Front Office

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What is Front Office Department?

It is one of the major departments of the hotel business which directly interacts with the guests when they first arrive at the hotel. The staff of this department is very visible to the guests. Front office staff handles the transactions between the hotel and its guests.

The function is to directly get in touch with guests and is usually the first place that guests get to when they arrive at the company. The department can discover more information about the guest by asking them questions, also helping the customers out.

Staff working can also deal with simple tasks, such as sorting out emails, helping out with printing and typing works. Front office staff need to use different skills on technologies too, such as using the printers, fax machines, and phone. This is the reason why training is needed before the staffs start to work, although some might only be simple tasks. The most common work for the front office worker will be a mix of getting in touch with guests and also helping out internally in the office.

Front Office Abbreviation & Glossary

Front Office Abbreviation & Glossary

IATA = International Air Transport Association

IAPA = International Airlines Passengers Association

HSE = Hotel Safety Executive

IAAI = International Airlines Authority of India

AAI = Airport Authority of India

POS = Point of Sales

UM = Under Maintenance

VAT = Value Added Tax

NCR = National Cash Register

GIT = Group Inclusive Tour or Group Inclusive tariff

FIT = Free Individual Traveller

FFIT = Foreign Free Individual Traveller

DFIT = Domestic Free Individual Traveller

GRC = Guest Registration Card

CVGR = Company Volume Guaranteed Rate

ITDC = India Tourism Development Corporation

KSTDC = Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation

EMT = Early Morning Tea

LT = Luxury Tax

HET = Hotel Expenditure Tax

SC = Service Charge

ST = Sales Tax

FHRAI = Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association of India

HRACC = Hotel & Restaurant Approval Classification Committee

EB = Extra Bed

TA = Travel Agent

EM = Executive Manager

GM = General Manager

CIP = Commercially Important Person

FRRO = Foreigner Regional Registration Office

DG = Distinguished Guest

EA = Expected Arrival

ED = Expected Departure

DOA = Date of Arrival

DOD = Date of Departure

CRS = Central Reservation System

IRS = Instant Reservation System

GDS = Global Distribution System

SB = Scanty Baggage

HC = House Count

NRR = Net Room Revenue

ARR = Average Room Revenue

GRR = Guest Room Revenue

RevPAR = Revenue per Available room

TAAI = Travel Agents Association of India

HWC = Handle with Care

DT = Domestic tourist

IT = International Tourist

AV = Allowance Voucher

GWB = Guest weekly bill

BTC = Bill to company

RR = Rack Rate / Room Rate

V = Vacant

O = Occupied

R = Revenue

DL = Double Lock

OOO = Out of Order

PBX = Private Branch Exchange

EPABX = Electronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange

STD = Subscriber Trunk Dialling

ISD = International Subscriber Dialling

CAS = Call Accounting System

DND = Do not disturb

PCO = Public Call Office

MOD = Manager on Duty

RNA = Room not assigned

FFC = Fruit Flowers and Cookies

FRONT OFFICE COMMON TERMS

What is AMENDMENT?

The amendment is nothing but the change from the original. Amendment can be preponement or postponement of accommodation, date of check-in or checkout, change of a number of persons who will be occupying the room.

Amendment or revision is basically a combination of two processes i.e. the cancellation of the previous booking and then making of the new booking. Amendments can be for earlier dates or for later dates or change in the duration of stay or change in the type of accommodation required

AAI

Airport Authority of India. The landing, take-off, and security of the aircraft are under this authority which means that the air traffic services like navigational aid, en route in the air for various airlines, are provided by AAI.

ATRIUM CONCEPTS

The design in which guest rooms overlook the lobby from the first floor to the Roof. The lobby will have a high ceiling and the lobby can be viewed from the guest floors.

AMENITIES

A term first used in the early 1980s to denote “extras” placed in guest rooms, such as shampoo, shower cap, and hairdryer. Since then it has come to refer to the wide range of products and services that distinguishes one property from its competitors, such as concierge service, complimentary shoeshine service, use of hotel Limousine during business hours. According to the VIP level, fruits, flowers, cookies, soft drinks, nut platter, etc also are provided to the guests.

AMERICAN PLAN (AP)

American Plan includes room, breakfast, lunch, and dinner (three meals). Sometimes early morning tea is also included. This plan is also called En Pension or Full Board.

AIRPORT HOTEL

Hotels that are situated at the airport and are ideal for transit passengers who have only a few hours in the city making it impossible for them to stay in a downtown hotel. Rates are on European Plan i.e. charges for Room only.

AIRPORT TRANSFER

Service sometimes offered by hotels free for guests, providing transportation to and/or from the airport either on-demand or according to frequent schedule. Hotel-owned limousines or courtesy vehicles often transport guests between the hotel and the airport. Guests always enjoy significant cost savings and convenience from such arrangements. Airport Representatives of the concerned hotel coordinates such arrangements.

What is BERMUDA PLAN?

Bermuda Plan includes Room and American Breakfast (Continental breakfast and Eggs to order)

BLACKLIST

A blacklist is a list authorized by the Hotel Management of the names of all persons not welcome in the hotel. This can also be a list of guests who have patronized the hotel previously at the venue but are now banned from doing so maybe because they were drunk or displaying undesirable behavior or unsatisfactory credit record.

BLOCK BOOKING

A term used for a reservation for several people at the same time, normally on the same rate e.g. tours, groups, or conference delegations. (or) An agreed-upon number of rooms set aside for members of a group planning to stay at a hotel.

BACK TO BACK

Heavy checkout and check-in on the same day relating to tours and groups. As one group leaves another arrives.

BUDGET HOTELS

Budget Hotels provide cheaper, cleaner and inexpensive, and more basic guest rooms, often with limited food and beverage services. Budget hotels are also called economy hotels appeal to budget-minded travelers who travel on limited funds.

BUMPED RESERVATION

The refusal of a guest with a reservation and subsequent placement of the guest to another hotel. This situation happens in a hotel at the time of overbooking.

BOUNCED RESERVATION

The refusal of a guest with a reservation due to an error in planning by the hotel. This occurs in a hotel when more bookings are taken than the rooms are available.

BRUNCH

This meal is provided between breakfast and lunch often accompanied by Champagne.

CHECK-IN

Check-in is the arrival of the guest who registers himself at the Reception. The registered guests are assigned accommodation by way of providing room keys to the guest along with the resident card.

CHECKOUT

The procedure of settling the hotel account on the departure of a guest or the guest who settles the account deposits the room key and leaves the hotel. By checkout process, the guests terminate their status as resident guests of the hotel. The goal of checkout activity in hotels is to accomplish this process.

CIP

A commercially important person. CIPs basically comprise of business travelers who frequent the hotel, tour leaders or tour operators who escort groups to the hotel, or conference organizers who generate business to the hotel.

CRIB RATE

Crib Rate is the room rate charged to children below 5 years of age. It is less than the rack rate on the actual rate charged to an adult.

CHANGE SLIP

Move notification slip shifting from one room to another room.

CVGR

Company Volume Guaranteed Rate. The special rate extended by the hotel based on the volume of booking generated by the potential company in the form of room nights. The company takes the responsibility to pay for the no-show guests or company officials even if they do not turn up.

CONTINENTAL PLAN (CP)

Continental Plan which includes Room and continental breakfast.

CLOSED DATES

The status of the dates for which a reservation system will not accept additional reservations.

CONCIERGE

An employee whose basic task is to serve as the guest’s liaison with both hotel and non-hotel attractions, facilities, services, and activities. Though the task of the Concierge is of much importance to the guest and the hotel, he cannot be identified under one department. Concierges are certified by the International Association of Concierges known as Les Clef d’Or.

CORPORATE RATE

An agreed rate charged for executive/personnel from businesses and corporates, normally regular guests.

CURTAILMENT

Curtailment means that a booking has been made for longer than the guest actually requires the room. Also known as understanding.

CABANA

Room attached to the swimming pool with one sofa-cum-bed. These rooms are usually separated from the hotel’s main building.

CASINO

Hotels with gambling facilities may be categorized as Casino Hotels. Casino Hotels attract guests by promoting gaming and entertainment. Casino hotels frequently provide guests with specialty restaurants and extravagant floorshows. Gambling activities at some Casino hotels operate 24 hours a day.

COMMERCIAL HOTEL (Downtown Hotel)

One that caters to business clientele. It is located in the heart of the city within a short distance of the business center, shopping areas, theatres, public and private sector, etc. Rates in these hotels are normally high due to their locational advantage.

CHANCE CUSTOMERS/GUESTS

Persons who arrive without a reservation and who are not normally regular customers or guests. They are also known as Walkin guests.

CORPORATE RATE

Category of a price discount on extra services offered by a hotel or other business in an effort to attract guests traveling on business. The hotel may sign a contract with the potential company so as to generate room nights, rate agreements with validity, and financial responsibilities. Corporate rates are popular in Downtown or business class hotels.

CONDOMINIUM

Any multiple ownership arrangements with or without buildings (ownership of trailer spaces and hookups, recreational facilities). Same as Timesharing.

CONDOMINIUM HOTEL

Hotel totally or partly comprised of individually owned condominium units. All or some of the owners have agreed to an arrangement that permits management to offer the units as hotel rooms at specified times of the year in return for the share of the revenue. When appropriate amenities exist, called Resort Condominium.

CHAIN HOTEL

A hotel owned by or affiliated with other properties. Chain hotels impose certain minimum standards, rules, policies, and procedures on their affiliates. Some chains have strong control over the architecture, management, and standards of their hotels. Chain hotel properties typically encourage guests to plan their stay ahead of time by offering direct communication affiliated properties.

CUT-OFF DATE

Designated date by which additional specific action must be taken by a person who has reserved a room or faces invalidation of reservation. (or) The date agreed upon between a group and a hotel after which all unreserved rooms in the group’s block will be released back to the general rooms inventory for sale.

DEAD MOVE

Act of transferring a guest’s luggage to a different room while the guest is away.

DAY USE / DAY USE ROOM / DAY RATE

A room status term indicates that the room will be used for less than an overnight stay.

Rooms that are used for less than an overnight stay. It can be used from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. or 12 noon to 12 midnight but not after midnight.

It is the rate given for half-day or full day time. It can be 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. or 12.00 noon to 12 midnight, but not after midnight.

DELUXE HOTEL

The hotel offering top facilities with regard to elegance and service.

DEMI PENSION

It is also called Modified American Plan or Half Board. The term Demi Pension includes Room Rent + Breakfast + Lunch or Dinner.

DOWNTOWN HOTEL

It is located in the heart of the city within a short distance of the business center, shopping areas, theatres, public buildings, etc. Rates in these hotels are normally high due to their locational advantage and also due to the fact that the rate of return on investment (ROI) computed on these capital intensive hotels is substantially high. Normally business clientele prefers such hotels.

DISCREPANCY REPORT

A Discrepancy report is prepared by the Front Desk on receiving the Room Report from the Housekeeping. The Front Office compares it with the Room Rack for reconciliation of room status. Discrepancies noticed between room rack and housekeeping room report are noted down on a separate report call the ‘Discrepancy Report’, which is then handed over to a bell boy for physical check and reporting back of the room under discrepancy. After a physical check of the room, the Bell Boy notes down the correct status which is accepted by the Front Office and room rack and reconciled accordingly.

DUPLEX SUITE

Room spread over two floors with interconnecting staircase. Generally, the parlor is at the lower level and bedroom above.

DOUBLE SUITE

Double Room with one living room.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE

A room designated to accommodate two, three, or four persons; a room with 2 double beds. Also, called Twin-Double.

DOUBLE ROOM

It has a double bed or a composite bed meant for two persons.

DOORMAN / LINKMAN

Another member of the uniformed staff. His place of duty is outside the main entrance of the hotel. He is responsible for the cleanliness and good order of the front entrance of the hotel and the area around it. He opens the car and taxi doors and carries a large umbrella in case it is raining. He may wear a peak cap as part of his uniform. When a car or taxi arrives, he signals to the bell desk to send a bell boy and then opens the door of the car and helps the guest in coming out of the car at the same time the bell boy handles the luggage of the guest. He keeps the unwanted visitors away from the hotel. At the time of departure, he collects the out pass before allowing the luggage of the departure guest to go out of the hotel. His job is to call the taxi for the guest or call for the car of the guest.

DUPLEX SUITE

Room spread over two floors with interconnecting staircase. Generally the parlous is at the lower level and bedroom above.

EPABX

Electronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange. This is a type of telephone exchange that has a large number of extensions, each extension has an individual meter. The service connection do not minimize the extensions connecting since these are given no separate working digits. The guests and executives can dial an internal extension and outside calls straight without going through the telephone operator.

EUROPEAN PLAN (EP)

The European Plan, which is sometimes abbreviated as EP in hotel listings, indicates that the quoted rate is strictly for lodging and does not include any meals. Any food provided by the hotel is billed separately.

EN PENSION

American Plan includes room, breakfast, lunch, and dinner (three meals). Sometimes early morning tea is also included. This plan is also called En Pension or Full Board.

ERRAND CARD

The lobby attendant arrival and departure errand card are maintained by the bell boy for each and every arrival and departure. It has details like the name of the bellboy, the name of the guest, the number, and description of the baggage and the signatures of the bell captain and the bellboy. It is a record of all the activities undertaken by the bellboy and helps to control the movement of bellboys.

FRRO

Foreigners Regional Registration Office. These offices are located in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkota, and Chennai, and the ‘C’ Form records of foreign guests registered in the hotels are sent to them according to the concerned jurisdiction for review.

FIT

FIT is a Free Individual Traveller in Hotel parlance and is any person who makes booking directly with a hotel and not through a travel agent. FITs are usually leisure guests whose purpose of travel is sightseeing and enjoyment.

FLOOR LIMIT

It is also known as House Limit or Sanctioned Limit. A maximum amount a hotel can accept on a credit card. An amount set by the credit card company.

FREE SALE

Rooms ready for sale after going through all reservation charts.

FORECAST

Expectation based on past-present data. Forecasting is a task of the Front Office department that affects other areas of the hotel. Restaurants and other sales outlets will base their expectations of trade on the occupancy forecast produced by the Front Office.

FLASH REPORT

Flash report indicates the breakup of room allocation and revenue thereof.

A Hotel on a ship/cruise.

FLOAT

The delay in payment from an account after using a credit card or personal cheque.

FRANCHISEE

A hotel owner who has access to a national reservation system and receives the benefits of the corporation’s management expertise, financial backing, national advertising, and group purchasing.

FRANCHISE

A license to operate a hotel using a trademark, training, and operating manuals supplied by a well-known Chain.

FORECASTING

Projecting occupancy and room sales for a specific period. Forecasting enables the front desk to maximize revenue and optimize room nights and contribute to yield management.

FHRAI

Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India.

FOYER

Lobby. Common lounge for all resident and non-resident guests

FULL-SERVICE HOTEL

Provides a wide selection of guest services in addition to accommodation, such as food and beverage, room service, laundry services, etc.

FULL BOARD

American Plan includes room, breakfast, lunch, and dinner (three meals). Sometimes early morning tea is also included. This plan is also called En Pension.

GUEST FOLIO

A Guest record of charges and payments. A form with the hotel’s logo and a control number and allowing space for the room number, guest identification, date in and date out, and room rate in the upper left-hand corner; allows for guest charges to be imprinted with a posting machine and filed in the room number sequence.

GUEST CYCLE

A sequence of transactions in the room’s business from reservation through registration to account settlement.

GIT

Group inclusive tariff

Group inclusive Tour

Prepaid tour allowing special airfares to a group and requiring that all the members must travel on the same flight round the trip and must travel together during their entire time abroad.

The group of people traveling together on a package arrangement. This means their transport, accommodation, meals (on the plan), or side trips are usually included in the price paid. Everyone will arrive together, eat together, and check out together.

GUARANTEED RESERVATION

A reservation in which payment for the room is promised even if the guest fails to arrive. Advance booking, with payment guaranteed even if the guest does not arrive unless canceled by the tour operator by a certain date.

HOT LIST

Another name for Warning Bulletin supplied by the credit card company. This comprises the list of defaulters authorized by the credit card company.

HALF BOARD MEAL

Modified American Plan or Demi Pension (Room Rent + Breakfast + Lunch or Dinner)

HOLLY TWIN BEDDED ROOM

A Room which has two single beds with a single headboard meant for two persons.

HOUSE LIMIT

An amount set by the hotel allows for a maximum amount of guests charges.

Or

An amount set by the hotel for guest account balances. When an account exceeds the specified amount, the guest’s creditworthiness is checked. Also called the FLOOR LIMIT of the hotel.

HOUSEKEEPING STATUS

Terminology which indicates the availability of guest to enter a room such as OCCUPIED (guest or guests are already occupying a room), STAYOVER (Guest who will not be checking out of a room on current day), ON CHANGE (Guest has checked out of the room, but the housekeeping staff has not released the room for occupancy), OUT OF ORDER (the room is not available for occupancy because of mechanical malfunction) and AVAILABLE (the room is available for a guest to occupy).

HOBIC

Hotel Outward Bound Information Centre

HOTEL DIARY

A book that records all the guest’s details under the date of arrival order.

HEALTH CLUB

Provides gymnasium, health baths (Jacuzzi, Steam Bath), massages, etc for the purpose of improving health.

HOSPITALITY ROOM

A room used by a hotel guest to entertain his own guest and usually charged on an hourly basis.

HRACC

Hotel and Restaurants Approval Classification Committee. The Committee under the Ministry of Tourism that provides star rating to the hotels according to the facilities and services offered by the hotels.

INFORMATION RACK

Whitney Rack kept in the Information Section. Names are in alphabetical order. It is used to help in the delivery of mail, telephone messages, deliveries to guests and to answer inquiries of guests and visitors.

Or

An alphabetic listing of all registered guests, cross-referenced by room number.

INDEPENDENT HOTEL

A hotel that is not associated with a franchise.

INDUCTION

An organizational process to familiarize a new recruit to the organization and workplace.

INNS

They are small in size with modest board and lodging facilities. They may be located anywhere within or outside the city. They are the forerunners of the modern motel.

ITDC

Indian Tourism Development Corporation. It came into being with effect from March 1970. It is one of the public sector undertakings and its services include transport, accommodation and restaurants, and duty-free shops at International Airports, Sound and Light Shows.

