Accommodating the International Guest
By Sanjay Nijhawan COO, Guoman Hotels (UK) | June 06, 2010
Welcome to the hospitality in the twenty first century: the last twenty years has witnessed the evolution of a global marketplace. A global age demands acute global awareness, keeping up with demands from international guests requires foresight and keen planning.
In a multi-cultural environment problems can occur when differences in hierarchy, status and protocol lead to poor communication and misunderstanding.
Every society has numerous nuances that would make it irresponsible to suggest a uniform approach to understanding any country's social/business customs or etiquette. Yet, having a set of loose guidelines can assist in bettering awareness and avoiding offence.
In this essay I outline five essential practices that meet the growing demand for multi-cultural awareness within the hospitality industry.
1. Effective linguistic communication and provisions
Of course as any good hotelier knows cross-cultural communication all starts with identifying and understanding the cultural demographic of your hotel. This should be kept in mind in order to maintain an effective and proactive recruitment policy so that your hotel provides at all times a good mix of staff who, between them, are equipped with the necessary range of language skills. Build on what you've got too - ensure regular language training is available to staff to build on staffs' linguistic repertoire simply or to maintain existing language skills.