Nadia Bedier of Seychelles Nation writes that the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA), the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) and Consultancy and Training Services have joined forces to offer a series of in-service training for staff in the hospitality and tourism industry.
The first establishment to benefit from this training was Beach Villa, a small guest house of nine rooms on Praslin.
Out of the eight staff members, five enthusiastic and very responsive ladies took part in the training which was conducted over two full-day sessions and led by consultant Gerard Port-Louis.
After conducting a training needs analysis, Mr Port-Louis customised the training to fit specific needs of the establishments.
Among areas covered in the training are customer care, service skills, up scaling of housekeeping and food and beverage skills, supervisory skills as well as occupational health and safety.
On completing the training, staff are issued with a certificate and expected to put their new skills and knowledge to use.
An evaluation is later conducted by the consultant.
While the training is being conducted, establishments remain open and daily operations go on like any regular day. This gives Mr Port-Louis the chance to observe and analyse the staff in action and the level of service so as to tackle weak points and together with participants come up with viable changes to the current service being offered.
The small family run business which was established in 1979 by the Auguste Confait family is now being run by Marie-France Wartelsteiner, Mr Confait’s daughter.
Over the years, the establishment has attracted a good clientele and many guests come back regularly.
“As most of my staff boast long years of service and work very hard each day, we decided to have this training as an incentive to encourage and motivate them. This could help them in their personal development and in ensuring that they remain up to date with amendments in the tourism industry standards. We want to avoid an attitude of complacency because we carry out these duties routinely and in the process overlook certain important details. Mr Port-Louis’ calm nature makes it easy for the staff to feel comfortable around him and interact without ease,” said Mrs Waltelstainer, who also expressed her appreciation for the programme.
Present at the certificate presentation ceremony was Murla Gabriel, Senior Coordinator of External Relations at the STA.
She called on other establishments, especially the small ones, to take this opportunity and upgrade the skills and knowledge of their staff to ensure guests receive a better personalised service while visiting our islands.