Undoubtedly the first priority of hotels is to make guests feel welcome. The task is not easy. In fact, the task becomes slightly more complicated if a hotel is dealing with international guests. Hotels have to make special effort to manage cultural differences and language barriers in attempts to help foreign guests feel at home. Service should not be based on preconceived notions about what is comfortable. Extra effort might be required for dietary or housekeeping services. Hotel staff has to watch out for language issues also. Failing to understand properly what a guest requires would reflect badly on the hotel. It is ideal if hotels could set up a separate desk for international guests.
- Communication is the key in dealing with international guests. Employees should be able to speak basic English and a local language fluently. It is an asset if the hotel employees at the international desk or Reception know foreign languages. The hotel should encourage staff members to take up short language courses.
- If the volume of foreign guests is large or the hotel is hosting celebrity guests, the management could also consider employing one or two in-house interpreters..
- Have foreign guests check in at the International Desk where they could also specify any dietary, housekeeping needs or other individual requirements. These requests would then be conveyed to the various departments as required.
More steps in the full edition of the BSC Toolkit for Hotel.