JACUZZI

A jet of hot water flows in the tub on all 8 sides.

KEY CARD

A card issued to the guest on registration. It displays room number, name, rate, and other relevant details. Used when the guest requests the key.

KEYLESS LOCK

Electronic Key system made out of plastic, meal or pressed paper key with electronic codes embedded on a magnetic strip.

LEFT LUGGAGE

Guest baggage kept in the custody of the hotel after the guest has checked out which will be later collected by him.

LOBBY

Common Lounge for all resident and non-resident guests. It is also called FOYER

LOG

Record of happenings.

LOTEL

Hotel with helipad facility.

LIMITED FLOORS

Luxury service provided by a hotel whereby only registered guests are permitted access to certain parts of the property (Club Floor).

KEY RACK

A storage unit (rack, shelf, drawer) for the guest room key. Often combined with Mail Rack

MURPHY BED

A bed that is hinged at the base of the headboard and swings up into the wall for storage; another name for this type of bed is SICO (or) A bed that folds into the wall or appears to be a sideboard when stowed away.

MOTEL

This term is derived from the phrase, ‘motor hotels’, which are located principally on highways. They provide modest board and lodging to highway travelers. The length of the stay is usually overnight, thus rates quoted are on European Plan i.e. room only.

NO-SHOW

The reservation that fails to arrive.

ON CHANGE

The status of a guest room recently vacated but not yet ready for a new guest.

ON REQUEST

Status of room wherein a reservation is made subject to confirmation at a later date.

OVERBOOKING

Accepting reservations for more rooms than are available by forecasting the number of no-show reservations, stayover, understands, and walk-ins with a goal of attaining 100% occupancy (or) Term meaning to accept more rooms than there are available. This is done to ensure 100% occupancy, allowing for cancellation, no-shows, and early departures.

OOO (OUT OF ORDER)

The status of a guest room that is not available for sale because of planned work or an unexpected problem.

OPEN

Term meaning rooms are available for letting.

PENTHOUSE

A house or room on the roof or top floor of a tall building or hotel or terrace level, one side may be open to the sky.

PLAN

Room and meal package

PAGING

‘Paging’ is the system of displaying the name of the guest on a small board with a long handle. The board ID held above the head of the bell boy and has small bells which are rung to draw the attention of customers to the board. When a phone call is received for a guest in a specified location, this paging system is used to contact guests The bell boy does the paging in most public areas especially the lobby.

PARLOUR

  1. A Sitting room that is part of a suite. In emergencies, parlors can serve as extra bedrooms 2) A guest room with a hideaway bed, giving the room the appearance of a sitting room.

QUADRUPLE

Room suitable for occupancy for four persons.

RETENTION CHARGES

A charge levied on an individual guest or group for default in the reservation or stay

What is ROOM RACK?

Whitney Slips placed in Whitney Rack in the Reception (or) Whitney Racks maintained at a reception in the chronology of room numbers.

RED BOOK or ‘F’ FORM

Information about guests may be required by the hotel or police at any time. The hotel arrival-departure register which is also known as Red Book or F Form is one of the most important documents. It also fulfills the legal requirements that each guest must be registered. Guest signatures are important as it signifies his consent to abide by the rules and regulations of the hotel and at the same time is a proof of his stay in the hotel from a particular date to another date (in large hotels these days an individual card called Guest Registration Cards are used)

What is RACK RATE?

Rack rate is also called printed tariff reflected in the tariff card without discount (or) The standard rate quoted from the room rack; the published rate that is posted in each guest room.

ROLLAWAY

A spare bed that can be wheeled into a room

ROOM STATUS

The current condition of a guest room: vacant, occupied, checkout, or out of order

RESORT HOTEL

This type of hotel is located in the hills or at beaches. It is mainly patronized by vacationers. Basic facilities are provided and the rates offered are often on American Plan, i.e. room plus all meals included.

ROTELS

Hotels on wheels are called Rotels (.e.g. Palace on Wheels)

SKIPPER

A Skipper is a person who stays in the hotel and enjoys the facilities provided by the hotel and departs without paying the bills.

What is a SLEEPER?

A Room that appears to be occupied although it is vacant due to an error in room status reporting at the Desk.

Name three categories that indicate the STATUS BOARD AT RESERVATIONS?

Sold Out, On Request, Free Sale (Open).

SKIP

A guest who departs secretly, without intention to pay.

SLEEPOUT (S/O)

A means of tracking how reservations were made or how a guest arrived at the hotel.

SPATT (SPECIAL ATTENTION)

A notation used on internal written communications, such as a reservation or registration, to alert the staff to any special service required for this guest. The SPATT would have to be specified (e.g. required wheelchair access, needs a non-allergic pillow, inform manager upon arrival)

SUBURBAN HOTEL

Located in the suburbs, it has the advantage of quieter surroundings. Rates quoted are moderate to low. Such hotels are ideal for budget travelers and also organizations who find the quiet setting ideal for conferences, seminars, educational programs, etc.

SUITE

Two rooms inter-connected with one room as the living room and the other as a bedroom. More facilities are offered e.g. Mini Bar, Pantry. It can also have one or more bedrooms. The dimension of the rooms is usually large.

SAUNA BATH

System of cleansing one’s body through perspiration by dry heat.

STUDIO

Room with one bed and a sofa-cum-bed

SUITE/JUNIOR SUITE

A large room with a partition separating the living room from the bedroom.

TRANSIENT GUEST

A short-term guest, one who stops while en-route to other destinations.

TIME SHARED HOTEL

It is a modern version of residential hotels and is composed of owner-leased units.

UNDER STAYS

Guests who arrive on time but decide to leave before their predicted date of departure.

UPSELL

To suggest and sell rooms more than the guest’s expectation. Also, to sell more facilities and get more revenue for the hotel.

UPGRADE

To move guests into a higher-priced room category, while still charging the lower rate.

What is VALET?

Another member of uniformed staff in the Hotel. Laundry attendant who receives and delivers guests’ laundry. (or) Special services such as dry cleaning, ironing, and mending. His position may be small but is of great importance.

VIP AMENITIES

Any gesture gave complimentary to a guest by the hotel management.

VALET PARKING

Optional service offered by the Hotel wherein an employee parks the car and returns it to you when requested.

What is WALK-IN?

A ‘walk-in’ in hotel terminology is a person who checks in to a hotel without prior reservation. He is registered into the hotel if rooms are available.

WAITLIST

Names and telephone numbers of guests who wish to make a reservation for a sold-out date. If a vacancy occurs, the guest is contacted.

WALKING A GUEST WITH A RESERVATION

Offering accommodation at another hotel to a guest who has a reservation when your hotel is overbooked.

(or)

Turning away a guest who holds a confirmed reservation because of the lack of available rooms. This may involve paying for the guest’s accommodation at another hotel.

 WARNING BULLETIN

Another name for Hot List. A periodic publication issued by credit card companies. It contains a number of Credit Cards that have been canceled for various reasons including loss of theft. No inference as to credit rating must be drawn from the appearance of a number in this bulletin. Also called cancellation bulletin or card recovery bulletin. All are being superseded by telephone linked authorization terminals called EDC (Electronic Data Couture)

Or

A period publication issued by credit card companies. It contains a number of cards that have been canceled for various reasons, including loss or theft. No inference as to credit rating must be drawn from the appearance of a number in this bulletin. Also called: Cancellation bulletin or Card Recovery Bulletin. All are being superseded by telephone linked authorization terminals called EDC.

WALKOUT

A person who leaves the hotel without paying for their account. They are also known as Skipper.

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Telephone Handling

Large hotels  has to  handle  much  higher  number  of  calls,  act  as an automated operator with a uniform level of service to each customer and also play the role of managing hotel assets  and property through integration with other specialized devices. 

Besides controlling the call overheads, the intelligently designed and implemented telephony system can also help in managing resources. Keeping track of  guest  status  and  automated  room  cleaning  service  arrangements,  enhanced customer service through history are few advanced functions to name, a telephony system can perform when integrated with Property Management Systems (PMS) or hotel  management  Systems. 

call center, headset, woman

Property Management Systems (PMS) are specially designed software for hotel applications. Being integrated with the telephone system, PMS ensures efficient check-in and check-out of guests, timely reminders and wake-up calls with personalized messages, timely services of the rooms without interfering with guest’s privacy, and many more functions leading to enhanced and prompt services as well as increased staff efficiency.

Hoteliers investing in PMS should make sure that PMS would function in complete tune with the installed telephone system. Hoteliers should select telephone systems that are tested for integration with leading PMS and  CAS  (Call  Accounting  System)  or  which  provides  flexibility  of  immediate integration with the PMS or CAS already installed for hotel management.   Each hotel is different and is operated uniquely. Before selecting any telephone system for the hotel, Hoteliers should understand the challenges and requirements of the hotel.

Telephone operator

The work of a telephone operator involves dealing with the responsibility for the operation of a telephone switchboard.  All incoming, outgoing, and inter-office or conference calls to be handled carefully. The work is performed in accordance with a prescribed  routine  outlined  for  the  position  and  under  the  direct  supervision  of  a telephone supervisor and also performs related work as required.

Typical Work Activities:

  • Operates a switchboard to relay incoming, outgoing, and inter-office telephone calls;
  • Greets all callers and directs them to the proper party or department;
  • Gives routine information and direction to callers and/or the public regarding the department;
  • Provides hotel-related information to the caller;
  • Handle guest queries and complaints;
  • May record calls and checks telephone bills;
  • May  perform  routine  typing  tasks  such  as  memoranda,  purchase  orders,  and short correspondence;
  • May stamp, sort, and post outgoing and incoming mail;
  • May handle extra-curricular accounting activities.
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Telephone Etiquettes & Manners

Working in a hotel certainly leads to answer telephone calls.  The art of using the telephone is not one, which only the telephone operator must acquire, for it is important that all persons within a hotel should know how to use the instrument. 

The art is based on two everyday qualities, common sense, and courtesy.  The telephone should be treated, not as an inanimate object, but as a real live being. After all, there is a real live person at the other end of the line, who must be communicated with.

Everybody in the hotel organization who answers the phone should be trained to use  proper  telephone  etiquette  and  treat  each  caller  with  courtesy  and professionalism.

Proper telephone etiquette is very important in that personnel are representing their department and the hotel.  Time needs to be spent on developing employees’ “Telephone & Customer Service skills”.

Remembering to use proper telephone etiquette, whether answering  the  phone  or  making  phone  calls,  leaves  callers  with  a  favourable impression of you, your department, and the  hotel.

Below mentioned are the areas for self-improvement so that each person takes away a personalized action plan.

Rules of Telephone Etiquettes: 

A few basic techniques and some useful tips to remember while answering telephone calls in hotel business. 

All  phone  calls  should  be  answered  by  the  third  ring:  When  the  telephone rings,  it  is  announcing  the  fact  that  someone  wishes  to  speak  to  the  telephone operator, and the operator should answer it promptly. The call should be attended within three rings.  Answering  the  call  by  the  third  ring  will  ensure  the  guest interaction gets off on the right foot. Every time the phone rings beyond the third ring  the  dissatisfaction  and  agitation  level  of  the  caller  escalates.  If you are attending to a guest at that time, first answer the phone, excuse yourself. Do not let the telephone ring without answering it. Although it may at times be irritating the  telephone  should  always  come  before  any  desk  work,  but  should  not  take precedence over the guest at the counter with whom you were dealing before the telephone rang.

Answer the call promptly:

Always try to answer the call immediately and with an enthusiastic, standardized greeting to establish a positive first impression with the guest. An energetic, pleasant greeting with a smiling voice will set the tone for the rest of the guest interaction. Necessity, as much as a courtesy, demands that the person answering the telephone should identify himself or herself. It is meaningless to say “Hello”.

The telephone operator should always announce the name of the hotel/department and greet the guest according to the day. The adding of the words “May I help/assist you” will give the impression of willingness to serve, which is all-important in a hotel. Now, it is up to management to determine the most appropriate script for the standardized telephone greeting and ensure it is consistently delivered to each caller.

Answer the telephone by saying, “RECEPTION (concierge or reservation) GOOD MORNING (good afternoon or good evening), MAY I ASSIST YOU?

Polite and  Speak  with  a  “smile”: 

The first rule of telephone  etiquette is to be polite  and  speak  with a  “smile”  in  your  voice. Train staff to actually smile when speaking to a guest, even though the person on the other end of the line cannot see them. Believe it or not, you can actually hear a smile over the phone. Only a small percentage of overall guest communication is accomplished through actual spoken words. A majority of guest communication is delivered via voice quality -tone, pace, modulation, and the invisible “smile”.  An employee’s attitude, both positive and negative, will come through loud and clear to the guest.

Speak slowly and enunciate clearly: Speak clearly and pronounce the words carefully. The caller may find it difficult to understand you on the telephone than if you speak to him at the counter.

Be polite, friendly, and helpful: 

Every hotel want potential guest to receive. On the telephone, operator’s voice can indicate the welcome we want every potential guest to receive.  She/he must never sound short, sharp, irritated and impatient over the phone and never interrupt the caller while he is talking.

Courtesy: 

Be courteous in explaining the hotel rules.  Using phrases like “You have to”, “I suggest” or “would you mind” is not preferable. Never argue with the guest, remember the guest is always right.  If you cannot deal with a certain problem, inform the seniors in the department so that they can deal with it.

Speak directly into the mouthpiece: 

It is always good to speak directly into the mouthpiece, if this is not feasible because of using other equipment while on the telephone (i.e., computer), prefer using a headset, which will free your hands.   If you  are  speaking  to  the  other  person,  the  hand  should  be  placed  over  the telephone mouthpiece. This saves the caller the embarrassment of overhearing a conversation not intended for his or her ears.

Do not eat or chew gum while talking on the telephone.

Use hold button: 

If someone walks into your office while you are talking on the telephone, ask the caller if you may put him/her on hold briefly. Press the HOLD button. Do not lay the receiver on the desk, without placing the caller on hold (the caller can hear the discussion and may not be pleasant to his ears).

Standard phrases and courteous words: 

Using standard phrases and courteous words is essential in displaying a professional atmosphere.

Avoid Slangs:

Avoid common words and slang such as yep, yeah, nope, uh-huh, sure, no problem, um, ya know, etc. Use polite words such as please, thank you, pardon me, would you prefer, may I offer, absolutely, certainly, etc.

Listen carefully: 

Listen to the caller actively and without interrupting, absorb the information they are giving you, and ask the right questions to ensure the caller is serviced quickly and thoroughly.

Short and  Crisp:  

Be  brief  and  to  the  point,  but  not  abrupt.  Remember  that telephone time  costs money  and  that  the  switchboard  operator  may  be  holding another call for you.

Using  guest’s  name: 

Using  a person’s  name  is  the most  valuable  and  free  of cost  tool  to  utilize  to make the guest feel  important,  whether  the  interaction  is conducted via telephone or in person. This is just the first of two or three times the guest’s name should be used. At a minimum, the name should also be used in the closing interaction such as, “Thank you for calling, Mr. Kapoor. Have a nice day.” If you absolutely cannot obtain the guest’s name, it is acceptable to use “Sir” or “Ma’am.”

Do not place guest on hold for a long time: 

Avoid placing callers on hold unless you absolutely must do so. When placing a guest on hold, be courteous and ask if it is OK to do so prior to actually pressing the hold button. A simple way to ask would be, “May I place you on hold?” or “Allow me to put you on hold”. Wait for an answer, then thank the caller and inform them you will be back with them shortly. Do not keep the caller waiting for a long time before attending to him. Return to the caller and complete the call as soon as possible. A caller on the telephone should never be placed on hold for longer than 30 seconds. If you cannot complete your side task within the 30-second window, return to the original caller and tell them “I am  sorry  to  keep  you  waiting”  or  you  appreciate  their  patience  and you  will  be right with them.

Do not avoid calls:

Do not remove the receiver from the cradle in order to stop the bell ringing or lay it down on the table without acknowledging the caller. It is an extremely  rude  gesture  to  remove  the  receiver  and  then  replace  it  without speaking, thus cutting off the caller.

Taking message carefully: 

In a well-run hotel telephone operators must ensure that they should always have a pen and notepad to write down messages as they are received.  Make sure all key information from guests is accurately and properly noted.  The definition of “key information” varies based upon the business function as  key  information  will  be  different  for  front  desk  agents  than  it  would  be  for  a restaurant personal. All messages should be read back to the caller to ensure that they  have  been  received  correctly,  particular  attention  being  paid  to  names, addresses  and  numerals.  Messages containing times and dates are frequently given over the telephone, and it is particularly important that these are received and passed on correctly.

Take calls confidently: 

Be accurate in what you say. The guest wants to have confidence in you. Do not ‘THINK’ or ‘SUPPOSE’ if you do not know the answer; find out and call back.  Before, keeping the receiver down notes down the guest’s name and his contact number for calling him back.

Closing call:

When ending a guest call, always stay on the line and only hang up after the guest has done so first.  Thank the guest for calling  with  a  pleasant farewell (remember to use the guest’s name) and stay on the line until you hear the call ended by the familiar “click” from the caller hanging up.

Handling Calls

Always remember that you represent the hotel or the organization you are working for when you pick-up a telephone call at work. The caller does not see you or your hotel, so your voice alone has to help the caller become and remain a satisfied guest. Lastly, ensure the telephone is only used for business purposes.  Tying up the  telephone  talking  with  friends  or  family means  guests  cannot  get through which  causes  aggravation  and  potentially  loss  of  revenue.

First impression: 

The  first  and  foremost  important  thing  is  to  provide  a welcoming environment to caller so they are comfortable  asking questions. Within the first, few seconds of the conversation guest can sense how the rest of the call will go. Therefore, make sure that they feel at ease and know that you care about their issue.

