By Emily Williams Knight, President, Kendall College
The time to travel is now
Now, more than ever, is the time to tap into and become accessible for international travelers.
While the formula for success varies from company to company, industry leaders should encourage implementation of simple changes both within the classroom and on the floor to help set the standard for global customer service and help a company gain international recognition.
1. Emphasize the need for language education
Pursuing a career within the hospitality or travel industry? Learn a new language. Potential employees have been setting themselves apart for years within the travel industry by showcasing their bilingual capabilities. But, this is quickly becoming a requirement more than an opportunity to stand out, with five star hotels, restaurants and travel brands looking for candidates that can speak to international customers.
Hospitality schools around the U.S. have begun urging students to become bilingual to remain competitive in the job market by offering language courses as an add-on to the degree program or making language education accessible through outside vendors or programs.
2. Prepare hospitality leaders by teaching “Cultural Sensitivity” courses.
As the country experiences increased rates of international travelers, the need for cultural understanding and sensitivity courses within hospitality programs becomes necessary. Those who seek to work within hospitality positions need to be aware of cultural values, languages and lifestyles of their potential visitors, making it easier to address their needs and prepare for requests.
For example, at Kendall College, one of the top ranked schools in Chicago for placing students in hospitality careers, there is an emphasis on creating hospitality programs that cater to the global traveler by focusing on trends in non-domestic countries, incorporating classroom exams and projects that are targeted at international accessibility and by offering partnerships with established hospitality institutions around the globe, such as a study abroad program with The Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland, which is among the top three hospitality management schools in the world. Kendall is an official affiliate school of Glion, which also allows its students to sit for the Glion Advanced Certificate in International Hospitality Management. This option gives students a unique multi-cultural perspective, as well as the potential for a highly respected international credential to help compete in the global marketplace.
Hospitality schools and companies can also engage a country’s local consulate to share their knowledge on how experiences vary from their country to the U.S., helping them broaden their services and allowing them to cater to these variations and provide a high-quality experience.
3. Appeal to the international traveler with tailored packages
4. Remain loyal and build an international brand via social media
Read the full article on hotelexecutive.com. Reprinted here from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com.