It was a meeting of hospitality stakeholders to discuss ideas for further developing the sector. UKO ETIM reports.
Experts from the ranks of general managers, department heads, supervisors and other key players in the hospitality industry recently met for two days in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, to conduct training and performance reviews aimed at improving customer service in line with international standards and best practices in terms of generating profits for investors and increasing the welfare package for staff.
Tagged: “Sales, Service and Standard”, was organized by Tojum Hospitality Ltd, a Lagos-based hospitality company, and attracted over 300 attendees from 10 states while others came from Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Great Britain, Ethiopia and the United States Join Zoom.
Tojum Hospitality’s team leader and chief operating officer, who is also the convener, Mr. Olugbenga Sunday, gave the keynote address and said the training was the third in a series of hotel manager capacity building discourses.
He said the training aimed to bridge the gap between international hospitality brands and domestic or local brands in both administrative and general operational standards. He added that the conference will be a platform for hotel managers, owners, directors, consultants, directors and department heads to connect with experts in professional exploits.
“You took your time to be here. I know how busy your schedule is, especially the managers in our midst. It is a wise and profitable decision to make time to attend a conference of this kind. “
He said the subject is the anchor point where everything about hospitality rests; therefore he asked the participants to assist them in their operations.
In his opinion, “The management of any hospitality brand needs to understand how these three relate to and influence one another. Without a look at the hotel’s service culture and of course the standard operating procedures, you cannot rely on sustainable sales.
“Any hotel manager conscientious enough to maintain excellent customer service and ensure that the standard of the hotel is at the minimum acceptable standard is assured of good sales performance.”
Contact persons include renowned hospitality experts and honorary chairmen of the Institute of Hospitality, Professor Wasiu Babalola as the keynote speaker of the British branch, the national president of Women in Hospitality Nigeria, Ms. Justina Ovat and the winner of the 2020 award for best hotelier and country manager, international Hospitality Institute, Mr. Brian Efa, as well as other speakers with intimidating references and profiles in the industry.
The conference was endorsed by the Akwa Ibom state government, as did State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Orman Esin, who urged attendees to address fundamental principles of total sales as key to ensuring efficient management and innovation.
“It is necessary to keep the basic principles of hotel sales as the key to ensuring that the best service and standards are maintained in our hotels.”
Esin said the conference will serve as a medium for feedback on development and improvement to eliminate poor service and unprofessionalism in the industry.
The commissioner, represented by his special assistant for protocol, Mr Tony Isonguyo, claimed that the Association of Hotel Managers would present a gateway that would make Nigeria a destination for the world.
Akwa Ibom State Hotels Management and Tourism Board Chairman Ini Akpabio delivered a message of goodwill to attendees, saying the experience gained would put hotel managers on a higher pedestal for service delivery.
Akpabio regretted that some hotel investors claimed to be better informed in the hospitality industry rather than recruiting managers and training them to become professionals.
“Hotel investors have claimed to be seasoned hotel managers. Once someone has the money to start a hotel, they feel best to know and throw all brains and professionalism on the dogs.
“The fact that you are investing in a hotel business does not qualify you as a professional; Therefore, both investors and managers need certification to work in accordance with international standards and hospitality best practices. “
He announced that hotel managers would soon be trained to meet international hospitality standards and practices.
“Guidelines would be given to hotel managers as an operations manual in the state to make Akwa Ibom a destination for tourists,” he said.