    • Be a good Communicator
    • Be interested in your caller and their issues they are calling about.
    • Inform guests while you are investigating the issue to let them know that you are working on how to resolve their issue.
    • Explain to guest what you are doing and why.
    • Assess the  level  of  expertise  of  caller  has  and  adjust  your  communication style accordingly.
    • If caller does not understand a term that you use, explain to them what you mean.
    • Do not use abbreviations unless the caller is familiar with them.
    • Let the caller know what the next step is and how you will find it.
    • Manage the Call
    • The telephone operator is the moderator of the call, so keep track of time.
    • Keep in mind where you are in the call framework, from opening, resolving, and closing the problem.
    • Be sure to properly greet and collect all mandatory guest information before asking why they have called for support.
    • Know how long you usually need to open and close calls, to use as much time as possible for troubleshooting.
    • If you must put the guests on hold, tell them exactly how long they will hold and return exactly to that estimate.
    • If your troubleshooting steps do not resolve the problem, do not continue to look for solutions. Refer to your procedures and escalate the case to higher authorities (as directed).
    • Listen!
    • Be a good listener. Resist distraction and focus on the caller.
    • You might know what your caller will say, but let them finish anyway.
    • Remember active  listening  is  an  art  and  includes  listening  to  what  your customer is saying and what they are not saying.
    • Look for cues such as tone of voice. It can reveal a lot about your caller and help you manage the call smoothly.
    • Do not interrupt the caller. If you do have to interrupt them, apologize and explain why.

Answering Calls

    • Try to answer the phone within three rings. Answering a phone too fast can catch the caller off guard and waiting too long can make the caller angry.
    • Answer with a  friendly    (Example –  “Good  Afternoon,  Hotel XYZ, Operator number 254 at your service, May, I assist you!”).
    • Smile – it shows, even though the phone lines; speak in a pleasant tone of voice – the caller will appreciate it.
    • Ask the caller for their name, even if their name is not necessary for the call. This shows you have taken an interest in them.
    • If the caller has reached the wrong number, be courteous. Sometimes a caller is transferred all over the hotel with a simple question and the caller gets frustrated. If possible, take the time to find out where they should be calling/to whom they should be speaking.
    • The hand should be placed over the telephone mouthpiece. This saves the caller the embarrassment of overhearing a conversation not intended for his or her ears.
    • Use the  hold  button  when  leaving  a  line  so  that  the  caller  does  not accidentally overhear conversations being held nearby.
    • When you are out of the office or away from your desk for more than a few minutes, forward your phone to voicemail.

Making Calls

    • When you call someone and they answer the phone, do not say “Who am I speaking with?” without first identifying yourself: (Example – “This is Lisa from hotel XYZ. To whom am I speaking?”)
    • Always know and state the purpose of the communication.
    • When you reach a wrong number, don’t argue with the person who answered the call or keep them  on  the    Say:  “I’m sorry, I must  have  the  wrong number. Please excuse the interruption.” And then hang up.
    • If you told  a  person  you  would  call  at  a  certain  time,  call  them  as  you promised. If you need to delay the conversation, call to postpone it, but do not make the other person wait around for your call.
    • Handling Rude or Impatient Callers
    • Stay calm. Try to remain diplomatic and polite. Getting angry will only make them angrier.
    • Always show a willingness to resolve the problem or conflict.
    • Try to  think  like  the    Remember, their  problems  and  concerns  are important.
    • If you are in a non-supervisory position: Offer to have your supervisor talk to the caller or call him/her back if the caller persists.
    • If you are  supervisor:  Be  willing  to  handle  irate    Speak  slowly and calmly.  Be  firm  with  your  answers,  but  understanding.  Sometimes  the  irate caller just wants someone in a supervisory capacity to listen to their problem even if you are unable to help them.
    • Placing Calls on Hold
    • When putting a caller on hold, always ask permission. Use standard phrases like: “Allow me to put you on hold” or “Can you hold briefly while I see if Mr. Jones is available?” When taking a caller off hold, always thank him/her for holding. “ Thank you for holding the line”
    • Sometimes you may have other lines ringing too. Remember to write down the names of callers holding so you avoid asking who the caller is holding for more than once.

Transferring Calls

If the caller needs to speak to another person or department, transfer the caller directly to the desired person’s extension rather than the operator. This will save the caller having to explain his/her requests another time, and it will cut the number of times the caller needs to be transferred.

    • When transferring  a  caller,  tell  them  who  you  are  transferring  them  to, and announce the caller to the person you are transferring them to.
    • If the called party is busy or not answering the call, return to the caller ( Example –“He/she is out of the office, may I take a message or would you like his/her voicemail?”)
    • Taking Messages
    • Be prepared with a pen and message slip when you answer the phone.
    • When taking messages be sure to ask for:
    • Caller’s name (asking the caller for the correct spelling.)
    • Caller’s phone number and/or extension (including area code)
    • Repeat the message to the caller.
    • Record the time and date the call came in.
    • Be sure to fill in the date, time, and initials.
    • Place the message slip in the called guest’s mail & message rack slot or in a conspicuous place in his/her room, such as on the bedside table or writing table, etc.
    • Don’t forget that you can transfer them to voicemail instead of taking a paper message, but don’t forget to ask, “Would you like me to transfer you to his/her voicemail?” Do  not  assume  that  the  caller  would  rather  go  to  Always ask first.

Ending Conversations

While ending a call following points to be considered:

    • End on an “up” note.
    • Tell the person how much you have enjoyed speaking with him/her.
    • Before hanging up, be sure that you have answered all the caller’s questions.
    • Always end with a pleasantry such as: “Have a nice day” or “It was nice speaking to you”.
    • When a call is terminated, the receiver must be replaced properly on the cradle and a period of at least ten seconds should elapse before another call is made. This enables the operator or the automatic mechanism to disconnect the previous call.

Do's and Don'ts

DO’s

    • Answer the calls promptly within three rings.
    • Smile as you make the call though you are on the telephone.
    • Sit or stand up straight.
    • Use a low voice pitch.
    • Announce the name of the hotel, your identity, and appropriate greetings.
    • Avoid extremes in volume.
    • Match your speaking rate to the callers.
    • Assume your “telephone” voice, controlling your volume and speed.
    • Project a tone that is enthusiastic, natural, attentive, and respectful.
    • Always have a pen and paper in hand to make the records.
    • Listen carefully,  pay  close  attention  to  the  details  being  expressed  by the caller.
    • Use reflective/active listening to clarify and check for understanding.
    • Listen “between” the words.
    • Make the  callers  feel  that  they  have  your  undivided  attention,  mention the name of the caller, if possible.
    • Always speak calmly and choose your words properly and naturally.
    • Enunciate/articulate clearly. Speak distinctly.
    • Use plain English and avoid unnecessary jargon and acronyms.
    • Use action specific words and directions.
    • If there  is  a  problem,  project  a  tone  that  is  concerned,  empathetic,  and apologetic.
    • If you  have  to  ask  the  caller  to  hold,  explain,    Wait  for  the  caller’s permission before putting him/her on hold.
    • If you  say  that  you  call  back  do  it  as  soon  as  possible,  tell  the  caller the approximate time you can take.
    • Repeat back in any details and follow up in writing (if necessary).
    • Never give wrong information, if you don’t know the answer, transfer the caller to the right person.
    • In transferring  calls:  Transfer  only  when  necessary;  get  the  information yourself.
    • If you must transfer, avoid the use of the word “transfer.” Say instead: “I am going to connect you with”.
    • Rid your mouth of food, chewing  gum, cough drops, or candy before talking on the phone – the receiver amplifies your noshing.
    • If you have to sneeze or cough, turn your head and   cover your mouth  –  and the receiver.
    • Speak directly into the receiver – don’t bury it in your shoulder or neck.
    • If you dial the wrong number, explain yourself and verify the phone number so you don’t repeat the call. Don’t hang up; that’s just rude.
    • Cut down  on  the  background  noise  when  taking  or  making  a    Even working on computer bings and bleeps can be distracting over the phone.
    • Close the conversation politely. Always say “Thank you for calling”.
    • Put the phone down gently to spare your caller’s ear.
  1. DON’Ts

    • Let the telephone ring more than three times.
    • Answer the phone with “hello” or “yes”.
    • Leave an open line.
    • Ask the caller to hold on while you scramble for pen and paper.
    • Place the caller on hold by saying “hold on” and leave the caller wondering if he/she is still being attended.
    • Put down the receiver heavily on the table or desk or left it to dangle.
    • Check back with the caller frequently: every 30-45 seconds.
    • Forget to call back.
    • Keep talking to another person while answering the phone.
    • Type or shuffle papers while you are on the phone –  it suggests that you are not listening to the caller.
    • Eating, drinking or chewing something while answering the phone.
    • Say you cannot help and not offer the caller to someone who can.
    • Hang up without thanking the caller for calling.
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Bell Desk

Bell desk is an extended arm of the front desk. There are many activities at the time of arrival, during the stay, and at the time of departure of the guest, which cannot be carried out from the front desk but are to be carried out essentially, in order to provide services to the guest. As the name suggests it is a small desk/counter in the lobby near the main entrance of the hotel. The bell desk should be situated in clear view of the front desk, cashier, and particularly the doorman standing outside the lobby, so that the doorman may signal for a bellboy at the arrival of a guest. Further, it is also important that the bell desk be situated near the luggage centre and luggage entrance.

Head Hall Porter 

The in-charge of uniformed staff is the head hall porter, and he usually wears a uniform of either tails or a frock coat with brass or silver buttons and gold or silver braid or any other uniform as decided by the management. The majority .of hall porters in larger hotels are members of an international society called “Societe des clefs d’ or” and wear a badge of crossed keys on the lapel of their coat.

Functions of Bell Desk

The senior bell captain is the in-charge of the bell desk and along with his staff performs various duties from here. The various functions performed from here are as follows.

1. Luggage handling 

Luggage handling of the guest is done on various occasions such as arrival, during stay (change of room), and at the time of departure. At the time of arrival when the luggage of the guest is moved from car/taxi to the lobby and further to the allotted room, the activity is called “up bell activity”. When the luggage of the guest is moved from room to lobby and further to the car/taxi at the time of departure the activity is called “down bell activity”. The baggage is collected from the room upon request.

Some guests may request to hold on to their luggage for a couple of days while they make an onward journey and return to the same hotel. A left luggage register is maintained in this case and an entry is made in this book. A baggage ticket (which has two parts) is used. One part is attached to the luggage and the counterfoil is given to the guest. This portion details the hotel’s liability exemption clause. When the guest comes to collect his luggage, he has to produce his portion of the baggage ticket. The luggage storeroom must be secure at all times.

Luggage Storage Room:

  • The luggage room should be always organized and neat.
  • The luggage room is divided into 3 areas, arrival, departure, long term storage.
  • Each luggage has to be tagged using a luggage tag (Sl. no, Guest name, date, room no, guest’s signature, and time of collection).
  • A phone number or email address must be on the long-term storage luggage form.
  • The long-term luggage storage register has to be completed and signed by the guest.

Following questions need to be asked while keeping in Items for long storage:

  1. a) Fragile Items
  • Ask the guest if there are any fragile items in their suitcase,
  • If yes, mark “Fragile” on the luggage tag.
  1. b) Perishable
  • For items that need to be kept cool (medication, food…) check with Food and beverage kitchen.
  • Record where the items are stored in the luggage register.
  • For long-term luggage storage, ensure with the guest that there are no perishable items inside the luggage.

Security & Safety

  • Always keep the luggage room closed and dry.
  • Do not leave guests alone in the luggage room.
  • Remind the guest to keep their valuable item with them (Jewellery, phone, wallet, camera, I pad, etc.)
  • Log down in the bell desk log book and on errand card each luggage handling done (Arrival, Departure, Stored), etc.
PAGING
  1. Paging 

Apart from luggage handling, the bell desk is also responsible for paging a guest. The paging is a system of locating the guest in the hotel. Many times the in-house guest expects a phone call or a visitor but decides not to wait in the room, and might decide to go to public areas such as a bar, restaurant. Swimming pool, lobby or lounge, etc. of the hotel or may go out of the hotel. In such cases, the hotel requests the guest to tell about his whereabouts through a location form. This proforma may be kept in the stationary folds in the room as well as at the information section of the counter. Usually, the guest fills it in but many times, the hotel staff on the instructions of the guest may fill it in. The completed location form is kept in the key and mail racks. This information is sent to the telephone department also (the guest may directly inform or the front desk may do so). The purpose of the form is to earmark the area of paging and save time. In the case of a computer system, the information is recorded on the computer instead of the location forms.

3. Mail and Message Handling 

The bell desk’s function is also to handle and distribute mail and message received by the front desk in the absence of the guests to their respective rooms.

4. Delivery of Newspapers

As per the hotel policy, all hotel guests receive a copy of a local newspaper each morning. The bellboys in the night shift are responsible for delivering the newspapers to all occupied rooms.

The bell captain obtains the room verification report (providing information on all rooms presently occupied). The bellboy then marks the room numbers for each newspaper. The bellboy also inserts the daily newsletters in each paper provided by the public relations office the previous evening. The bellboy then distributes the newspapers. The record of numbers of newspapers received on a daily basis is maintained by the night shift bell captain.

5. Collection of Room Keys at Departure

Another very important function of the bell desk is the collection of room keys from a checkout guest and depositing the same at the information desk.

6. Miscellaneous Jobs

Miscellaneous jobs such as postage stamps handling, taking care of outgoing mail of the guest, carrying out outside errands for the guest and hotel such as buying of cinema tickets, moving of files and documents, etc. for the guest as well as going to banks, post office and FRRO police station for delivering of ‘C forms’ etc., confirming of railways/bus reservation, etc. are done by the bell desk. Bellboy shall do the outside jobs only on the instructions of the bell captain. A service call slip will be prepared. Also, an entry in the logbook will be made and an entry in the bell captain’s control sheet, which is meant to control the movement of bellboys will be made. Finally when the bellboy will return an entry will be made in the service call slip and bell captain’s control sheet and will be signed by the bell captain. In most hotels these days the bell desk is also responsible for car parking areas and control of revenue generated from the car parking area. At times when there is a room discrepancy, the bell desk staff helps the lobby manager in checking and sorting out the status of the hotel.

7. Safe Deposit Locker- A key concern for guests is the safety of their belongings, especially cash, jewelry, gadgets, and important documents. Hotels provide safe deposit lockers for the same. At the time of check-in, guests are advised to keep their valuables in the safe deposit lockers available at the front desk. Two- Key Lockers Kept in the hotel Front Office back area, they are controlled by maintaining a user logbook. Monitoring of the Locker area is done with CCTV cameras.

Though this service is obsolete, now as each guest room is provided with an electronic safety locker.

8. Wake-Up Call 

In some hotels, the wake-up call to groups and crews is coordinated by the bell desk. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the bell captain on duty in the morning shift to prepare the wake call sheets of all the groups and crews in-house.

It is generally, done in the morning but guests may require this service any time of the day.it is the duty of the telephone department to wake up the guest.

Wake-up call handling tips-

  • Give full attention to writing the proper room number, name, and time to wake-up the guest to avoid any mistakes
  • On making the first wake-up call always politely ask if he/she wants a second wake-up call or not.
  • While call you should say-“Good morning Mr. X. this is 6 am in the morning which is your wake-up time. Have a nice day”
  • After getting your call at a time guest may not understand, hence you should take few seconds and then explain why you called clearly to the guest.

If after 2nd call guest does not respond at all then send the bellboy to knock on his/her door to wake him/her up.

Records and Procedures

1.Left Luggage Procedure

At times guest finds it inconvenient and expensive to carry their luggage to a place where they are going for a few days. Guest is expected to check out by check out time (12 noon) even if their flight is in the evening and they find it too expensive to retain the room for an extra day just to keep the luggage. Most hotels offer the left luggage room facility free of cost but some hotels do charge for it.

The left luggage facility may also bring back the guest to stay in your hotel on his next visit. The procedure for receiving luggage is as such:

  • Before accepting the luggage, it is checked whether the guest has settled his bill or not.
  • Check the baggage of the guest if it is properly locked or not.   In case the baggage is damaged then the guest must be informed and a note for the same must be made in the receipt.
  • Luggage tags/ stickers should be pasted on all luggage pieces. A proper receipt must be made, signed by both guest and bell captain, and handed over to the guest.
  • Enter the details in the left luggage register with the expected date the luggage will be picked up by the guest.
  • Keep the luggage in the left luggage room under lock and key.
  • When the guest comes to pick up his luggage pieces from the left luggage room then the following procedure is carried out. The guest is requested to give the receipt.
  • In case the guest has lost the receipts then the guest is requested to sign in the left luggage register.
  • Check the receipt and bring out his luggage pieces from the left luggage room.
  • Make an entry in the left luggage register entering the date luggage pieces delivered.

2. Scanty Baggage Procedure

Scanty baggage means no baggage or light luggage consisting of briefcase or airbag. Guest with scanty baggage is normal skippers from the hotel. Skippers are those persons who check out of the hotel without settling their bills. The scanty baggage guests also normally go out with their light baggage and the hotel never knows that if this guest is going out with an intention to come back or not. To safeguard the hotel’s interest, normally guests with scanty baggage are requested to pay in advance. There is a set procedure adopted by hotels to keep control of guests, with scanty baggage.

  • The lobby manager and the reception are notified immediately on the guest’s arrival about the scanty baggage.
  • The arrival errand card is stamped with scanty baggage.
  • Guest registration card’s all copies are stamped with ‘scanty baggage’.
  • The scanty baggage register is filled up by the bell desk.
  • Get the guest registration cards and the scanty baggage register signed by the Lobby manager.

3. Message Handling Procedure- Receiving messages for in-house guests in their absence, recording them, and communicating them to the guest as soon as possible is an important function of the front desk staff. The efficiency and professionalism of the hotel and the attitude of staff are reflected by the way this function is carried out by the staff.

The need for receiving a message for in house guests is when the guest is not in the room. Usually, when the guest goes out of his room, he would leave his room key at the counter where the information clerk would put in the appropriate room number in pigeon holes. Sometimes the guest may leave his whereabouts at the reception counter through a yellow card also called locator or location form whereabouts in the card.

