how many are we, to seriously, reply to these two questions: Experiences, for whom? For what? I’ve been giving a thought to this, and here are a few observations which I believe we need to rethink of:

We are a people business

Hospitality, is the spirit to serve. You may have the best rooms, with the best location and the best service. What will make it best, is the daily contact with people. It is the daily affirmation that each Team Member will repeat in the morning:” I am here to serve and make my guests happy.” The same affirmation for HODS and Management with a slight change and which go like; “I am here to serve my Team members.” The spirit of service is the essence of efficient leadership.

In his book, ‘’The Spirit to serve’’. J.W Marriott tells us of a story of his dad who enjoyed talking to his employees. ‘’When employees know that their problems will be taken seriously, that their ideas and insights matter, they’re more comfortable and confident. In turn, they’re better equipped to deliver their best on the job and to the customer. Everyone wins: The company, the employee, the customer.”

Take time to listen

Richard Branson says it very clearly: ‘’Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.’’

You can only take care of your employees by experiencing their day to day and listening to their experience on the field. Many are we today, at management level, to focus on results, figures, SOPS, reports. Staying a major part of our time behind the desk filling excel sheets. It is true, that procedures, process and records are essential to the proper running of the business. Yet, we, as hospitality professional should always consider or remember that feedbacks from Team Members or guests are crucial to our survival. Go around the hotel, talk to the guests, and the Team and you’’ll be surprised of all the essential information available and nice stories to tell and share. I always think of this story just after the terrorist attack in Paris. During a management cocktail, I was discussing to one of the guests and she obviously mention the subject. While I was trying as a sales and communication person to push forward the experiences she could enjoy within the resort, she looked at me and just said: ‘’you know what? Luxury for me today, is just waking up, in a calm place, where I don’t have to fear the people who are smiling and serving me and just knowing that I am in a safe place, at least for the next 10 days. This is luxury for me, safety and peace of mind for 10 days’’. Without this deep conversation with her, I would have continued to push emailings and information comfortably from my office desk or upselling experiences. I would have missed the essential of her holidays: Peace of mind experience.

Today, so much involve into management process, we are many to be in a constant fire fighting mood, especially with the pressure of ‘’instant response’ encouraged by social medias and new technologies or over internal processes and reports. In addition, we are clearly facing a strong mindset change with the new generation of Team Members. Indeed, the Y and Z generations are in a perpetual search of purpose and meaning. They need to understand why they are here. What are their contribution? What change in others’ life are they bringing through their job? We have no choice today than to go back to the essential. Listening and action consequently. It’s all about putting back people into the heart of the business.

Drive emotions

As I think, why I have always loved hospitality, I remember at the age of 9 or 10 to have been in a wonderful 4 Stars hotel in the South western part of Mauritius. I knew then, that I was going to be part of the hospitality industry when I grow up. The most important part of this very first experience, as a guest, was that I was profoundly touched by the beauty of the resorts, and mostly by thinking that such beautiful things can be done by men and women. I was curious and always tried to imagine how people could have such a savoir faire to make beautiful things. Or I would just wonder what I could improve or would have done if I was the ‘’Chief’’. A buffet set up, a bouquet, a nice and properly folded tower, nice smell in the room. However, what I loved the most, was the smile of every staff when they would meet me. In those time, I thought to myself that it must be nice to work in a hotel, since everyone smiles, greet each other and even chat with a little boy. I loved it and felt like a little prince who’s being taken care of.

A few years back, while visiting two luxury hotels in the Maldives, I was again impressed by the emotion driven by its people there. The kind words of welcoming hand-written by the GM or a housekeeping guy telling you on your departure day that ‘’we will miss you sir’’. Simple actions, that need no SOPS or obligations or reports. Just people who are encouraged to be profoundly human and authentic, is what makes the difference. Emotions are not brought only by the experience a guest would live. But by the emotion brought through the interaction of the guests and the ones who served them or have made the experience happened.

We managers and professional leaders in hospitality, have the obligation to embrace the people culture and drive it to our respective teams. In making our employees happy, confident and happy with themselves and the job, we will bring to them a positive attitude which in return will be felt in everything they do. That same positive attitude is what drives the emotion towards guests. To make it short, it is putting the people in the heart of the business. The formula is rather simple:

Happy team members = Happy guests.

Happy guests = Good business.

