More than the exciting attractions and exhilarating adventures, what keeps visitors coming back to a tourist destination is the quality of services they have experienced from accommodation establishments in the area.
The Department of Tourism (DOT), in partnership with the provincial government of Catanduanes thru the Provincial Tourism Office, conducted a two-day course training on front office operations at Villa Tolledo Tourist Inn, Virac, March 27-28, 2017.
Aimed to equip frontline desk officers with professionalized service provider attributes and to enhance their effectiveness in dealing with guests, the training was participated by Catandunganon tourism “ambassadors” such as establishment owners, managers, and staff of hotels, inns, and resorts.
“Most of our front desk officers or receptionists do not have proper training on front line services. Ensuring good quality operations and service delivery is crucial to establish a good ‘image and positive impression not only of the accommodation establishment but of the whole province, as welll’’ and this is contributory to tourism growth and development,” Tourism Officer Carmel Bonifacio-Garcia said.
“The tourism industry involves striking a balance between profit and service. The training provided participants with knowledge, skills and attitudes significant to good customer relations and efficient delivery of services,” she added.
Serving as the resource person of the course training is Dr. Freddie Quinito, a DOT-certified national master trainer, who introduced the fundamentals of front desk operations and services.
He also emphasized the importance of the front office in ensuring that the establishment functions efficiently, as well as its role in the tourism industry of the locality.
The first day of the course training involved extensive lecture discussions and fora on socio-cultural interaction between host and guest/s, providing accommodation reception services, receiving and processing reservations, resolving customer complaints at reception area and maintaining quality customer service in front office operation.
The second day provided simulations wherein participants did various role playing activities while Dr. Quinito gave inputs on the proper ways of addressing different types of guests, their requests and complaints; and coordinating with other offices in the establishment for smooth operations and delivery of services.
Meanwhile, Ms. Maria Salee Mora of DOT - Region V also spoke on the benefits of the said training in promoting the "Happy Island" brand of Catanduanes. She said that the tagline should reflect the “warm, positive and hospitable” personality of Catandunganons, along with professional qualities.
Provincial Board Member and Sangguniang Panlalawigan tourism committee chairman Vincent Villaluna also enjoined the participants to always exude the “happy” vibe as this creates positive attraction to tourists.
Furthermore, Gov. Joseph Cua, whose message was read by Paulo Araojo, relayed how the province is already making a mark on the heart of domestic and foreign visitors, as well as its exposure on national media. He also said that the training on front desk operations would greatly contribute to tourism development in the island.