  • In case a phone call comes or a visitor comes to the hotel to see the guest, the receptionist will first confirm through the key and mail rack whether the guest is in the room or not. He/she will look for any location form left by the guest also.
  • Suppose a visitor comes and the in-house guest has left a location form indicating that he will be in the bar, dining hall, etc., then the paging in that particular area will be done for him either by public address system or through a traditional page board system.
  • In case the guest has not left any whereabouts but has left the key at the counter, the visitor will be asked to leave a message for the in- houseguest. A special Performa called the message slip is prepared and is filled in by the visitor.
  • Usually, hotels prepare the slip in triplicate on behalf of the visitor. The top one or the original is kept in key and mail rack in an envelope and is delivered to the guest when he/she comes to collect the room key.
  • The first copy of the message is slipped in the room and the second copy remains in the message book as a reference copy.
  • In case the guest has neither left any location form nor has given the key of the room to the reception counter, the same system is followed for recording but in addition, either an “attention card “or “mail and message advise slip “ is put on the knob of the room or message light is activated in those hotels which use electronic systems. The message details may also be fed into the computer and the guest may view it on the screen of the television in his room.
  • A similar system is followed in case of a telephone message. The important point to be noted here is that whenever the receptionist receives information about the guest’s whereabouts (through location form) he /she must immediately pass on the same information to the telephone department so that call may be diverted to the message center immediately.

4. Mail Handling

Mail handling is a very important activity of the front desk and the way mail is handled shows the efficiency and attitude of the hotel staff. Any delay and carelessness shown by the staff may result in great dissatisfaction. The term “mail handling” covers both incoming and outgoing mail.

Incoming mail

As per the policy of the hotel, the incoming mail may be received at the bell desk or by the information department. The first step involved in the mail is sorted, arranged alphabetically, and put separately ie,

  • Mail for the guest
  • Mail for the hotel

Next, the mail is the date and time-stamped.

The incoming guest mail is sorted into three categories:

  1. Mail for the in-house guest
  2. Guest who has already checked out
  3. Guest who has not yet arrived.
  1. Mail for the in-house guest

In case the key of the room of the in-house guest is in the keys mail rack, the in-house guest mail is put in the key and mail rack and is delivered to him along with the room key when he comes to the counter. In case, the guest is in the room, he is intimidated about the mail and if he/she so desires the bellboy takes the mail to the room.

Sometimes the guest may go out of his room without leaving the key on the counter. In such cases, a Mail Advice Slip is put on the doorknob of the door so that if the guest goes to the room directly, he/she would know about the mail which the hotel has received in his / her absence.

These days hotels use message lights on the telephone or on the door and computers are used for this purpose in some hotels.

  1. Checked out guest

The mail of the checked-out guest is checked out with the forwarding instructions and mail is forwarded according to the instructions left out by the check-out guest and appropriate entries are made on the mail forwarding address slip.

  1. Awaited arrivals

Mail of such guest is marked with the date of arrival and kept in the Hold Mail Rack This information is then marked on advance reservation slip/movement list or is fed in the computer.

On the night before the arrival date, the expected arrival mail along with the reservation record is sent to the front desk. When the guest arrives, the mail is handed over to him at the time of registration. The awaited mail is retained for a period of one month only. After the expiry of the date, it is sent back to the sender.

At times the hotel may also receive registered, recorded mail such as letters, packages, parcels, etc. for the guest. Since there is a record maintained by the hotel of all such staff mails at times of receiving, it is important that they should be delivered urgently to the guest and acknowledgment taken.

Incoming guest mails may further be classified into two categories:

  1. a)Ordinary guest mail
  2. b)Registered guest mail
  1. a)Ordinary guest mail: The mails whose delivery record is not maintained by the delivering agency are known as ordinary mails. But, the hotel still keeps a record of all received mails at the mail receiving desk in a mail log book to avoid any kind of future discrepancy.
  1. b)Registered guest mail: The mails whose delivery record is maintained by the delivering agency are known as registered mails. The postman maintains the record of delivery by asking the addressee to sign the delivery report as a token of receipt of the mail. It is advisable not to accept tampered registered mails. When registered mails are received, they are recorded in the mail logbook and the guest’s signature is taken at the time of delivery.
  1. Hotel Mail: The incoming hotel mail is sorted into two categories i.e. mail for the hotel’s official purpose or for the employees of the hotel.
  2. a)    Official Mails
  3. b)    Employee Mails
  1. a)Official Mails: The official mails are sent to the concerned and respective departments.
  2. b)EmployeeMails:  The Employee mails are sent to the time office to be placed on the main display board, from where the employees may collect their mails.

2)  Outgoing Mail: Outgoing mail of the hotel includes mail of the hotel and guest. It is classified as:

  1. a)    Hotel Mail
  2. b)    Guest Mail
  3. a)Hotel Mail: Outgoing hotel mail is handled by the individual departments. The various departments have their own record-keeping staff who maintains a record of all outgoing mails. Large hotels use Franking Machine for postage. If the volume of mail is high the use of the Franking Machine saves a lot of time. A record needs to be kept of the quantity and costs of the mail being sent out.

Franking machine– Franking machine can stamp hundreds of envelopes quickly and efficiently by printing the correct amount of postage required and date on the envelope according to the envelope’s weight and size.

  • The franking machine records the totals of all stamps issued.
  • At the agreed time, the amount of postage used is paid to the supplier (Post Office) along with a lease fee for the product.

These are utilized mainly by large businesses and are rented from Post Offices. They are used to process out-going bulk mail.

  • Franking machines are programmed by the supplier to have a certain amount of value placed for pre-programmed credit on a meter.
  • When this value is reached the machine ceases to operate until more money is paid and the meter is reset.

A Franking Machine is a mechanical device used to create and apply physical evidence of postage (or franking) to mailed items. Postage meters are regulated by a country’s postal authority. A postage meter imprints an amount of postage, functioning as a postage stamp, a cancellation, and a dated postmark, all in one. The meter stamp serves as proof of payment and eliminates the need for adhesive stamps.

  1. b)Guest Mail: Besides the outgoing mail of the Hotel, the hotel also provides the facility or service to the guests staying at the hotel such as posting their letters, sending parcels, etc. to their desired destination. Generally, the bell desk keeps stamps, envelopes, letters,s and parcels scale. The stamp folder is used to prevent the stamps from getting lost. The folder contains separate divisions for various denominations. The stamp folder should be kept under lock and key. Any letter or parcels posted for guests must be weighed by using the letter and parcel scale to ensure that the correct amount of postage is affixed and a voucher of the charges is sent to the cashier’s desk. Here the hotel needs to ensure that the correct and complete address of the receiver, as well as the contact details of the sender, are mentioned clearly on the mail or parcel and the required charges be paid in advance to the hotel.

Some hotels use a book called postage book to keep the record of postage used. All mail for dispatch if franked by a franking machine or if the stamps are used should be entered into the postage book.

The procedure of sending ordinary mail to guests is simple. The guest leaves his mail (to be posted) at the Bell Desk where it is weighed and then the necessary stamps are affixed and posted. In the case of Registered mail, the mail is sent to the post office, which issues a special official receipt. These receipts are retained as they are required to be produced in case of a claim for clarification from the guest.

Formats and Records Maintained At Bell Desk

  1. Bell Desk Log Book: A logbook has to be maintained by bell boys for all the shifts to keep a record of all activities and instructions that are performed during a particular shift and need to be shared with the next shift.

  1. Bell Boy Errand Card:

The Bell boy Errand card is an important format maintained by the bell captain during the shift timings of individual bellboys to control the activities when they leave the desk for any purpose like luggage delivery, newspaper distribution, message delivery, etc. The bellboy errand card is printed on both sides, front side used at the time of arrival and the backside used at the time of departure.

Lobby Control Sheet:

This sheet is maintained by the bell captain during a particular shift in the hotel. The sheet is a summary of all the activities performed by bellboys/bellhops during shifts. It even helps in the preparation of individual errand cards for the bellhops. This format is further used by lobby managers to counter-check the movement of bellhops for better performance.

Guest Location Form:

This form is used to know the location of the guest when they leave the room and inform the location which is kept in the key/mail rack.

When a guest is expecting any message, he usually informs whether he will be in the hotel or outside and accordingly, gives his location in the hotel or provides a phone number in case he goes out of hotel premises, and intimates to reception once returning to the room. In the case of a visitor, only after his instructions by the guest about his whereabouts.

Inventory Register:

The inventory register keeps a record of all inventory items of the bell desk such as bell trolley, torch, formats, wheelchair, metal detector, paging board, stationery.

Message Form:

Message form is used to deliver any received message for an in-house guest in their absence from the hotel. The message is delivered immediately on arrival at the hotel. Two copies of the message are prepared, one copy is taken by a bellhop and slipped through under the door of the guest room and the other is kept as a record in the key/mail rack. It is done to make the delivery/communication of the message to the guest.

Wake-up Call Sheet:

Wake up call sheet is used to wake guests who wish for the same. Guests who want to be waked-up early in the morning or want to get a reminder about some important work generally request it. This sheet is prepared by the telephone operator or is done by the bell-captain.

Room Shifting Slip:

In case a room of a guest has to be changed, for various reasons, in that case, the room shifting sheet is used to maintain records of the same. It is done with the approval of the front office manager/lobby manager.

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Timeshare & Vacation Ownership

TIMESHARE

The Concept

Holiday ownership is a very simple concept, which lets one buy a week or weeks in a luxury home for a fixed number of a year or forever. Effectively one can own a share of the development and therefore one only pays for the upkeep of what one actually owns.

Objective:

As the overall cost of the development is much higher and the higher costs been incurred for the quality of amenities and furnishing so as it is not affordable to buy. The concept is splitting the cost across all the interested owners. The cost involves the payment for the week/weeks which one purchase and an annual maintenance fee, which covers the share of the upkeep of that particular accommodation plus any central facilities such as a swimming pool etc. This charge will be paid to the management who will be responsible for the day-to-day running and maintenance of the development.

The vacation ownership industry can be traced back to its European origin in the 1960s. A ski resort in the French alps known as SuperDévoluy” is the first known vacation ownership program in the world. The multiple ownership of individual’s weeks brought with the guarantee of reservations for those who wanted to ski in the area.

By the 1970’s some faltering condominium projects in St. Thomas, Fort Lauderdale, and Puerto Ricco were converted over to vacation ship and thereafter timeshare became a viable alternative.

Once the concept of vacation ownership was embraced by the United States, it began to gain wide acceptance by the public. A sale jumped to over 50 million by the mid-’70s and has climbed to more than 2 billion annually today. Vacation ownership has enjoyed substantial growth over the y4ears with approximately 3.3 million timeshares sold since 1980. Currently, there are over 5000 vacation ownership resorts in over 75 countries in the world.

What is Vacation Ownership?

Vacation ownership “timesharing” is not the right to use a specific week of a resort during a specific time period nor is it the pre-purchase of the vacation. It is important to understand that vacation ownership is a commodity, which is purchased to be enjoyed and used over the years. One should never purchase a timeshare with the intent of re-selling it for a profit. Vacations are holidays, which we spend money to relax and rejuvenate. Vacation ownership is not an investment.

Ownership of a time-share is very similar to the ownership of a condominium except that your rights are limited to a certain week during the year.

The types of ownership contracts can be deeded, leased, or licensed.

Deeded:

A deeded interest is owned outright forever. It is an absolute right that can be sold, leased, and even willed to heirs.

Licensed: The license is somewhat different in that prevailing with the clubs. A member has the right to use the club and all its amenities. The member must make him/her sure about the terms and conditions before they take the decision to buy.

Generally, licensed timeshare requires joining a “vacation club”. By purchasing a membership to a vacation club, owners receive a number of points which, they can then use to purchase vacations at various resorts. Some of the most well-known vacation clubs include Disney Vacation Club, Marriott Vacation Club, and Hilton Grand Vacations Club.

Leased:

The leased interest is much like an apartment lease except the right to use it is restricted to a specific week during the year. Upon expiration of the lease term your right to use will generally terminate and return to the resort.

Leased timeshare (also called right-to-use) gives you the right to use a specific week or weeks at the property for a set number of years (usually 20-99 years). • The right to use the property normally returns to the selling resort at the end of the lease period.

Classification of Hotels Based on Ownership

Based on ownership, hotels are classified into three categories:

  • Timeshare Hotels and Resorts
  • Condominium Hotel
  • Referral chain

Timeshare Hotels and Resorts

A timeshare can be defined as an advance purchase of time in holiday accommodation. The purchaser pays a capital sum to acquire this timeshare and then pays an annual contribution towards the maintenance of the property. The period of time sold is generally based on the module’s weeks.

Timeshare is a marketing concept in which hotels are marketed on a membership basis. Members can avail of accommodation in the timeshare property by paying the upfront advance for the stay of a fixed number of days every year for a specific number of years.

Examples of International brands for timeshare: Disney, Hyatt, Starwood, Marriott, Four Seasons, Hilton, Ritz Carlton, Accor, and Domestic Brands are Club Mahindra, Kamat Group, Sterling resort, Toshali Resort, Cambay group, etc.

These properties typically resort timeshare units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year ) in which they may use the property. The sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property.

This form of lodging has spawned a variety of products sold on similar occupancy schemes; cars, planes, boats, and luxury fractional properties.

Important features of Time-Share-

  • ​Properties normally found in resort areas
  • Involves people who purchase the accommodation for a specific duration in a year and for set number of year for e.g. 20-50 years.
  • Typically following color codes as follows-
    • Purple- peak season
    • Red – best season(vacation time)
    • White- mid-season
    • Blue- off season
  • The owner occupies the unit during slotted time
  • Owners who do not wish to occupy the unit in slotted time may rent it out
  • Possibility of trading ownership
  • Vacation options-
    • Fixed week
    • Floating week
    • Rotating week
    • Vacation clubs
  • Sharing maintenance-owners have to the annual maintenance fee
  • The flexibility of family size (no additional charges for friends)

Facilities offered in Time-Share accommodation-

  • Fully equipped kitchen (Cutlery, crockery, utensils, oven, etc.)
  • Separate Living room and Dining room
  • Laundry facility
  • Can use all resort facilities like swimming pool, tennis court, restaurants, health clubs, etc.

Condominium Hotels

They are apartotels or apartment hotels. These units are developed on joint ownership basis. Each ownership purchases and has full right of and the unit he has purchased and shares the most common to the complex such as taxes, insurance, maintenance, and upkeep of public areas including swimming pool, health club, parking, security, air conditioning, heating, cable, broadband, etc. Each owner can occupy or sell his unit independently but is required to follow the rules and regulations laid by the management. The owner enjoys the benefits of property, appreciation but needs not bother about its maintenance, security, upkeep, insurance, etc. He is required to pay yearly maintenance charges. In some cases, a corpus can be made and the maintenance expenses are paid from the interest earned from the corpus. In some cases, the management can help the owner is renting out the property. They take full responsibility for the owners’ units’ safety and also pay to the owner a major portion of the rent earned from renting out. Usually, the management requests the owners to rent out in case of major conferences. The management earns a major portion by renting out conference hall and from catering.

A condominium, frequently shortened to a condo, is a type of real estate divided into several units that are each separately owned.

Residential condominiums are frequently constructed as apartment buildings, but there had been an increase in the number of “detached condominiums” which look exactly like single-family homes but in which the yards, building exteriors, and streets are jointly owned and jointly maintained by a community association.

Unlike apartments, which are leased by their tenants, condominium units are owned outright. Additionally, the owners of the individual units also collectively own the common areas of the property, such as hallways, walkways, laundry rooms, etc.; as well as common utilities and amenities, such as the HVAC system, elevators, and so on. Many shopping malls are industrial condominium in which the individual retail and office spaces are owned by the businesses that occupy them while the common areas of the mall are collectively owned by all the business entities that own the individual spaces.

Referral chain hotels

referral hotel chain is a type of hotel franchise. It is a type of hotel that operates independently but maintains affiliation with a given chain. To stay within the chain, the hotel must meet certain minimum criteria.

The Referral system tends to be made up of independent properties or small chain hotels that have grouped together for common marketing purposes.

Referral association offers similar benefits to properties such as franchises, albeit at a lower cost. Hotels and Motels with referral associations share a centralized reservation system and a common image, logo, as well as management training and continuing training program.

A referral group consists of a number of properties, independently owned and operated that join under a common identity while maintaining their autonomy.

Advantages-

  • To operation a centralized reservation system
  • To publish a joint brochure
  • To share advertising
  • To refer business to each other
  • To refer trained staff to each other
  • To take advantage of joint purchasing power
  • To main sales office at major traffic centers.
time share hotel
Source: The Decor Circle

​Some Other Concepts Related to Timeshares

Time-sharing
Unlike a vacation club, time-sharing involves the purchase of real estate. You buy a week or weeks to use a furnished condo, cabins, or other accommodation that offers all the comforts of home, including a kitchen. Time-sharing limits travel options to one location, although often you have the opportunity to swap with owners of timeshares elsewhere in the country or the world.

Vacation Clubs

Membership in vacation clubs covers multiple locations. Some vacation clubs resemble timeshares in that they offer fully-furnished, home-style accommodations. Clubs such as one offered by Disney provide discounts to all of its resorts and theme parks. Hilton club members receive discounts at all the chain’s hotels. Ask if the club will give you a trial membership so you don’t have to commit yourself immediately.

Financial Obligations

Timeshare owners pay an initial fee to purchase their block of time and then annual maintenance fees that can rise over time. They can sell their block of time, much like any other real estate transaction. Vacation club members pay a single annual membership fee and generally do not have membership options.

How is timeshare different from Hotel Business?

A Hotel room is rented for a certain number of days where you have only one room to yourself. You may go down to a pool or restaurant or bar of the hotel, which has to be shared with the other guests.

However, when we talk about Time Share, we own a certain place to ourselves on certain periods of time. You do not pay for every night you stay there. The ownership is bought on basis of the number of years you wish to holiday there. It is bought by multiples parties unlike a hotel room and every member gets the condo to themselves for a certain time of the year that is distributed in a pre-decided order.

Not only this, you get two or even more rooms to yourself in a Time Share and the kitchen facilities or even pool is all to yourself. Time-share is more affordable in long run.

One can also further earn money in Time Share since certain members even rent these properties for one-day events.

Forms/ Types/Classification of Timeshare Properties

Floating Timeshare

One can holiday with their family in various resorts owned by the timeshare for a specific company for the specific period one has purchased the holidays for. In this ownership, it allows a guest to buy a week within a specific period. For e.g. 5 days in January and 10 in some other month. So the customer can plan suitably where there are no seasonal variations,

Fixed Week Ownership

The owner may own a deed to use a unit for a single specified week. He may choose any calendar week like the first week of July as per his need and convenience. The owner will have to use that week every year. This concept was not very popular as it was rigid and didn’t give the customer the flexibility in usage so it became outdated in 1980.

