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Who is fit for working in tourism?

Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 13 Luglio 2001

Four Seasons has announced the imminent opening of a six-star hotel in Hong Kong, pointing to a unique customer service level.

The unconventional term “six star” had already been used by Turin Hotels International when communicating the plan to open a new hotel in Venice, and it is more and more frequently utilised with reference to superlative hotels. What qualifies a person to be able to work in such hotels, and be adequate to their special performance level?

Sometimes we are impressed by the sumptuousness or by the exclusive atmosphere of certain hotels, and we tend to overestimate the characteristics required to work in them. Today, strangely, more than in the past, working in a qualified environment is easier.

Strangely – because one may think that, in addition to the usual skills required in dealing with customers, the need for a number of technological skills should make the job more demanding. If that is true, it is also true that a person’s professional growth is substantially facilitated by the opportunity to be adequately trained in the context of predefined learning programmes organised by the companies themselves, in view of preparing promising young people to join their staff. This issue of Job, for example, contains an offer published by Jolly Hotels for prospect front-office managers, where in-house training plays a determining role. That is why I believe that today it is easier to develop the professional skills required to meet the current demand for quality; previously, the possibility to grow was above all related to having the chance to learn from experience, to work in famous places, and become – to some extent – part of the snobbish myth of luxury hotels: but that was far from a well-structured approach to one’s relational and working life. Nowadays – in the tourist sector as in every other activity – you only need to be reasonably hard-working and consistent with your own choices, and you can have excellent opportunities.

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