Author – Ian Dindoyal

Communication and PR Manager at Heritage Resorts

Photo: Maritim Crystals Beach

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WTA AFRICA AND INDIAN OCEAN 2019 WINNERS 0 26

The finest travel brands in Africa and the Indian Ocean have been unveiled at a star-studded gala ceremony in Mauritius. The elite of the travel industry assembled for the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony at Sugar Beach – A Sun Resort to find out who amongst them would be crowned best of the best.

Winners at the red carpet reception included Kenya, home to some of the world’s greatest tourist attractions, was voted ‘Africa’s Leading Destination’. Meanwhile the lush forests, wild waterfalls, unique wildlife and paradise beaches of Mauritius helped it lift the title of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination’, as well as the new category of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination’. Hundreds of the leading travel industries figureheads from across Africa and the Indian Ocean attended the ceremony at Sugar Beach – A Sun Resort, which borders the vast sands of Flic-en-Flac Beach.

Graham E. Cooke, Founder, WTA, said: “Our inaugural ceremony in Mauritius has proved an incredible success. We have had the privilege of recognising the leading destinations, hotels, resorts, airlines and travel providers from across Africa and the Indian Ocean and my congratulations to each of our winners.”

Honorable Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, SC, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Mauritius, said: “It was a big honour and a great privilege for Mauritius to host the WTA Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2019.

“Such a glittering event would not have been possible without the dedication and unwavering support of my good friend, Mr. Graham Cooke, and his wonderful team. Thank you for making 1 June 2019 such an exciting and memorable evening.”

In the aviation sector, Ethiopian Airlines was voted ‘Africa’s Leading Airline’, whilst ‘Africa’s Leading Airport’ went to Cape Town International Airport. In the Indian Ocean, Air Mauritius claimed the titles of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline – Business Class’.

South Africa’s Table Mountain was named ‘Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction’. Kenya enjoyed a strong showing, with Kenya Tourist Board named ‘Africa’s Leading Tourist Board’, capital Nairobi winning the new category ‘Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination’, and Kenyatta ICC picking up ‘Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’.

In the Indian Ocean categories, the Maldives cemented its reputation as the definitive romantic nation by being named ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’, whilst Seychelles picked up ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination’.

Hospitality winners included Hilton Hotels & Resorts (‘Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand’), Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa (‘Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel’), Thanda Island, Tanzania (‘Africa’s Leading Luxury Island’), Pangolin Chobe Hotel, Botswana (‘Africa’s Leading New Hotel’), Legend Golf Resort & Spa, South Africa (‘Africa’s Leading Sports Resort’), and Transcorp Hilton Abuja (‘Africa’s Leading Business Hotel’).

The ceremony marked the third leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2019 – a search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world. Other 2019 regional ceremonies include Montego Bay (Jamaica), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Madeira (Portugal), La Paz (Bolivia), Phu Quoc (Vietnam), with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Muscat (Oman).

Find a full list of winners click here on the official WTA website.

The WTA 2019 MAURITIUS WINNERS 0 51

Congratulations to all the local winners.

Mauritius’ Leading All Suite Resort 2019 Sands Suites Resort & Spa
Mauritius’ Leading Beach Resort 2019 Sugar Beach, A Sun Resort, Mauritius
Mauritius’ Leading Boutique Hotel 2019 Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa
Mauritius’ Leading Car Rental Company 2019 Avis
Mauritius’ Leading Conference Hotel 2019 Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa
Mauritius’ Leading Destination Management Company 2019 Mautourco
Mauritius’ Leading Family Resort 2019 Sofitel Mauritius L’Imperial Resort & Spa
Mauritius’ Leading Green Resort 2019 Constance Belle Mare Plage
Mauritius’ Leading Hotel 2019 The Oberoi Beach Resort, Mauritius
Mauritius’ Leading Hotel Residences 2019 Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita
Mauritius’ Leading Hotel Suite 2019 Ocean Suite @ One&Only Le Saint Géran
Mauritius’ Leading Luxury Hotel Villa 2019 Villa One @ One&Only Le Saint Géran
Mauritius’ Leading Luxury Resort 2019 The St. Regis Mauritius Resort
Mauritius’ Leading Resort 2019 Constance Prince Maurice
Mauritius’ Leading Travel Agency 2019 BlueSky

For the full details follow this link.