Rotating Week Ownership

Weeks are rotated forward or backward in the calendar to give owners a chance for the best week. For e.g. one year the owner may use the 1st week of January then 2nd week next year. Gives the owner an opportunity for prime weeks.

Vacation Clubs

Vacation clubs are another timesharing variation. A vacation club is an organization that owns multiple timeshare properties in different locations. If you are a club member, you can reserve space at the various resorts that are part of the club in accordance with club rules. You pay annual fees, and there is an initial cost to join the vacation club. As with a right-to-use property, the vacation club contract will either contain the timeshare program documents or will incorporate them by reference.

Club memberships can usually be bought, sold, or passed to heirs. There can be different levels of membership, with some membership levels receiving higher priority in reserving certain units or having access to larger units

The Split Week method/ Split in time-share

Is also now available where the owner can split his/ her week/period into smaller units, provided the cancellation of timeshare use has been made well in advance. A week’s holiday can be split in two parts for two different properties and locations for a period of 3-4 days each. In fact, a two weeks holiday can also be clubbed if the owner has not availed his vacations during the last year and he had intimated about his desire to club two weeks vacations during the year.

Points- based Programs

Under a point based system, consumers at chain timeshare properties purchase a number of points that are redeemed each year for a number of accommodation nights that vary depending on the season, day of the week, size of unit and location. These points can be redeemed in any of the hotels and timeshare product base.

The number of points required to stay at the resort will vary based on a points chart. The points chart will allow for factors such as:

  • The popularity of the resort;
  • The size of the accommodations;
  • The number of nights;
  • The popularity of the season; and
  • The specific nights requested.

Many resort point programs provide flexibility from the traditional week stay. Resort point program members, such as World mark, may request from the entire available inventory of the resort group.

So, with most point systems, owners may elect to:

  • Assign their usage time to the point system to be exchanged for airline tickets, hotels, travel packages, cruises, and amusement park tickets;
  • Instead of renting all their actual usage time, rent part of their points without actually getting any usage time and use the rest of the points;
  • Rent more points from either the internal exchange entity or another owner to get a larger unit or more vacation time or at a better location;
  • Save or move points from one year to another.
  • Some developers, however, may limit which of these options are available at their properties.

Types and sizes of Accommodation

These properties tend to be apartment-style units ranging in size from studio units (with room for two to three and four-bedroom units). These larger units can comfortably house large families. Units normally include fully equipped kitchens with a dining area, dishwasher, televisions, DVD players, and more. It is not uncommon to have washers and dryers either in the unit or easily accessible on the resort. Kitchens are equipped to the size of the unit so that a unit that sleeps four should have at least four glasses, plates, forks, knives, spoons, and bowls so that all four guests can sit and eat at once.

Units are usually listed by, how many units will sleep and how many units will sleep privately.

Sleeps 2/2 would normally be a one-bedroom or studio
Sleeps 6/4 would normally be a two-bedroom with a sleeper sofa

OR

Studios:                                                          For 3 adults or 2 adults + 2 children

One-bedroom apartments:               For 4 adults and withdrawing room, dining room, bedroom, balcony, and kitchen

Two-bedroom apartments:                For 6 adults

Sleep privately refers to the number of guests who will not have to walk through another guest’s sleeping area to use a restroom.

These resorts tend to be strict on the number of guests per unit. Unit size can affect demand at a given resort where a two-bedroom unit may be in higher demand than a one-bedroom unit at the same resort can. The same does not hold true comparing resorts in different locations. A one-bedroom unit in a desirable location may still be in higher demand than a resort with less demand. An example of this may be a one-bedroom at a desirable beach resort compared to a two-bedroom unit at a resort located inland from the same beach.

The following are the types of accommodation available for the timeshare guest:

  • Apartment
  • Castle
  • Ski lodges
  • Bungalows
  • Condos
  • Vilas
  • Campsites
  • Cottages
  • Restored Farmhouse
  • Private Residence Clubs
  • Second Homes
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Front Office Organisation

Function areas under The Front Office Organization

front office hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy

Reservation: While planning business or pleasure trips, people like to ensure that they will have a safe and comfortable accommodation at their respective destination. This can be achieved by booking a room of their choice in advance. The reservation section of the front office department of a hotel is responsible for receiving and processing reservation queries. Depending upon the level of automation, volume of business, and house custom, the procedure of processing reservation queries may differ from hotel to hotel.

A reservation manager, is assisted by a reservation supervisor and a team of reservation clerks or assistants, heads the section.

The term reservation means booking in advance. It blocks/reserves the room as per the requester’s specific data.

The function of the Reservation Section:

  • Receiving Reservation Request through various means like telephone, fax, e-mail, website, sales representative or central reservation department.
  • Processing reservation requests received from all means of the hotel’s property management system (PMS).
  • Depending upon the availability of desired room type and projected sales during and around the requested stay dates, the reservation request may be confirmed, waitlisted, or denied
  • Updating the room availability status after each reservation transaction, i.e, after each confirmation, amendment, and cancelation.
  • Forecast room reservation status.
  • Update the room availability chart.
  • Maintaining and updating reservation records to reflect accurate information about room status.
  • Preparing reservation reports for the management.
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Reception/Registration Section-

This section is located in the lobby. The person handling this section is the Receptionist. GSA (Guest Service Officer) has direct contact with guests.

The section of the front office receives and welcomes guests on their arrival in the hotel, headed by a supervisor, and comprises a team of receptionists and front desk assistants.

The personnel of this section procures all the necessary information about the guest to complete the registration process.

After finishing the registration formalities, a room is assigned to the guest, and a bellboy carries the luggage and escorts the guest to her room. The entire process is carried out professionally in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

The functions of this section are-

  1. Warmly received all arrival guests.
  2. Complete registration formalities and perform guest check-in. Perform pre-registration formalities for a group, VIPs, and disable guests.
  3. Co-ordinate closely with the housekeeping department for clearance of department room, room change, and UR (Under Repaired) rooms.
  4. Issue VIP amenities voucher to the food and beverage service.
  5. Co-ordinate closely with the bell desk for luggage handling and room keys.
  6. Sending arrival notification slips to the concerned departments.
front office hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy
Source: The Decor Circle

Cashier
The cash and bills section records all the monetary transactions of the guest. It maintains guest folio and prepares the guest bills as selected by the guest at the time of departure. Cashier heads this section. It is also located at the front desk and handle by the front cashier.

The main functions of a cashier are as follows:-

  • Opening and maintaining of the guest folio.
  • Posting room charge in guest folio.
  • Recording all credit charges in guest folio.
  • Maintaining a record of the cash received from guests.
  • To change foreign currency as per rules and regulation of the hotel,
  • Preparing bills at the time of checkout.
  • Receiving cash/traveler cheques/ credit cards for account settlement.
  • Organizing foreign currency exchange for the settlement of a guest account.
  • To manage the safety deposit locker. (this is almost obsolete in the present scenario as each guest room is provided with an electronic safety deposit locker)

Travel Desk-

The travel desk takes care of travel arrangements of guests, like air-ticketing, railway reservations, sightseeing tours, airport or railway station pick up or drop, etc. The hotel may operate the travel desk or it may be outsourced to an external travel agency.

The function of the Travel Desk:

  • Arranging pick-up and drop services for guests at the time of their arrival and departure.
  • Providing vehicles on request to guests at pre-determined rates.
  • Making travel arrangements like railway reservation/ cancellation/ amendments, or purchasing air-tickets for guests.
  • Organizing half-day or full-day sightseeing tours in and around the city.
  • Arranging for guides who can communicate in the guest’s language.
Source: The Decor Circle

Business Centre

Modern technology has changed the pace of the information system. People can do their job in a home country from far countries. The role of fax, photocopying, and secretarial work is important and a hotel must provide these types of services to the guest.

There may be demand for guests to translate and interpret services as well as the hire of laptops, computers, and portable telephones in their rooms. The responsibility of such type of services comes under business services.

The arrangement of meeting rooms, conferences, is also one of the duties of business center staff. If the hotel has many non -English speaking guests, and then bilingual secretaries may be required in the business center.

The person who handles the business center is known as Business Centre attended

Functions of Business center-

  • A small reference library is there.
  • A room with computer and internet facilities.
  • Photocopying facility.
  • Typing and printing facility.
  • FAX is done
  • Communication facilities and services like STD, ISD, E-mail, internet, fax, Xerox, etc.

​Communication/ Telephone Section-

​The communication section maintains the communication network of the hotel, which is generally quite complex. The hotel may have its own private branch exchange, along with post and telegraph lines.

Earlier all outgoing calls were routed through a telephone operator. This was done to ensure proper accounting of outgoing calls.

Switchboard operators were required to place wake-up calls, monitor automated systems, and coordinates emergency communication.

With recent technological advancements in telecommunication, guests are able to make outgoing calls without routing them through the operator. There is a computerized call accounting system that charges the outgoing calls to the guest’s account.

Wake-up calls are also be registered on the system, which dials the guest’s extension at the pre-registered time and plays a pre-recorded message when answered.

Hotels can now manage with a lesser number of telephone operators per shift. The telephone operator, who answers incoming calls, protects the guest’s privacy and contributes to the hotel’s security program by not revealing the guest’s room number to any unauthorized persons. Many hotels also provide guest-paging services over the public address system. This system generally operates through the communication section.

With mobile, the guest very rarely, uses this service in present days. Nonetheless, due to network issues in remote areas this service is very useful.

The function of the Communication Desk:

  • Answering incoming calls
  • Directing calls to guest rooms through the switchboards/PABX system
  • Providing information to guest services processing guest wakeup calls
  • Answering inquiries about the hotel facilities and events
  • Protecting guests’ privacy

Uniformed Service

Employees who work in the uniformed service department of the hotel generally provide the most personalized guest service. Taken into consideration the degree of attention given to the guests by this department, Some Properties refer to these as Uniformed services others simply as Guest service.

While personal in reservations, front desk, and communications areas affect guest perceptions, it is often personal in uniformed service who make a lasting impression. Also, uniformed service staff is usually classified as “tipped employees”, Since a portion of their income is derived from guests’ gratuities!

The primary positions within the uniformed service department are:

  • Bell attendants– Persons who provide baggage services between service between the lobby area and the guest room.
    • Door attendants – Persons who provide curbside baggage service and traffic control at the hotel entrance.
    • Valet Parking attendants – Persons who provide parking service for guests automobiles
    • Transportation personnel – a person who provides transportation services for guests.
  • Concierges – Person who assists guests by making restaurant reservations, arranging for transportation, getting tickets for theatre, sporting, etc.

The uniformed services in the hotel include the bell desk team and the concierge.

Bell Desk: The bell desk is located very close to the main entrance of the hotel. This section is headed by a bell captain, who leads a team of bellboys (also called bell hopes) and page boys.

They handle the guest luggage from the guest vehicle to the lobby and to the guest room at the time of arrival and from their rooms to the guest vehicle at the time of arrival and from their rooms to the guest vehicle at the time of departure.

They escort guests to their rooms and familiarize them with hotel facilities, safety features, as well as in-room facilities.

The bell desk person is the last front desk employee who comes in

contact with guests at the time of their departure.

The function of the Bell desk

  • Handling guest luggage at the time of arrival and departure
  • Escorting guests to their rooms on arrival.
  • Familiarizing guests with safety features and in-room facilities.
  • Providing information to guests about hotel facilities and services when asked.
  • Locating a guest in a specified area of the hotel.
  • The bell desk section also handles the paging, delivers guest mail and messages to the concerned guest room.
  • Making sundry purchases like postage stamps, medicines, etc. for the guest.
  • Keeping guest luggage in the left luggage room if requested by the guest.
  • Checking if in-room amenities are in their original condition at the time of departure of the guest.

Door Attendants:

Door attendants play a role similar to bell attendants, they are dedicated to welcoming the guest to the hotel, They are generally found in the hotels offering world-class service / Luxury hotels / with 5 Star classification. 

A Skilled and experienced door attendant learns the names of frequent guests. When these guests return to the hotel, the door attendant is able to greet them by name and can introduce them to other front office staff. Such personal service enhances the reputation of the hotel and provides the guest with a unique experience. 

Some of the duties of the door attendants are:

  • Opening hotel doors and assisting guests upon arrival.
  • Helping guests and unload luggage from vehicles.
  • Escorting guests to the hotel registration area.
  • Controlling vehicle traffic flow and safety at the hotel entrance.
  • Hailing taxis, upon request.
  • Assisting with valet parking services.
  • Performing light housekeeping services in the lobby and entry area.

Valet Parking attendants :

Valet Parking is generally available at hotels offering world-class, Luxury, or 5 Star service. Specially trained employees should park guest and visitors cars. The personal attention and security of the valet parking service are considered both a luxury and a convenience.

Guest do not have to worry about finding a parking space, walking to the hotel in inclement weather, or finding their vehicles in the parking lot. Some hotels charge for this service. Hotels generally charge a higher fee for valet parking than for self-parking.  In addition to paying the higher fee for valet parking, guests are also likely to tip the Valet parking attendant for his service.

Valet parking attendants are also responsible for the security of vehicles being moved to and from the hotel entrance. Attendants should not take a car into their care without issuing a receipt to the guest. Usually in the form of a ticket. 

Vehicles keys must be kept in a secure area, and only issued by qualified personal. Cars should be only returned to the guests when they return the receipt or ticket issued by the attendant before they can receive their keys. If a key is lost or given to the wrong person, the vehicle can be rendered inoperable or considered stolen and the hotel may be held financially responsible for the same.

Transportation personal :

Transportation personal or Divers must be well trained and properly licensed to operate the vehicle. Since these drivers are sometimes the first contact the guest will have with the hotel, it is important for them to be polite, efficient, and knowledgeable about the property. Drivers should also offer according to the weather hot /cold towels and packaged drinking water to the guest. It is generally customary for drivers to provide some information about the hotel while in transit, either through a live spoken presentation or a pre-recorded audiotape. 

Drivers should also help guests entering and exiting the vehicle. Experienced drivers efficiently and carefully load guest luggage into the van. Drivers should also inform the hotel before the guests reach the hotel. This allows the hotels to prepare and keep ready the check-in procedures before the guest arrives at the hotel.

Concierge

A concierge is a hotel employee who provides information and personalized services to guest like dinner reservation, tour and travel arrangements and obtaining tickets for special events in the city, etc. A concierge is often expected to achieve the impossible; dealing with any request a guest may have, relying on an extensive list of personal contacts with various local merchants and services providers.  

Functions of Concierge.

  • Making reservations for dining in restaurants.
  • Obtaining tickets for theatres, musicals, sporting events, etc.
  • Arranging for transportation by limousine, car, coaches, buses, airplanes, or trains.
  • Providing information on cultural and social events like photo exhibitions, art shows, and local places of tourist interest.

Information Desk-

It is located at a front desk and responsible for handling mail and messages with room keys. It also provides information regarding outside and inside of the hotel’s rules and regulations, facilities, services. It also handles the e-mail, fax, Xerox machine, cable through the business center.

  • The function of the Information Desk
  • Maintaining resident guest rack.
  • Handling guest room keys.
  • Coordinate guest mails, telegrams, faxes, couriers, parcels, etc.
  • Providing information to guests regarding hotel facilities and services, city information, etc.
  • Handling guest messages.
  • Paging guests.]

Front Office Department

​The front office may be regarded as the show window of the hotel and hence must be well designed in the first place and maintained in an organized and orderly manner. Regardless of how the hotel is organized, the front office is always an essential “focal point”.

The front office is the place where the guest is received, provided information, hi/her luggage handle, his account settled at departure, handling guest complaints and suggestions are looked after.

The front desk is the link between hotel to guest and guest to hotel. The hotel has two sections-

  1. Front of the house
  2. Back of the house

The front of the house is the portion where the guest comes in direct contact during his/her stay.

Back of the house is generally accounting department, food production (all Kitchens) maintenance depart, laundry, housekeeping, etc.

The front office is the main controlling center of all guest services and also coordinates the back office function.

Front Office Operations

There are two categories of Front Office Operations:

  1. Front-House Operations-

These operations are visible to the guests of the hotel. The guests can interact and see these operations, hence, the name Front-House operations.

A few of these operations include:

  • Interacting with the guests to handle the accommodation requests.
  • Checking accommodation availability and assigning it to the guest.
  • Guest registration and collecting required information.
  • Creating a guest’s account with the FO accounting system.
  • Issuing accommodation keys to the guest.
  • Settling guest payment at the time of check-out.
  1. Back-House Operations-

Front Office staff conducts these operations in the absence of the guests or when the guest’s involvement is not required.

These operations involve activities:

  • Determining the type of guest (fresh/repeat) by checking the database.
  • Ensuring the preferences of the guest to give a personal touch to the service.
  • Maintaining guest’s account with the accounting system.
  • Preparing the guest’s bill.
  • Collecting the balance amount of guest bills.
  • Auditing and generating reports.

Functions and importance of Front Office-

Fedrick Gordon, a famous hotelier and the owner of one of the biggest chains of hotels, has said-“you can rely on it that the backbone of the hotel business is selling apartments”. Front Office is one of the two major departments which provide revenue in a hotel, the other being Food and Beverage department.

Front Office generates nearly 60 to 70% of the revenue for the hotel.  Hence, one of the major functions of the Front Office is selling accommodation. Front Office coordinates with each department to provide seamless service to guests. It monitors guest cycles and coordinates with all guest services such as mail and message handling, information, guest accounting, and bill settlement, etc.

Safety and security of guest and his/her belongings, maintaining relationships with travel agents, tour operators, airlines, and other hotels is the responsibility of the front office.

Pre-arrival

It is the stage when the customer is planning to avail accommodation in the hotel. In this first stage, the customer or the prospective guest enquires about the availability of the desired type of accommodation and its amenities via telephonic call or an e-mail. The customer also tries to find out more information about the hotel by visiting its website.

At the hotel end, the front office accounting system captures the guest’s information such as name, age, contact numbers, probable duration of stay for room reservation, and so on.

