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The Underestimated Value of Housekeeping

There are many factors that contribute to a guests’ enjoyable stay, however, one aspect that is often underestimated and overlooked is the housekeeping.

There are various departments in the workings of a hotel that greatly contribute to an enjoyable stay for their guests. When staying at a five star establishment, small things like a warm welcome at the door or a speedy check-in time can greatly improve a guest’s overall impression. However, one aspect of a guests’ stay that is often underestimated and overlooked is the housekeeping.

Housekeeping is a vital mechanic that has the potential to make or break an establishment’s reputation. The way in which a room is cleaned, tidied and presented to its guests is in direct relation to the level of service the hotel prides themselves on. Housekeeping provides guests with a clear indication of how they are valued.

Dependent on the rating of the hotel at which you stay, standards and the level of housekeeping may vary. Remember, hotels with various ratings may not provide the same service. However, having said this, no hotel should compromise on the cleanliness of their establishment.

Housekeeping is comprised of many different aspects such as the cleaning of guest rooms, public areas, carpets, furniture, metal wares, et cetera. For many hotels, big and small, the housekeeping staff are the unsung heroes of their establishment and more often than not go unnoticed. Housekeeping staff ensure that the rooms are cleaned daily, stocked with in-room amenities and that common areas like the reception and restaurants are presentable, tidy and welcoming.

Although housekeeping staff do not necessarily interact with their guests on a daily basis, the quality of their service is critical in moulding the experience and memories their visitors will take with them when they leave. A guest who has had a wonderful experience at a hotel will most likely return in future, ensuring customer loyalty for the business.

The role of housekeeping staff is vital for any hotel that wants to maintain a high level of success in the hospitality industry. Housekeeping is not just about cleanliness, but is in fact about the standard. It is one of the most important services a hotel can offer and therefore time should be dedicated to training staff correctly to ensure an enjoyable and pleasurable experience is had for their guests.

Article originally posted on http://www.tourismtattler.com

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Top 5 Hotel Tech Trends for 2018

2018 will see a breakthrough in five technologies for the hospitality industry. Some hotels have already acquired and tested the technologies on this list.

1. Virtual Reality can be used to market in-destination activities

Hoteliers have now realised virtual reality’s potential in the travel and tourism industry with leading hotel brands including Best Western and Marriott, having already introduced this technology to guests.

The Marriott introduced an in-destination VR service called VRoom Service which guests can use for 24 hours. The VR devices are loaded with ‘VR postcards’, which provide guests with travel inspiration, showcasing people’s first-hand travel experiences. This has the potential to encourage new holiday bookings and even experiences offered in-destination.

“By using the technology in the rooms, we’re bringing the experience to guests inside. It’s a property renovation,” says Michael Dail, Marriott’s VP of global brand marketing.

2018 will see the rise of Virtual Reality, which will become the norm for hotels. Guests will not only want to familiarize themselves with the location pre-check-in but also experience local activities before booking them.

2. IOT: Guest enabled Rooms are on the way

Hotel brands have considered IoT platforms due to better cost efficiencies and enhanced guest experience. Hilton, for example, has built a beta test room control for selected hotels.

“Imagine a world where the room knows you, and you know your room,” says Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta at SKIFT Global Forum.

Hilton is using the DIY approach of proprietary technology which is built from the ground up instead of picking off-the-shelf technologies to implement. They are looking to build a brand-new hotel room with built-in voice control, temperature and lighting settings that are controlled via a custom app, available on the guest’s smartphone.

Despite hotelier’s reluctance to be ahead of the curve or gimmicky in their technology adoption, the signs remain strong that both brands have shown commitment and progress in IoT room technology.

3. Guest-facing technologies provide a more personalized experience

Apart from the Free Wi-Fi, personalization of the guest experience is going to be the biggest factor a hotelier needs to consider. With the availability of guest data and technologies to plug into a Hotel’s CRM, it provides tremendous intelligence information about the guest behaviour all the way from pre-trip, in stay and post trip.

IHG Study reveals that “Nearly three in five (59%) travellers say their hotel stay is significantly more comfortable if services are personalized and more than have (54%) admit it makes them feel more valued.” 

While hotels are utilizing technology to avoid private data exploitation, guest data analysis can be derived from smart guest connectivity devices. This provides more behavioural insights, which helps hoteliers offer a deeper level of personalization. Expect more developments and success in this area.

4. Digital Concierge will produce an efficient service

By 2021 the number of people using messaging apps to communicate will reach 2.5 billion according to Statista report, making messaging a primary form of communication.

According to Phocus Wright research; “39% of people surveyed said they are completely comfortable using chat to contact the hotel front desk, while only 7% said they would not be.” 

Brands such as IHG Group and Hyatt are already using third-party social media messaging platforms, while others such as Marriott have built apps to facilitate instant messaging. Notably, as hotels attempt to engage guests through this technology, travel agencies are also entering this space to drive loyalty.

