Sagada. Some 114 participants attended the two-day training on International Hospitality Competencies and Modern Guest Approaches and Service Techniques on January 24-25, 2019 at the Sagada Homestay.
The seminar was attended by representatives from the inn keepers, tour guides, drivers and entrepreneurs, including staff of the municipal tourism offices of Sagada, Barlig, Sadanga, Besao, Tadian, Bauko and Bontoc, and the Provincial Tourism Office of the Mountain Province.
Three participants from Banaue, Ifugao and 1 from Kalinga attended the seminar, too.
Sagada Mayor James Pooten, Jr. warmly welcomed the participants, thanking the Department of Tourism-Cordillera Administrative Region for financing and bringing the said activity in this famous tourist destination.
Mr. Francisco Dela Cruz, who was the lecturer humbly called himself a “story teller”, not a renowned speaker, emphasizing the importance of making a customer happy as a happy guest is expected to purchase more goods, foods and drinks, stay more, bring other customers and return.
He said the quality of greetings is very important. Any word or words must be said with correct diction, body language and must emanate from the heart.
Individuals who deal with various types of customers especially those who are difficult to transact must maintain kindness, calmness and generosity.
In housekeeping, there must be sustained cleaning, arranging of furniture and fixture, appropriate lighting and the area must possess a space that a guest can have a 360-degree view of the room and the goods displayed, the speaker narrated.
Dela Cruz related the importance of close relationship and regular feedback mechanism between the frontline staff and back staff. Feedbacking, according to the story teller, is very necessary as this guides staff in their daily tasks, especially in coming up with proper decisions.
Frontline staff represent those who directly entertain the guests, while the back staff are those who are at the administration and corporate offices.
In most instances, it is recommended that the staff of the back office must have also hands-on experiences in some of the front line activities. This will give the middle or higher management better understanding of what is happening in the industry.
Another very important concern is the consideration of delegating authority. Policies are not written on stone. In cases of emergencies such as matters related to “between life and death” the lower management or middle management must decide immediately.
Francisco Dela Cruz, is an acclaimed resource speaker and consultant trained by his mentor, the late Henry Sy, owner of the nation-wide SM department stores. He has also enormous experience as one of the executives in one of the largest hotels in the Middle East for 17 years.
By Francis B. Degay