Arrival

The front office reception staff receives the guest in the reception. The porters bring in the guest luggage. For the guest with a confirmed reservation, the front office clerk hands over a Guest Registration Card (GRC) to the guest and requests the guest to fill in personal information regarding the stay in the hotel. The clerk then registers the guest in the database thereby creating a guest record and a guest account along with it. Later, the clerk hands over a welcome kit and keys to the accommodation. After the procedure of registration, the guest can start occupying the accommodation.

Occupancy

During occupancy, a front office accounting system is responsible for tracking guest charges against his/her purchases from the hotel restaurants, room service, bar, or any outgoing telephone calls made via the hotel’s communication systems. The front office staff is responsible to manage and issue the right keys to the accommodations to the right guests. At guests’ request, the staff also arranges for transportation, babysitting, or local touring while the guest is staying in the hotel.

Departure

During guest departure, the front office accounting system ensures payment for goods and services provided. If a guest’s bill is not completely paid, the balance is transferred from the guest to non-guest records. When this occurs, the collection becomes the responsibility of the back office accounting division.

At the time of guest departure, the front office staff thanks the guest for giving them an opportunity to serve and arrange for handling luggage. In addition, if the guest requires airport or another drop service, the front office bell desk fulfills it.

FRONT OFFICE HIERARCHY

front office hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy
Source: The Decor Circle

The number of staff working under the front office manager. The structure of the front office department depends on the size of the hotel business, the physical size of the hotel, and the hotel management policies.

Following is the general structure of the front office department:

Overview of responsibilities of the different staff of front office department:

Front Office Responsibilities

  • Directs and coordinates the activities of the FO department.
  • Ensuring guests’ satisfaction.
  • Creating guests’ database.
  • Perform the function of a link between the management and front office employees.
  • Perform budgeting function.
  • Planning present and future needs for the resources.
  • Schedule the tasks of the front office employees.
  • Resolve guest problems quickly, efficiently, and courteously.
  • Reviews all the reports generated by all the sections include the night auditors report.
  • Coordinate with the sales and marketing team to ensure maximum sales and profit.
  • The front office staff handles the transactions between the hotel and its guests.
  • Creating a great first impression in guests’ minds.

Qualities of Front Office Staff-

  • Pleasing personality
  • Smiling face
  • Positive attitude
  • Punctual
  • Hard-working
  • Good Personal hygiene
  • Honest
  • Good communication skills
  • Calm, courteous
  • Salesmanship
  • Good memory

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITY OF FRONT OFFICE STAFF

 Front Office Manager

Time Management: One of the most important functions of the Front Office Manager is Time Management. The nature of the Front Office job is such that he is usually crowded with various jobs and he often loses control over his time. He should be able to match the job needs to time available for effective and efficient performance. Time is a unique resource (24 hrs a day) and in highly perishable resources and its supply cannot be increased. For maximum utility, the manager should first understand how he is utilizing his time currently and then decide how he should spend his time.

Further, he should understand that some of the time-wasters are:

  • Interruptions
  • Meetings
  • Crises Management
  • Lack of objectives, priorities, and deadlines
  • Personal disorganization,
  • Ineffective delegation
  • Indecision and procrastination
  • Complicated procedure and
  • Commuting etc.

The strategies for Time Management include and means

  • Increase your discretionary time
  • Be time conscious
  • Plan days’ work
  • Hold priority meetings
  • Have prime time for “A’ class jobs
  • Fragment workday
  • Do one job at one time
  • Say frank No if need be
  • Use time-saving equipment
  • Delegate work
  • Develop self
  • Keep diary etc.

Further making a daily plan of action is important by outlining work for the next day at the end of each day. Listing all activities for the next day under the ABC category as per the urgency and importance of the job. List activities that should be carried out, and timed at which they can be best done. It is important to make flexible plans to fit in emergencies. Next, follow the plan and at the same time review the plan from time to time for any changes and improvements. Here it is important to note that as per scientific deductions, normally a person works only for 16 years and 8 months in a span of 70 years of age, and hence time management is very important.

In addition to this, the job description of a front office manager include the following:

  • Directs and coordinates the activities of the front office department. Which includes room reservations, guest room assignments, mail, and information.
  • Reports to the management ‘(either manager or executive assistant WW) and is, wholly responsible to him for the daily functions of the front office.
  • Maintains and/or develops applicable operation procedures involving both convention and non-convention reservations, controlling of open and closed dates, availability and condition of rooms and suites, guest arrival patterns, control of keys, receipt, and flow of mail and messages to ensure efficient methods and liaison between department sections and shifts.
  • Must understand the functions of, and be able to cooperate with closely related departments such as front office cashiers, assistant manager. Credit, sales, housekeeping, service, and inter-hotel reservations.
  • Meets with executive management and supervisors from these and other departments at regular intervals to plan and coordinate hotel housing activity.
  • Works closely with various convention group secretaries to aid their planning of arrival and guest housing.
  • Meets with individual guests or convention group representatives on problems of room assignment, price, and location.
  • Prepares reports to the management and other supervision relative to anticipated room’s occupancy, reservation pattern, expected check-in, and out.
  • Responsible, along with the personnel department, for the employment and training of staff.
  • Aids and promotes in carrying out hotel-employee relation policies such as courtesy program, work performance records, vacations, etc.

And some more- ​

  • All administrative tasks
  • Hiring staff
  • Training
  • Giving appraisals
  • Ensure smooth functioning of the department
  • Make departments budget and cost control system
  • Forecasting room sales; and maintaining business relationships with regular corporate and community leaders Monitor reservation systems to maximize occupancy, sales, and revenue
  • Conduct department meetings
  • Check arrivals, departures, and review all reports of the FO department.
  • The front office manager works with an assistant front office manager, a night auditor, a reservations manager, and a bell captain to tend to the details of running an efficient department.
  • The front offices a pivotal point in communication among in-house sales, delivery of service to the guest, and financial operations.

Assistant Front Office Manager

  • Assists front office manager in supervising and coordinating the day-to-day operations of the front office staff and resolves internal problems.
  • Co-ordinates staffing of mail and information and reservation clerks with their supervisors.
  • Arranges schedules of room salespeople.
  • Liaises with the sales department for present and future convention and group bookings.
  • Corresponds with future guests and blocks suites and special requests for large conventions.
  • Deals with problems arising from guest complaints and reservation and room assignment activities.
  • Interviews and hires applicants.
  • Responsible also for any miscellaneous duties assigned by the front office manager.
  • Assumes the responsibilities of the front office manager upon his absence.
  • Check daily reports, arrival lists, departure lists, VIP arrival, group arrivals
  • Update FO manager about the happenings
  • Coordinating with other departments like HK, sales, F&B

Reservation Manager/Assistant Manager Reservation

  • Supervises and answers inquiries of reservations agents.
  • Maintain the reservation records
  • ​ Share the information with other departments like sales F&B
  • Arranges schedules of reservations agents.
  • Maintains close liaison with secretaries of major companies that do business with the hotel. Frequently called upon to entertain these secretaries.
  • Types and processes reservation requests received by phone or email.
  • Types and files reservation slips. Type’s confirmation slips.
  • Opens and routes all mail addressed to the front office. Timestamps all correspondence.
  • Keeps a record of all reservations and makes a monthly room nights report; besides, prepares a half-year report of all accounts and their respective production.
  • Prepare the expected arrival list, departure list for the day
  • Fill registration cards, guest history card
  • Give the information to the receptionist
  • Prepare guest folder having reservation documents, emails, and messages

Lobby Manager

  • Schedules the duty roster and determines justification for manpower strength.
  • Handles guest complaints, and ensures that the front office has good relations with all departments. Coordinates with various departments for effective guest handling.
  • Co-ordinates with the front office (reception and information) to facilitate rooming and departure of guests and front office cash (to allow credits).
  • Does liaison between the travel counter, airlines regarding arrival and departure of flights. Takes constant rounds at night of all operating areas to ensure smooth functioning.
  • Passes credit bills in the absence of assistant front office manager.
  • Trains all staff under him, and trainees as well.
  • Co-ordinates with the security and ensures that no unwanted happening takes place in the hotel.
  • Attends general manager’s meetings.
  • Completely responsible for all going-on in the lobby, and operating public areas and rooms at night as well.
  • Ensure smooth check-in and check-out
  • Ensure smooth functioning of the lobby

Guest Relation Executive-

  • ​Take feedback from guests
  • Maintain guest feedback forms
  • Maintain guest comment cards
  • Handle VIP arrivals
  • Placing amenities: After GRE has checked the VIP status; she selects the type of amenity and then sends the amenity voucher to the concerned departments.
  • Checking the room: Once the room has been cleared by housekeeping and room service has placed the amenities the GRE checks the room to ensure that it is perfect in all aspects.
  • Welcoming the guest by addressing the name.
  • Escorting the guest to the reception and assist them in taking as much information from the guest as possible on arrival.
  • Escorts the guest to the room and explains the features of the room.
  • After few minutes of rooming the guest, the GRE gives the guest a welcome call to get brief feedback about accommodation.
  • Ensure that guests leave with a positive image of the hotel
  • Check any complaints and inform the department

Receptionist-

  • ​Greet the guests on arrival
  • Confirm the identity of guests
  • Fill the registration form
  • Assign room
  • Prepare room status report and check discrepancy with housekeeping
  • Process request for check out
  • Inform late checkout, early check out to HK department
  • Give information about the hotel, facilities, and the city to the guest

Cashier-

  • Prepare guests’ bill
  • Update guest transactions daily
  • Exchange foreign currency
  • Make closing balance account at end of shift
  • Maintain house bank

Telephone Operator-

  • Answer the calls directly
  • Direct incoming calls to the extension number, department, etc
  • Answer the queries about the hotel and its services
  • Log all wake-up calls
  • Handling guest messages
  • Handling outgoing calls
  • Handling calls from the rooms/guests

Front Office Assistants

(i) Reservation Assistants:

  • Courteously and promptly, handle all reservations on phone, by mail, telex cable, and computer, etc.
  • Up-date the reservation register/records to have an updated inventory of room availability. (Receive and store information)
  • Type out reservation slips and maintain reservation racks and correspondence tiles and in case of computers update information in computers.
  • Carry out amendments and cancellations intelligently and accurately.
  • Keep the availability status chart updated.
  • Display reservation position on “Flash Board”.
  • Check on reservation stationery and keep a satisfactory par stock if the same.

(ii) Reception/ Registration Assistants:

The friendly welcome given by the receptionist to a guest changes an impersonal hotel building into a friendly and homely place and is unfriendly. hostile and indifferent attitude may convert the guest’s experience into an unpleasant and uncomfortable stay. If the front office is the hub of the hotel then the receptionist is aptly called the person who keeps this hotel world moving.

  • Be informed on daily room status. Have detailed information regarding arrivals, their room requirements, and expected departures of the day.
  • Check-up VIP reservations and issue VIP amenities, a voucher for fruits and flower beverages, etc., and any other special requests.
  • Prepares all records connected with pre-registration for VIP, invalids, and old people
  • Handle group/crew registration as per laid down procedures as well as FIT.
  • Maintain a satisfactory part of all registration of stationery.
  • Room all arrivals using arrival errand cards.
  • Constantly update room rack/information rack.
  • Type out permanent arrival slip after registering guests and slot in racks.
  • Open out guest folio without delay and transmit it to the front office cashier himself or send the GR. card to cashier for opening the guest folio.
  • Maintain room fates absolutely current and up-to-date.
  • Prepare room discrepancy report and ensure a double-check through lobby attendant Work closely with information assistants.
  • Give all departure rooms to housekeeping promptly. Take all cleared rooms promptly from housekeeping.
  • Take room reports/occupancy statistics and maintain an inventory of rooms.
  • Receive and greet the guest. The friendly welcome given by the receptionist to a guest changes an impersonal hotel building into a friendly and homely place, while his unfriendly, hostile and indifferent attitude may convert the guest experience into an unpleasant and uncomfortable stay. If Front Office is the ‘Hub’ of the hotel then the receptionist can be aptly called the person who keeps the hotel world moving.
  • Sell higher-priced rooms and other hotel facilities through trained salesmanship and assign rooms.
  • Help room service and telephone departmentally to racks.
  • Handle scanty baggage diligently.
  • Know color codes used in reception.
  • Know room history, namely location, kind, rate, theme, if any, and the view each room commands.
  • Set up and posts the guest accounts in small hotels.
  • Deal with cash, credit cards, and checkouts and perform cashiers function in a small hotel.
  • Provide safekeeping for guest valuables.
  • Deal with complaints and emergencies.

(iii) Information Assistants:

  • Distribute room keys to registered guests in the hotel when the arrival errand card is presented.
  • Answer incoming calls for guests and report all messages.
  • Handle all guest mail, information, parcels, telegrams as per laid down procedures Answer queries on house facilities and places of tourist interest.
  • Keep information aids like time-table, road maps, hotel guide, etc.
  • Help in paying guests.
  • Receive and give information.
  • Maintain log for guest and staff information.
  • Maintain guest racks alphabetically.
  • Sell hotel facilities through trained salesmanship.
  • Sign departure errand cards in acknowledgment of receipt of room key from a departing guest.
  • Report keys not retrieved or lost to the front office manager at once.
  • Maintain close contacts with housekeeping, engineering, lobby, food and beverages, and other coordinating departments.

Night Manager

  • Supervises the operation of the hotel through the night.
  • Represents management when decisions must be made during these hours.
  • Answers inquiries concerning hotel services and facilities and deals with complaints.
  • Maintains the reputation of the hotel by refusing or ejecting undesirables.
  • Assists cashiers with questions of credibility.
  • Dispatches security officers to investigate disturbance or investigates himself.
  • Receives articles and maintains a ledger of articles turned-in for the Lost and Found Department.
  • Maintains logbook noting unusual occurrences.
  • Checks function board for accuracy.
  • Keeps a close watch on night clerks.

Night Clerk

  • Registers and assigns room to guests.
  • Gives and receives keys maintaining a “key control”.
  • Answers inquiries over the telephone and in-person about hotel services and registration of guests.
  • Arranges for room changes as necessary.
  • Makes and confirms reservations received in person, over the phone, or on the teletype machine.
  • Balances room revenue with night auditor.
  • Completes numerous reports for management analysis through the following procedures. Prepares night clerks summary, three days, seven days, or fifteen days forecast, and VIP list.
  • Verifies guest origin and source of business on previous day check-out cards.
  • Completes reports on the geographical surveys.
  • Checks the room racks against the information board (Concierge) and telephone operator’s board for omissions and sleepers.

Bell Captain

Job Summary -To organize, supervise, and control all lobby services to guest satisfaction in a shift.

Job Specification

  • Supervise the lobby attendants. Control their movement and activities on the lobby attendants’ control sheet.
  • Take attendance and prepare staff schedules to meet exigencies of work.
  • Advise the assistant manager-lobby periodically on the performance of lobby attendants, and at times provides information to the guest.
  • Attend to guest complaints and handle telephone calls in the absence of assistant manager-lobby.
  • Handle left luggage formalities and maintain the baggage checkroom.
  • Train lobby attendants to maximize departmental efficiency.
  • Organize and supervise check-in/out baggage formalities of groups, crews, etc. Control the sale of postage stamps and stationery to guests.
  • Maintain a record of all guests with “scanty baggage” and inform the assistant manager lobby and front office.
  • Assist security in lobby surveillance.
  • Conduct daily briefing of lobby attendants.
  • Co-ordinate and control the distribution of morning newspapers.
  • Supervise the storage of essential medicine prescribed by the house doctor and be accountable for the issues made. Keep lobby clean at all times.
  • Keep baggage neatly and orderly at the specified places.

Bell Boy and Night Porter-

  • The night porter will specifically take care of the cleaning of walls, carpets, furniture, etc.
  • May also take charge of some snacks, hot and cold beverages service in a small hotel
  • Make sure that the doors, windows, etc. are closed at a specific time and
  • Also, make a note of all the midnight and early morning departure rooms so that properly their luggage is handled.

Job Summary- To execute porter and other lobby services as determined by the management during the day and night shift.

Job Performed

  • Report to bell captain.
  • Handle guest arrival.
  • Take the baggage from the car on the porch/gate to the room.
  • Put luggage tag on bags and luggage on group arrival
  • Escort the guest to the room on arrival.
  • Place the baggage in the room, on the luggage rack.
  • Explain the operation and control of light switches/air-conditioning etc. to the guests and switch them on.
  • Handle departure of the guest (through use of departure errand card).
  • Under instructions from the bell captain, bring the baggage down from the room on departure. Check the room to ensure that the guest has left no articles in the room by mistake.
  • Switch off all lights and air-conditioning.
  • Obtain clearance from the front office cashier on the errand card regarding the bill i.e. paid/signed by the guest.
  • Ensure the collection of keys from guests at the time of check out and obtain clearance from the information section.
  • Check for mail, messages for departure guests and, if available, collect and give mail or messages to departing guests.
  • Take the baggage and place it in the car at the porch/gate.
  • Handle errands requested by guests and front office staff.
  • Track/keep eye on unwanted guests in the hotel.
  • Attend the instructions of the supervisor.
  • Handle baggage of guests when they are shifting to another room.
  • Distribute newspapers to guest rooms and selected offices.
  • Keep the lobby area clean and clear to ensure smooth traffic flow

Page Boy

Job Summary – Welcomes guests, opens/ closes the front entrance doors. Assists guests in elevators.

Key Responsibilities – Stations himself at the side of the main door along with the door attendant; opens and closes lobby door for guests and assists them. Pages guests in the lobby. Performs any other duties as may be assigned, usually all duties of bellboy or porter.

Minimum Requirements – Ability to communicate in English. Pleasing personality.

Concierge

It is a French word and as per the dictionary, the word means doorkeeper-porter. The word also refers to hospitality. In some hotels in India, it is used in a broader sense and refers to a person who has a desk called ‘The desk of concierge’ which is in the lobby of the hotel. It is an extended arm of the ‘Information counter’ and provides all that information when longer interaction with a guest is needed, such as planning itinerary, etc. The concierge may also handle room keys and does paging of guests Calls guests (after they have been roomed) to ask whether they require any immediate service.

