The Second Hospitality Training Emphasizes Creative Professionalism
Photo: A. Aleksandravičius.
How to welcome and communicate with a guest in a way that would show the city in its brightest colors and make the impressions of the visit the best word-of-mouth advertisement? People working in the hospitality business searched for the answers to this and other questions at the second hospitality training organized by the VšĮ “Kaunas IN” on October 30. This time it was joined by Linda Pereira, one of the most influential conference tourism professionals in the world, who shared her experience.
Training for employees working in the Kaunas hospitality sector is organized for the second year. The need for such training was dictated not only by the increasing flow of tourists visiting Kaunas every year but also by the growth of the city itself: the emergence of new services, objects and expanding variety of activities.
This free of charge initiative is designed for people working in Kaunas accommodation, catering, entertainment and service sectors as well as museums and cultural institutions employees, and tour guides: all those who provide services and work with city guests and tourists.
According to Inga Pažereckaitė-Kalėdienė, Head of Tourism Division at “Kaunas IN”, it is extremely important how the city greets and communicates with its guests: “When a tourist arrives, the first people he/she meets and the first places he/she visits become the first impressions and form an opinion about the city and its hospitality. As the flow of tourists grows and people arrive from more diverse countries, we face different needs and expectations. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand that personal attention, ability to listen and help or pleasantly surprise as well as to show that a guest is welcome in Kaunas is very important. That’s why we want to learn and improve our skills together with those working in the hospitality business because each and one of us plays an important role in the city’s hospitality and image formation.”
International expert advice: “No reason to stay is a good reason to go”
The importance of being able to understand, adapt, listen and be professional in your field was also emphasized during the training by a special guest from Portugal: the expert Linda Pereira, who in her long years of experience worked on the major events such as EXPO, EURO 2004, various EU Presidencies, and large-scale professional conferences. Linda is not only interested in the standards of service quality and applies them in practice, but she also writes books and has been an invited speaker in over 143 countries.
“Remember that the first visit is accidental or made according to recommendations. The second visit is the result of your work, which is determined by the hospitality shown to the guest on the first visit and the emotional connection,” Linda told the participants working in the Kaunas hospitality sector.
According to the expert, it is especially important to create real value for the client which helps to connect with the guest and becomes the most important competitive advantage that sets you apart from others: “No reason to stay is a good reason to go”.
This year’s training attracted almost a hundred representatives from Kaunas hospitality sector: from hotels and restaurants to transport companies. Lecturers from Kaunas universities and universities of applied sciences also joined the training to gain knowledge and insights from the international expert with wide professional experience and later share their new knowledge with tourism students.