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The importance of service in tourism

Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 11 Ottobre 2002

I was invited by Danilo Bellucci, the organiser of “Ladies Drink 2002” – the event reserved for Bar Ladies – to attend the contest held in Bibione last week. I was booked in a hotel I did not know, which turned out to be one of the best structures I have been to recently. As often happens, I arrived in the small Veneto village late and breathless, just in time for the last part of the contest (also due to the long lines of cars that are always to be found on the highway at Mestre), I found a place to park my car in front of the hotel (wonderful!) and I went to check in. The reception clerk looked up my name in the bookings list, and sententiously declared that I was booked in the other hotel of the same company, not far from there. I had luggage and I was late, and asked him to please check the booking with the other hotel, to make sure I was not wasting time. “No need to check, you are certainly booked there!” the clerk confirmed confidently. Luckily, a receptionist – whose name was Bianca, as I later found out – decided on her own initiative to actually check, realised there was no booking in my name there, and later gave me all the information I needed. The moral is very small but, I believe, very meaningful: people who operate in contact with the public are often not aware of the importance of their job. It is clear from the situation I described above that the reception clerk could not wait to rid his desk of my presence, thinking that if I went to the other hotel and did not find a room in my name – which in fact I would not have found – I would come back in any case. Similar situations occur quite often when people travel or organise their travels, and come across clerks whose only concern is to clear the counter in front of them. When you go to a travel agency to reserve a ticket, for example, and a hasty assistant gives you approximate information, and irritatedly – in spite of your requests – does not check if he is giving you the correct details, is he aware of the problems he may be causing? It is not enough to offer comfortable and well-equipped facilities: tourism is made of service, and to provide adequate service we need more people like receptionist Bianca.

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