By Joan Antoni Guerrero
The diversity of origins of hotel guests is a challenge for management
The Russian receptionist of a hotel lively talks with the Spanish bellman while waiting for new clients to arrive to check-in; a maid greets from the lobby a French taxi driver, who has just dropped an Australian executive, also a New York resident, who bumps at the lift with a group of Chinese entrepreneurs.
This is what happens daily in thousands of hotels around the world. A compilation of cultures and nationalities, with different traditions and interests, which entail an important challenge for hotels.
Multiculturalism management is in the agenda of any hotel which plans to improve customer service. And it also is a professional investment for the future.
In the gastronomic field, this taste and culture diversity is even more notable, “especially in hotels that have a very defined public”, explains the director of Hotel School Sant Pol, Lluís Serra.
When it comes to big hotels, with several restaurants, there is always a space dedicated to local cuisine, but they also have a menu with international options as because “there are people less adventurous, who do not like to try new meals and want to order a safe option”, includes Serra.
What is important is to have the sensitivity when it comes to aspects relating to religious beliefs, for example, in the case of Muslim and Jewish clients.
In the case of Asian clients, the hotel will make a point if clients find akettle in their rooms with a variety of teas. The greetings, without any hand contact, and other behaviours are “little details that the client will be thankful for”, says Serra.
Getting to know other cultures makes the difference
Multiculturalism makes hotel management more complicated but, on the other hand, it also makes hotels be better and more competitive, comments the director of Hotel School Sant Pol.
For hotel directors it is important that the employees have acomplementary formation. Something that catering and hotel students also have to value.
“This is a very dynamic sector, subject to many changes. We look for open-minded people because six years ago they were the Russians, now they are the Chinese, and we do not know who they will be in the future”, concludes Serra.
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