Job Specification

  • The concierge can be called a ‘Man-about-town or ‘Mister-know-it-all’. Unusually resourceful and knowledgeable about the hotel and the surrounding.
  • It should be equipped with brochures, travel facilities information, sightseeing. shopping and other such things for assisting the guest.
  • He is required to make airlines booking, taxi booking, and planning of itineraries, etc. for guests and offers accurate and informative facts and opinions to the guests
  • Serves as guest’s liaison with hotel and non-hotel services.
  • Provides a personal approach to guest services Takes charge of all packets/ tickets for guests and ensures follow-up.
  • Prepares daily summary reports and checks daily mom position of suites. Introduces and sells all hotel services and facilities to the guests.
  • Reviews and follow up any incidents and complaints of guests and coordinates with the guest services manager.
  • Coordinates with airlines and reconfirms the departure details of the crew and arranges for transport for them.
  • Arranges for hotel doctor as and when required
  • Maintains an up to date “LOGBOOK “
  • Arranges welcome drinks for all arriving groups and ensures that these drinks are served promptly.
  • To have a complete understanding of policies and procedures relating to fire, hygiene, health, and safety.
  • To have a complete understanding of the hotel employee’s handbook and adhere to regulations contained within the book.

Doorman/Commissionaire/Link Man/Carriage Attendant

Job Summary. To greet guests upon arrival and welcome them. To bid farewell upon departure and thank all the guests. His place of duty is outside the main entrance of the hotel

Responsibilities

  • First staff to greet the guest in a hotel.
  • Calls taxis for guests and flags down the meter to ensure maximum guest satisfaction.
  • Opens doors on arrival cars/ taxis then greet and welcome guests with a smile.
  • Brings umbrella if needed.
  • Checks baggage before the car or taxi leaves.
  • Ensures smooth traffic flow in the porch and ensures that the porch is always clear.
  • Provides other information about the hotel and city. No information should be given unless appropriate and correct.
  • Calls for cars parked in the basement.
  • Keeps the keys of incoming guest car orderly.
  • Checks taxis to ensure that the guest has not left any belongings.
  • Should know driving to assist the guest in case of an emergency.
  • Performs any other duties as may be assigned.
  • Responsible for the cleanliness and orderliness of the front area of the hotel and around it.
  • Checks the luggage out pass before allowing the bell boy to load the luggage in a car or taxi at the time of departure and maintains a car register.

Guest service executive-

Responsible for guest services such as hell desk, concierge desk, and guest transportation and ensures the smooth running of these areas.

Key responsibilities-

Prepares duty schedules for the above area staff and supervises their routine and special work. Keeps information folder updated and keeps the GR. cards and room keys of pre-registered guests ready. It also looks after the training program for new staff. Handles complaints. Keeps an eye on the tidiness of the lobby area. Prepares daily summary reports and circulates them to EAM, and F. O.M., etc. Ensures that amenities are sent in time to the VIP rooms before their arrival. Meets and escorts VIP to their room at check-in.

Crew coordinator-

 Responsible for keeping the crew lounge clean and ensures that all services are planned and he is in constant touch with the crew to answer their queries Helps them to arrange sightseeing, tours, and shopping for crew and group members, and handles their complaints and suggestions. Ensures their ‘Wake-up call’ is given on time. It also ensures that the ‘crew rooms’ are blocked before their arrival and am ready on time. Keeps liaison with crew members. He is responsible for the necessary equipment in the crew lounge.

Personality Traits: 

The most common answer to the question “Why did you decide to become a receptionist?” is, because you wanted to meet people.

Now, to be successful in any human relationship you must reflect these characteristics: 

  • A warm personality, and smart appearances.
  • A keen interest in people, and a polite and courteous nature
  • Poise under pressure, keeping his cool and problem solver.
  • A desire to be helpful, but also diplomatic and tactful.
  • The ability to listen, hard-working, and punctual.
  • A willingness to reflect management policy should be able to make quick decisions, The ability to get along with co-workers, and a pleasant approach, and a good motivator and coordinator.
  • A desire to be liked, with good public relations qualities.
  • The ability to help another employee without resenting it or showing imitation. You should be confident, analytical, intelligent and a good salesman.
  • Neat personal habits.
  • Good memory (should be able to remember names of regular guests)
  • Knowledge of languages.
  • Numerical ability.
  • Reference point.
  • Image Builder.

Standing behind the front desk and meeting any of the dozens of problems that arise in a hotel requires a reserve of energy.

Keep your reserve built up by common-sense rules of living:

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Do not drink. If you must, be moderate.
  • Do not smoke, at least not on the job.
  • Be positive.
  • As a Front Office Personnel, you will be the first person who meets the guest in a hotel. The first impression forms a lasting impression. So make sure that the guest gets a positive impression from the moment he walks in.

Some points to remember: 

  • Avoid all controversial questions. You can afford to win arguments, but not in the hotel business.
  • Be oblivious to guests’ mistakes. Say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t make it clear”. Do not say. “You are wrong” or “You misunderstood me”. Instead, say, “Sorry sir, I could not make myself clear.”
  • Do not criticize competing hotels. This never helps anyone, including yourself.
  • Cancel all “Yeah”, “Okays” and “Noes” from your vocabulary, i.e. do not use slang.
  • Speak positively. Every negative reply can be rephrased: “One moment Please” is a great improvement over “Wait a minute”.
  • Refer to men guests as gentlemen, females as ladies.
  • Immediate attention to the traveler is a form of respect to which he is entitled.
  • Last, but not least, a sincere smile is and has been a tradition of the hotel business.
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Types Of Rooms

SIGNIFICANCE OF ROOMS

  • The sale of rooms contributes approximately 50% or more to the total hotel revenue.
  • A room ‘sale’ occurs when a room is leased for occupation for 24 hours, at a predetermined cost.

ROOMS (a perishable commodity) – A room not sold on a particular day loses its opportunity to earn revenue for that day.

GUEST ROOMS –Rooms to guests means:

  • Comfort
  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Convenience
  • Cleanliness
  • Hygiene And
  • A “Home Away from Home”

TYPES OF ROOMS

Common Type Of Rooms

SINGLE ROOM

The room has one single bed, meant for one person.

TWIN ROOM

The room has two single beds, separated from each other by a bedside table, meant for two people.

DOUBLE ROOM

Room having one composite double bed, meant for two people

SUITE

A suite comprises more than one room. It is an apartment having one bedroom with one composite double bed & a parlor. The décor of such unit is of very high standards, very expensive. Normally suite has a theme, & is named after this theme.

Special Type Of Rooms

CABANA: A cabana is suited away from the main hotel building, in the vicinity of a swimming pool or sea beach. It does not have beds and is generally used as a changing room and not as a bedroom.

LANAI: A lanai or lānai is a type of roofed, open-sided veranda, patio, or porch originating in Hawaii. Many homes, apartment buildings, hotels, and restaurants in Hawaii are built with one or more lānais.

EFFICIENCY ROOM: An efficiency room has an attached kitchenette for guests preferring a longer duration of stay. Generally, this type of room is found in holidays and health resorts where the guest stays for a longer time.

HOSPITALITY ROOM: A hospitality room is designed for hotel guests who would want to entertain their own guests outside their allotted rooms. Such rooms are generally charged on an hourly basis.

STUDIO ROOM: A studio room is a small apartment, which combines the living room, bedroom, and kitchenette into a single room.

HOLLYWOOD TWIN BEDDED ROOM: It has 2 single beds with a common headboard. This type of room is generally occupied by two guests.

MURPHY BEDDED ROOM: Murphy bedded room is a room where the bed is hinged at the base of the headboard and swing up into the wall for storage. During the day room can be used in a sitting /living room and at night the bed can be laid for the guest to sleep.

INTERCONNECTING ROOM: Two rooms have a common wall and a door that connects the two rooms. This allows guests to access any of the two rooms without passing through the corridor.

DUPLEX: Rooms having two levels under one roof, upper level used as a bedroom, the lower level used for living room, connected by an internal staircase. Rooms are expensive, generally used by the business client who wishes to use the lower portion as office and upper level as bedroom.

Or

A duplex comprises two-room situated on different floors, which are connected by an internal staircase. The suite is generally used by a business guest who wishes to use the lower level as an office and meeting place and the upper-level room as a bedroom. This type of room is quite expensive.

SUITE:  A suite comprises more than one room, occasionally, it can also be a single large room with clearly defined sleeping and sitting areas. The decor of such units is of very high standards, aimed to please the affluent guest who can afford the high tariffs of the room category.

JUNIOR SUITE: Large room converted to a suite by a partition. Not very expensive but priced higher than a regular room.

PRESIDENTIAL SUITE: The most expensive room provided by a hotel. Usually, only one president suite is available in one single hotel property. Similar to the normal suites, a president suite always has one or more bedrooms and living space with a strong emphasis on grand in-room decoration, high-quality amenities and supplies, and tailor-made services (e.g. personal butler during the stay).

The room size or area of Presidential Suites is generally between 80 m² to 350 m².

 

hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy
Novotel Kolkata Presidential Suite

PARLOR: A parlor has a living room without a bed and may have a sofa and chair for sittings. It is generally not used as a bedroom. The European term for this is Salon.

ADJOINING ROOM/ INTERCONNECTING ROOMS: An adjoining room shares a wall with another hotel room and is connected by a door. An adjoining room is two guest rooms that are located next to each other and are interconnected by a locked door between them. Adjoining rooms may be booked together by request for one traveling party, or two different parties may book them separately. These are useful if you are traveling with older children or a larger group and need more space.

ADJACENT ROOM: An adjacent room is very close to another room but does not share a common wall with it.  A party of guests might request adjoining rooms to ensure that they are situated in the hotel in close proximity to each other. Guests should remember that adjacent rooms do not necessarily mean that they are adjoining rooms.

Adjacent Rooms vs. Adjoining Rooms

While an adjoining room is always adjacent, booking an adjacent room does not mean that you will have an adjoining room. The key difference is while both rooms will be side-by-side, the adjoining room will have an inside door that directly connects each room. If booking an adjacent room, the guest would need to exit their own room and go into the hallway for access to the room next door.

SPATT ROOM: Special attention room, room meant for the physically challenged guest.

SINGLE LADY ROOM: Rooms specially designed for the ladies traveling alone. These rooms are designed keeping in mind the needs of the lady guests.

front office hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy
Source: The Decor Circle

PENTHOUSE SUITE: A penthouse is generally located on the topmost floor of the hotel and has an attached open terrace or open sky space. It has very opulent decor and furnishings and is among the costliest rooms in the hotels, preferred by celebrities and major political personalities.

QUAD: A quad room has four separate single beds and can accommodate four persons together in the same room.

DOUBLE ROOM:  A double room has one double bed for double occupancy. The size of a double bed is 4.5 feet to 6 feet.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: A double-double room has two double beds and is normally preferred by a family or group as it can accommodate four persons together.

SINGLE ROOM: A single room has one single bed for single occupancy. The size of the bed is normally 3 feet by 6 feet.

TWIN ROOM: A twin room has two single beds for double occupancy.

TRIPLE: A triple room has three separate single beds and can be occupied by three guests. This type of room is suitable for groups and delegates of meetings and conferences.

hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy hotel room front office
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Welcoming A Guest At Hotel

Hotel guests can get a warm feeling from something simple like a smile from the doorman. The question is; “how can you inject the “WOW” factor into a welcome that makes your hotel stand out from the crowd?” People quickly notice when you are not giving them your full attention. It is about greeting them by name, adapting to their mood, and really taking an interest. The use of the guest’s name is crucial. Guests are usually surprised when we know their names.

What to Do Prior to Guests Arrival,

Before guests arrive, it’s important to contact them via email, phone or social media channels to ask if they have any special requirements and the reason for their stay. If you identify any guest preferences then we aim to deliver these. This contact also gives the team an opportunity to tell guests about the other aspects of the hotel, such as specialty restaurants, entertainment spots, etc. Feedback from your guests tells you that your seasonal welcome display is the first thing they notice and that it makes your hotel stand out from the competition.

At The Reception

Make sure the hotel door is opened for the guest by a courteous member of staff who smiles and warmly greets them with a “Good morning” or “Good afternoon”. If a guest is staying, escort them to the reception desk and introduce them to the receptionist who will take them through the check-in process without fuss, using their name to build a rapport. The desk should look professional and uncluttered. The receptionist should be able to locate booking details easily, have a room ready and be able to clearly explain how to get there. If your hotel has a concierge team, they should be on-hand to help with luggage.

The following are the best brand standard practices on guest arrival into a hotel

Your pledge: To make guests feel a warm welcomed to the hotel.

  • At the hotel entrance, all guests whether driving or walking are welcomed by the doorman: For instance: “Good morning, welcome to XYZ hotel.”
  • The doorman will open the car door and direct guests accordingly, either to the meeting room’s front desk, restaurants, or any other function, and where necessary the doorman will offer to park the vehicle. While checking in at the hotel front desk, no guest waits longer than 3 minutes in a queue before being served. If the line of guests is long, additional staff will be brought in to assist.
  • Reception – should always be looking up all around the reception foyer and proactively let guests know they will be attended to as soon as possible.
  • Guests will be welcomed, using the name of the hotel and the guest’s name if known.
  • Porters to offer towels and welcome juice as guests fill the registration card.
  • Room type, meal plan, departure date rate, and mode of payment will be confirmed. Front desk staff may choose to “up-sell” guests to possibly a suite depending on the initial requirements.
  • If the guest has previously stayed at the hotel, the team member will express recognition by highlighting some information from the guest’s history, making the guest feel valued and appreciated.
  • The whole check-in process at the front desk should take in the range of 3 minutes.
  • Porters shall be on standby upon completion of check-in to take the guest to their room.
  • The receptionist – the cashier will introduce the porter to the guest i.e. “Mr. XYZ, this is Ms. Somali our porter who will show you to your room.”
  • Porter will acknowledge the guest and offer assistance.
  • The porter will politely ask the guest to identify his luggage.
  • On the way to the room, the porter will point out the F&B Outlets en-route to the room. He will explain to the guest where they can have their meals and drinks, at the same time inform the guest about timing and last order timing to the guest for his/her convenience.
  • The porter on reaching the room will highlight the different facilities and how they function e.g., lighting, air conditioning, the television, and or the fridge.
  • The porter will then wish the guest a pleasant stay and inform him that should he require any assistance he can dial room service extension reception or guest relations (giving extension number where applicable).
  • Guest luggage for groups shall be delivered to the respective room within 5 minutes of the guest check-in.
  • Guest luggage under the hotel’s storage shall be handled with care and safely stored in a neat and orderly manner with security.

Each hotel has a different check-in policy formulated by top management. Some hotels take more time for check-in than the others do. However, as a hotelier, making efforts to value every minute spent by your guest goes a long way.

SOP ON GUEST ARRIVAL

Step 1: Guest on arrival when he/she approaches the reception on his own, Doormen greets the guest

Standard: Guest reaches the hotel porch 

  • The doorman opens the door with a smile and wishes guests, “Good Morning /Afternoon / Evening, Welcome to the Hotel ABC.

Step 2: Bellboy greets the guest and offers baggage assistance

  • Standard: Bellboy wishes the guest the time of the day and assists him with his baggage. “Good Morning / Afternoon / Evening Sir / Madam, Allow me to take care of your baggage”

Step-3: Bellboy confirms the count of baggage

Standard: 

  • Bellboy/Bellhop confirms the number of baggage with the guest.
  • Guest approaches the reception

Step-4: Reception greets the guest and offers assistance

Standard: 

  • The reception associate wishes the guest, “Good Morning / Afternoon / Evening, Welcome to The Hotel ABC Sir / Madam. How may I assist you?”

Step-5: Reception offers seat assistance (if the provision is there), makes the guest comfortable, and requests his last name.

Standard: 

  • Reception Associate: “Please make yourself comfortable, May I request you for your Last name under which the reservation is being made”
  • Guest: I am Mr. Singh.

Step-6: Receptionist takes out the Guest Registration Card (GRC) of the guest

Standard: The receptionist will then take out the Guest Registration Card of Mr. Singh and handover to the guest to request to fill it up.

  • In case he/she is a repeat guest reservation will keep a pre-filled GRC ready to make the registration process shorter and faster.
  • In case the guest is coming to the hotel for the first time receptionist will request the guest to fill up the GRC

Step-7: The guest registration card will have the following details taken at the time of reservation

  • Standard: 
  • Guest Name
  • Guest Co. Name
  • Nationality
  • No. of pax
  • Guest Arrival and Expected Departure date
  • Arriving from and forwarding to address
  • Guest room category ( booked for)
  • Guest room rate
  • Guest credit card details
  • Passport number
  • Date of issue
  • Place of issue
  • Date of arrival in India
  • Proposed duration of stay in India
  • Whether employed in |India
  • Guest contact details etc.

Note: Registration card is printed on arrival if the reservation is made on the same day

Standard:  

  • The guest registration card is to be printed on arrival if the registration card is not printed earlier, which may happen if the reservation is made on the same day

Step-8: Guest registration formalities

Standard:

  • The receptionist completes the guest registration formalities.

Step-9: Programming of guest room key

Standard: The receptionist will then make the key for Mr. Singh.

  • Keys are pre-prepared in case it’s a repeat guest.

Step-10: Bellboy/Guest relations to escort the guest to his room

Standard: The receptionist will introduce Mr. Singh to the Bellboy/ Guest Relation Executive (GRE) and request her to escort Mr. Singh to his room “Mr. Singh, our Bellboy/ GRE Ms. Komal will escort you to your room.”

  • Usually, Bellboy may escort a guest to his/her room, but in the case of VIP, a GRE is assigned with the duty of escorting the guest to his/her room.
  • Many hotels may have a separate elevator for the bellboy/bellhop to take the luggage up to the guest room.

Step-11: Wish guest a pleasant stay

Standard: 

  • The receptionist wishes Mr. Singh a very pleasant stay “Mr. Singh, have a pleasant stay with us”

Step-12: Delivery of guest baggage to the room

Standard:  

  • The receptionist will inform the bellboy of Mr. Singh’s room number for baggage delivery

Step-13: Wish guest a pleasant stay

Standard:  

  • The receptionist wishes Mr. Singh “Have a pleasant stay with us”

Step-14: On multiple Check-In

Standard: 

  • In case of multiple check-ins, Guest Relations Executive (GRE) will request the guest to identify his baggage and informs the same to bell boy before proceeding to his room

Welcome KIT for Arrivals

Purpose:

Preparation of welcome KIT for all arrivals is part of guest pre-registration activity. This is to make sure that the welcome KIT has everything that the guest requires while checking in to the hotel. Moreover, to ensure a smooth overall check-in experience at the time of guest registration.

