Arusha, Tanzania (eTN) -TANZANIA Tourist Board is currently conducting the first ever, ‘five star customer care services course’ to hotel managers and supervisors in preparation for the dawn of the two forthcoming major tourism fora.
In May and June this year, the country will host the Africa Travel Association conference and the eight editions of Sullivan Summit. Tour operators are whetting their appetite to use these two major fora to market Tanzania as a major tourist destination.
ATA conference will be in May while Sullivan Summit VIII, “The Summit of a Lifetime,” will take place in Tanzania’s safari capital, June 2-6, 2008. This year’s Sullivan Summit will stimulate, generate and drive business, tourism and development towards Africa like never before.
“TTB in collaboration with Noesis Training Institute (NTI) and Tanzania Breweries Ltd saw the importance to organize a course titled ‘Five Star Customer Service’ for hotel managers and supervisors in Arusha to prepare them for the two events,” said the TTB Human Resource manager Mussa Kopwe.
Kopwe was talking during the official closing of the course for the first intake of 19 hotels managers and supervisors of the major hotels, held at East African Hotel in Arusha over the weekend.
The major objective of the course, he said, was to improve the ability of hotel staff to satisfy ATA and the Leon Sullivan Summit guests while in Arusha.
“We also train the hospitality industry high ranking personnel how to raise employee morale, build a team work and develop their coaching skills in a bid to offer exception services in the future,” Kopwe explained.
According to TTB official, the course also will be extended to the receptionists, housekeepers, waiters, waitresses and bellboys.
During the training, the facilitator and managing director of NTI, Murtaza Versi, implored the participants to put in practice the skills they have acquired. “If you won’t practice what you have studied here I can assure you that all will dies in three months to come,” Versi stressed.
Stella Mung’ong’o from the new Arusha Hotel said the course has came at the right time where the customer care services in the country is a leading department for provoking complaints from customers in the hospitality industry. “We are imparted to train others and we hope that in this way we shall minimize complaints from our dear customers,” she noted.
Jacqueline Mosha, from New Safari Hotel, was of the view that the course should be extended to hotel owners if its objective is to be realized. “Hotel owners also ought to be trained at least ABCs of hotel customer care for smooth operations of the hotels,” she explained.
Aquiline Hotel general manager Douglas Minja challenged the government to come up with the new tourism curriculum that will cope with the current situation.
Tanzania’s tourism industry has immense potential. Natural attractions including spectacular scenery, historical and archaeological sites, for example, the Olduvai Gorge and other sites where traces of the earliest man were discovered, abound. Parks teem with wildlife; there are unpolluted beaches, and the rich cultures of the 120 ethnic groups.
The southern and northern highlands boast a number of impressive mountain ranges, typically rising 500 meters to 1,000 meters above their surroundings. Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in the Northeast are ancient volcanoes rising to 5,895 meters and 4,500 meters respectively.
The relief is characterized by equatorial to arctic vegetation passing through near tropical rainforest, savannah grassland, semi-arid to arid, semi-desert, temperate, moorland, and alpine desert to the permanent snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The coastline is over 804 kilometers long with the nearby Islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. The Islands offer an array of natural, cultural, historical and archeological attractions. Other natural resources are Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake and the source of the Nile.
In the many game parks and reserves, wildlife roams about free. They include, in the north the Serengeti plains, the Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Lake Manyara. In the south, the Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi, Ruaha, Gombe Stream, Mahale Mountains and Katavi national parks, and Ugalla Complex.
Currently, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, the Olduvai Gorge, Kilimanjaro Mountain, Lake Manyara, and other sites commonly known as Tanzania’s Northern Circuit constitute the country’s most popular tourist attractions.
Other tourist attractions include the white sandy beaches north of Dar es Salaam and around Lindi in the south, the exotic “Spice Islands” of Unguja and Pemba, and the excellent deep-sea fishing area at Mafia Island.
Along the Indian Ocean coast are the remains of the ancient settlements. Tanzania also offers interesting arts and crafts, most notably the Makonde sculptures and carvings crested in ebony.
Tourism is one of the key economic drivers of the country’s economy, second only to agriculture. Figures show that from 2006, tourism made up 17.2 percent of the country’s GNP.
Worldwide, tourism in Tanzania has leaped up 12 percent since 2006, now reaching approximately 700,000 tourists.