Technology providers are looking to integrate chat with hotel systems. Chat communication is just another digital channel hotels can use to increase guest engagement and communication. Through a smartphone amenity with an app, for example, we should see more engagement opportunities than just to change booking details, such as pre-stay and post-stay communication.

5. AI & Chatbots lower operational costs

As Artificial intelligence (AI) & Chatbots mature we see more complex algorithms to perform complicated tasks increase, which should eliminate a lot of overhead operational costs. Finding the balance between human hospitality service and technology is going to be key as hotels try to reduce operational costs while increasing guest’s overall ratings.

“We’ve been building bots on IRC [for] many years … now it’s just that it’s on mainstream platforms,” says CEO/Co-Founder of The Bot Platform.

2018 will continue to see predictive guest technologies related to AI & Chatbots emerge and provide Hotels with the opportunity to offload tasks that hotel staff and customer support are trained to do.

Article originally posted on http://www.tourismtattler.com/

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A Visit from CTHs’ Academic Director, Angela Hagenow

The Trip


dinner CTH

CTHs’ Academic Director, Angela Hagenow, received a warm welcome from the ITHSA team in the Cape Town offices South Africa. During a two-day workshop, which was facilitated by Angela, the ITHSA team felt empowered with CTH knowledge which Angela shared. The outcomes of the inter-active workshop conducted at the ITHSA offices with the ITHSA team and Angela proved to be a valuable experience for CTH and ITHSA in terms of key suggestions to the alignment of current ITHSA work processes to CTH processes and policies.




Angela’s extensive knowledge of the Culinary Skills Programme, is greatly appreciated as she left the ITHSA team feeling confident in our product knowledge in the Culinary Skills space. After two days extensive product, process, and policy knowledge empowering at the ITHSA offices in Cape Town, it was time to hit the road to visit our training providers in Johannesburg.




CTH visit 2The CTH Academic Director, Angela Hagenow, accompanied by ITHSA Business Development Consultant, Lesley Ann Kriel, conducted various ITHSA provider site and courtesy visits during our two days stay in Johannesburg.


Included on this list of provider visits, was the newly accredited ITHSA centre, Prestige College. We also had the privilege of being in the company of our new provider while we introduced Angela to a South African steak for dinner. Joined by ICB business consultant in Johannesburg, Mandisa Gumede, the evening was spent engaging in business discussion topics of which valuable points were raised in terms of implementing marketing strategies for the ITHSA programme offerings in South African schools. After much chatter, dinner was eventually served, and it was time to relax and enjoy the meal.


On day two, Angela, myself and Mandisa conducted a site visit at the international Hotel School, in Sandton, Johannesburg, where the friendly front desk consultant greeted us. Thereafter, we were given a tour of the Kitchens, which proved to be of high quality. Chef Candice Adams, head chef facilitator of the JHB campus engaged in a key discussion regarding the Culinary Skills and Arts programmes. Prior to our visit, a skype call meeting was arranged with the College Dean, Jolanda Bierman, to meet Angela and briefly discuss academic related topics. Angela shared her knowledge and experience during our meeting and was dearly thanked by the Dean, for selecting the International Hotel School to be one of her site visits.


cth visit 5Our next provider, welcomed us with chocolate and velvet cupcakes and tea which we enjoyed thoroughly. The ladies from the CTU Training Solutions, were thrilled to have us there and once again, showed their appreciation with the inter-active discussions which took place that afternoon.


Angela certainly left our ITHSA providers feeling motivated and positive. I anticipate that our new business figures for ITHSA will increase significantly next year.

With the industry knowledge and the CTH experiences that Angela shared with us, it assures me that we are on the road to success.



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Measuring Success in the Tourism Industry

Measuring success can be difficult because success is relative; take the tourism industry for example, every year, lists titled ‘top tourist destinations’ or the ‘most successful tourist destination’ are printed.

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The Future Tech in the Travel Industry

Technological advancement has been moving at extraordinary speeds over the last couple of decades. New industries have emerged and existing ones are changing.

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Entrepreneurship: Where to Get Started?

Entrepreneurship is an ability that can be cultivated through your every day interactions, through studying at school or through work based learning. However, before committing to it, there are a few things to consider.



Our ITHSA Academic Manager, recently attended the Open Day at the International Hotel School in Cape Town.

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Rosebank College Graduation Ceremony

The ITHSA had the privilege of being invited as a VIP guest for the 2017 Graduation Ceremony at Rosebank College, Pretoria. The ITHSA level 3 Tourism and Hospitality Management programme, is an international qualification certified by the CTH in the UK.

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CTH Students gain local and international experience

SAAAC students have had an active year completing their CTH Diploma in Travel and Hospitality. Not only did students work hard in the classroom, they were also afforded the opportunity to travel to Namibia and the North West Province. Here they were exposed to the real travel and hospitality world. The success continued with the college achieving a 100% pass rate for the CTH Diploma in Travel and Hospitality.