  1. Welcome KIT should be prepared in advance and be given to every guest on arrival.
  2. Ensure that the welcome kit folder and trays are available.
  3. Ensure that welcome kit folders and trays are clean with no stains or folds.
  4. Ensure that each welcome folder has a personalized Welcome Letter in it. Taking into consideration the nationality and language of the guest.
  5. Ensure that the welcome folder contains the local ferry, tour bus timings, local map, places of interest, etc. enclosed in it if applicable.
  6. Make sure that the key cards are clean and without any stains or marks on them.
  7. Preprint the Registration card and keeps keys ready along with the welcome folder.
  8. Encode Key cards according to the occupancy of the reservation. For interconnecting and suite rooms encode two sets of key cards.
  9. Meal coupons and vouchers to be kept ready according to the package booked by the guest on the welcome folder. (Take into consideration guest’s occupancy, meal plan booked while preparing coupons)
  10. Check if the room allocation is done according to the guest reservation requests and guest preferences.
hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy
Source: The Decor Circle
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Classification Of Hotels

Grouping hotels based on various criteria is known as classification.

Hotel classification serves the following purpose:

  • Lends uniformity in services and sets general standards of a hotel
  • Provide an idea regarding the range and type of hotels available within a geographical location
  • Acts as a measure of control over hotels with respect to the quality of services offered in each category.
  • Helps tourist select a hotel that meets their requirement.

CLASSIFICATION ON THE BASIS OF

  1. Size
  2. Location and clientele
  3. Star
  4. Ownership basis
  5. Degree of service offered

ACCORDING TO SIZE

  • SMALL SIZED HOTEL: less than 100 rooms
  • MEDIUM-SIZED HOTEL: between 100 to 299 rooms
  • LARGE SIZED HOTEL: between 300 to 599 rooms
  • VER LARGE HOTEL: between 600 to 999 rooms
  • MEGA: more than 1000 rooms

ACCORDING TO LOCATION AND CLIENTELE

  • DOWNTOWN OR COMMERCIAL HOTEL

Location: the heart of the city / commercial area or busy business area.

Clientele: mostly businessman.

Facility: modern facilities like 24 hr coffee shop, room service, business center, travel desk.

Avg. duration of stay: 3 to 7 days.

  • TRANSIT HOTEL

Location: near the port of entry like bus stand, railway station, airport, seaport.

Clientele: mostly people who are traveling, layover passengers, tourists, misconnection passengers.

Facility: moderate to modern facilities.

Avg. duration of stay: few hours too few days.

  • RESORT HOTEL 

Location: places with natural beauty like hill stations, sea beaches, forests, etc.

 Clientele: mostly holidaymakers and tourists.

Facility: moderate to modern.

Avg. duration of stay: a week too few months.

  • MOTEL OR MOTOR HOTEL OR FREEWAY HOTEL

Location: on highways.

Clientele: motorist, a tourist traveling by road.

Facility: moderate to modern facilities.

Special features: parking space against each room, Refueling station, Garage facility, Swimming pool.

Avg. duration of stay: mostly overnight

  • SUBURBAN HOTEL 

Location: Outskirts of the city or suburb.

Clientele: who have to stay for a longer duration, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Facility: moderate, budgeted.

Avg. duration of stay: longer duration, months.

  • FLOATEL:

Location: lodging properties that float on the surface of the water.

hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy flotale kolkata
Source: Floatel Kolkata

ACCORDING TO STAR CLASSIFICATION/ STANDARD CLASSIFICATION

The Star denotes the standards of the hotel. Department of tourism, govt. of India is responsible for the star gradation. An autonomous body (a committee) is responsible for the star gradation of hotels known as the Hotel and Restaurant Approval Classification Committee (HRACC), formed by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.  After receiving the application form from the hotel HRACC visits the hotel, checks the standards, and grades the hotel.  The Department of Tourism prescribes the facilities which are to be provided in various star category hotels. The term for Star Gradation is for two years. The six grades of the star are 5*Deluxe, 5*, 4*, 3*, 2*, and 1*. The categories of various star hotels have some criteria or facilities, which are called END.

E – Essentials (have to have)

N – Necessities (should have)

D – Desirables (may or may not have)

Following are the members of HRACC:

  • Secretary Tourism, Govt. Of India
  • Regional Director of Tourism, Govt. Of India
  • One representative from the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI), who is generally the Secretary of the respective zone (of the four zones).
  • One representative of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), who is generally the Secretary of the concerned region.
  • Director of Tourism of the state concerned
  • The principal of the regional Hotel Management Institute.

(If any of the six members is absent on the day of the visit, they are permitted to send their own representatives)

HOTEL STAR RATING GUIDE

ONE  STAR

Typically small hotels , located near affordable attractions, with basic facilities, with a family atmosphere. Limited range and simple facilities and meals. Acceptable standards of maintenance, cleanliness, and comfort.

TWO STAR

Economy hotel, small to medium size hotel, located near the moderately priced attraction. Guest can expect little more than a one-star, like a comfortable well-equipped room with an attached bath, professional staff.

THREE STAR

Moderate hotel, spacious accommodation, well-equipped room, and decorated lobbies, located near business areas, moderate to high priced attractions, usually have a medium-size restaurant that serves breakfast through dinner. Facilities such as direct-dial phones, toiletries, Room service,  and pool are often provided.

FOUR STAR

First-class hotel, large formal hotel, located near major attractions, above-average service levels, more than one restaurant, 24 hrs room service, laundry, valet parking, travel desk, wellness center, pool, top-quality room décor.

FIVE STAR

superior hotel, high level of accommodation and service, large property, hotel lobby and rooms with stylish furnishing and linen, all modern and high-end facilities and amenities,  at least three restaurants,  24 hrs room service, concierge to assist you 24hrs.

FIVE STAR DELUXE

Highest level of accommodation and service, this hotel provides all 5-star facilities like ultimate decor and a high degree of personal service like butler service.

HERITAGE HOTELS

A recent addition to the hotel industry in the country, heritage hotels are properties set in small forts, palaces, or Havelis. In a heritage hotel, a visitor is offered rooms that have their own history, is served traditional cuisine, is entertained by folk artists, gets a glimpse into the heritage of the region. According to the ministry of tourism, the heritage hotels are further subdivided as follows:

Heritage – built between 1935 and 1950

Heritage classic – built between 1920 and 1935

Heritage grand – built prior to 1920

OWNERSHIP BASIS

  • PROPRIETARY OWNERSHIP / INDEPENDENT HOTEL: owners’ hotel

Proprietary ownership is the direct ownership of one or more properties by a person or company. The family owns small lodging properties are owned by major international hotel companies. No affiliations or contracts with other property, No tie-up with other hotels. The owner has independent control Profit goes to the owner. Quickly respond to market changes. Work with limited finances

  • MANAGEMENT CONTRACTED HOTELS: management by others Properties owned by individuals or partners, operated by an external professional organization for a management fee.

Adv. – international recognitions, operating systems, training program, marketing, international expertise, profitable operations, advertisement, reservation system, staff.

  • CHAIN HOTEL: a group of hotels that are owned or managed by one company is called a chain hotel.

Adv.: Large central organization providing central reservation system, management aids, financial strength, expertise, manpower, specialties, promotions

  • FRANCHISE HOTELS/ AFFILIATED:

It is the authorization given by a company to another company or individual to sell its unique products and services and use its trademark according to the guidelines given by the former, for a specified time and at a specified place.

Franchise owner (franchisor) grant another hotel( franchisee) the right use its methods & system, technical services, marketing trademark, signs etc. for fees.

Adv.- Opening assistance- architectural, interior designs, Systems and procedure, Staff training, Financial, assistance, Advertising, and global marketing, Central reservation, Central purchase.

  • REFERRAL CHAIN:

A referral chain is made up of independently owned and operated hotels and provides shared advertisement, joint reservation system, and standardized quality. Virtually there is no shared management or financial functions

  • TIME SHARE / VACATION OWNERSHIP/ HOLIDAY OWNERSHIP:

Each room is owned by several people for different time periods. Each owner gets a stay of a specific period for a number of years.

A one-time purchase is made by paying the purchase price & payment a yearly maintenance fee.

Generally located at dream sites like beaches, hills, waterfall, etc.

Adv.- long-term accommodation, comfort homes, economical, good location, international exchange possible.

  • CONDOMINIUM: Joint ownership of a complex.

Type of accommodation where the owner of a room or an apartment in a complex, of several such accommodations, furnishes it and informs the management of the times when he will be using it. He permits to rent out the apartments at other times and the rent goes to the owner. The owner pays the monthly maintenance fee.

DEGREE OF SERVICE OFFERED

  • UPMARKET/ LUXURY/ WORLD CLASS SERVICEHOTELS

Targeting the affluent segment of society, hotels in the up-market category offer world-class products with personalized service of the highest standards. The emphasis is on excellence and class. This hotel provides upscale restaurants and lounges, exquisite décor, concierge service, abundant amenities.

  • MID MARKET/ MIDSEGMENT SERVICE HOTELS

These hotels offer modest services without the frill and personalized attention of luxury hotels, and appeal to the largest segment of travelers. they offer services such as room service, round-the-clock coffee shop, pick up drop, multi-cuisine restaurant, and bar.

  • BUDGET OR ECONOMY HOTELS OR LIMITED SERVICE

Focus on meeting the most basic needs of guests by providing clean, comfortable, and inexpensive rooms. Hotels have clean and comfortable guest rooms, a coffee shop, a multi cuisine restaurant, in-room telephone and channeled music and movies, a swimming pool, health club.

CLASSIFICATION ON THE BASIS OF CLIENTELE:

  • BUSINESS OR COMMERCIAL HOTEL: cater to the business traveller, generally situated in the city Centre.
  • TRANSIENT HOTEL: cater to the needs of people who are on the move and need a stopover en route their journey, situated in close proximity of ports of entry.
  • RESIDENTIAL HOTEL: cater to the guest who stays for a long duration.
  • CASINO HOTEL: casino hotels provide gambling facilities.
  • CONFERENCE HOTEL: hotel cater and organize a conference
  • CONVENTION HOTEL: who organize conventions and cater to the guest who comes to attend the convention.
  • SANATORIA: a hotel which has a health club and spa, and caters to the people who came to these spas for treatment.

CLASSIFICATION ON THE BASIS OF DURATION OF GUEST STAY

  • COMMERCIAL HOTEL: duration of stay is short, usually 1-7 days
  • TRANSIENT HOTEL: duration of stay from few hours to 1 day
  • SEMI RESIDENTIAL HOTEL: duration of stay range from few weeks to some months
  • RESIDENTIAL / APARTMENT HOTEL: duration of stay range from months to few years
  • EXTENDED STAY HOTEL: duration of stay few days to weeks.

 

OTHERS

CITY CENTER HOTEL:

By virtue of their location, meet the needs of the traveling public for business or leisure reasons. These hotels could be the luxury, business, economy, or residential.

AIRPORT HOTEL:

Hotel located near the airport, clientele mainly consists of travelers arriving and departing from the airport. Facilities include 24 hrs coffee shop and room service.

CASINO HOTEL:

Serves guests who want to gamble and have a casino. Not very popular in India. In addition to gaming, multi-cuisine restaurants, spa, dance club, etc are also available.

CONVENTION HOTEL:

The hotel provides facilities and meets the needs of groups attending and holding conventions and conferences. Have a lot of banquet area, meeting rooms in and around the hotel complex.  Facilities include 24 hrs room service, in-house laundry, travel desk, airport shuttles twin-bedded rooms.

APARTOTEL:

The apartment building also used as a residential hotel. Purchase of hotel entitles full service of hotel, when not occupied, it is added in the hotel pool to earn revenue.

BOUTIQUE:

A small, expensive, informal atmosphere, gives personal service, all outlet has a different theme. All rooms have different themes and decorations.

AUBERGE, GASTHOF, HERBERGE:

Small units like an inn provide a complimentary bar, restaurant, and bedroom for travelers. Emphasis is given on eating and drinking facilities.

BOARDING HOUSE/ PENSION:

Accommodation usually with meals for a definite period of time commonly for a week or more. Also known as a guest house or pension.

HOLIDAY VILLAGE:

The hotel provides accommodation with other facilities like recreation, sports facilities, individual kitchen, green zone, library, nursery, television room, landscaping.

PALACE HOTEL:

Indian concept, maharajas palaces are converted into hotels, gives old heritage, architecture, modern facilities in traditional style, and traditional way of service.

SANATORIA:

Found at spas and health resorts. Rooms equipped with sauna, Jacuzzi. Meals are personalized diet regimes of the guest. The hotel has a dietician, doctors, and medical arrangements.

OTHER TYPES OF ACCOMMODATION / SUPPLEMENTARY ACCOMMODATION

Supplementary Accommodation can be described as premises which offer accommodation but not the extra services of a hotel. It plays a very important role in the total available tourist accommodation in the country. It caters to both international and domestic tourist traffic. The main distinguishing features are:

  1. The standard of comfort is moderate to that of a hotel.
  2. They sell accommodation at a much lower price.
  3. They have an informal atmosphere.

CAMPS:

Usually located on the trekking routes. Prove parking space, common toilets, tents, campfire, and other basic services.

YOUTH HOSTEL:

Have dormitory-style accommodation, common toilets, dining areas, simple food, fixed menu, and gym and sports area

PAYING GUEST:

Guest pays and stays with the owner for a longer duration, food, and accommodation provided.

GOVERNMENT HOUSES:

Also known as Dak Bungalows, Circuit houses, Forest lodges, and PWD houses. Set in British raj for different reasons. Have a local person as the caretaker who cooks, cleans, assist and provide security. Initially, Dak bungalows were used for postal and courier service, circuit house for higher-ranked officers, forest house for forestry officials, and PWD house for road and electricity department officials.

FLOATEL:

Hotels built on the water surface, do not move, docked at ports. Provide exclusive and exotic atmosphere.

BOATELS:

Floating hotels takes passengers from one place to another. Provide food and accommodation.

ROTELS:

Accommodation on wheels is known as Rotels. Different types of Rotels are caravans, palace on wheels, and new sleeper buses.

HOSPICES:

Traditional lodges in Europe for Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem. Provide meditation centers & prayer rooms, food, etc. in India we find DHARMSHALA.

GUEST HOUSE:

Small place which provides basic boarding and lodging services.

DORMITORIES:

A room with several beds toilets is at end of the corridor.

HOLIDAY HOMES:

Small accommodation, affiliated to companies meant for the company people to go and stay.

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Tourism

HISTORY OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM:

Throughout history, people have needed to travel for survival, trade, conquests, or curiosity. Very little is known about the prehistoric period between 40000 BC to 10000 BC as no written records exist. But after that period we have records in form of archaeological records, cave paintings, stories, epics, etc.

The growth of tourism can be studied under different periods.

  1. Ancient period or early civilization– Civilization developed around 10000 BC to 8000 BC in the Neolithic period when people began living together and developed settlements. Agriculture developed and trade began amongst various settlements. Travel on animals began and the military movement to acquire land and conquer tribes started. The journey was difficult and dangerous, by land and sea, the journey was slow and time-Consuming. Development during this period – the creation of path, and mode of transportation, growth of cities near main roads.
  2. Imperial or early empire period– tourism was established during the early empires of Egypt, Persia, Rome, China, and India .transport was made available, and Development of the road network, highways, roads, and paths started in this period. Development of accommodation (sarais and inns), check post, and chowkis started in this period. People used to travel with servants, kitchen utensils, tents, and animals.
  • SILK ROUTE– silk route was a major route for caravans carrying silk and other luxury items from china to India and the Middle East which began as early as 2000BC. The Kushan emperors opened and protected the silk roads. Movement of people from east to west to exchange silk, muslin, porcelain, tea, rice, and spices started. Indian ships left Indian ports bound for the Roman Empire. Navigation was done by stars. Rome sent back gold coins &wines. New ideas and customs were exchanged.
  1. Pilgrimage or Tirth yatra For religion, belief, release from war and sickness, earn god’s grace, Fair and rituals. Advantages- knowledge of geography, adventure, spiritual and social approval, cultural enhanced group and family tour.
  2. European renaissance – it was a great cultural movement that began in Italy in early 1300 AD and spread to England, France, Germany, Spain, and other countries in the late 1400s and ended about 1600 AD. During middle age, the church was a patron of arts. The renaissance or rebirth was a period of change and the revival of Greek and Roman culture. Painters and sculptors during this period tried to give their works a spiritual quality and unrealistic human figures which represented religious ideas.
  • Grand tour – in Western Europe, tours were conducted by wealthy social elite class for culture, Education and pleasure, literacy, health, science, and business. Impact of the grand tour- increase in the knowledge of art, intellectual, craft, and skills, social and economic status.
  1. Transition period or industrial era– the industrial revolution, which occurred in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, was a period when major changes occurred in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation. It started in Britain and then spread throughout the world. The first product of the industrial revolution to affect tourism was the development of the steam engine. Later change in technology, increase in income, rapid industrialization, and professionals in the market helped the tourism to grow fast. British era brought much development like railways, education, adventure and leisure travel, dak bungalows, and circuit houses.
  2. Modern period– development in railways, airlines, the formation of the ministry of tourism in the year 1990, Government policies like LTC, etc., development of central bodies like ITDC, SITA, TAAI, and IATO.

EVOLUTION AND GROWTH OF HOTELS IN INDIA

  • In 1964 Government of India set up three corporations
  • India Tourism and Hotel Corporation
  • India Tourism Corporation Ltd.
  • India Tourism and Transport corporation
  • In 1966 Government of India merged these corporations and formed a new corporation INDIA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (ITDC)
  • Many hotels opened in India like Oberoi (1934), Welcome group (1975), Taj(1903), Sinclairs, Leela, Park Hotel, J.P. Hotels, and many more.

Tourism is the temporary movement of people to destination outside the place where they normally live and work and include the activities they indulge in at the destination as well as all facilities and service specially created to meet their needs. And the people who move away from their usual place of work and stay for more than 24hours and less than a year are known as tourists.

The tourism market is divided into two categories:

  1. Leisure tourist– recreation activities or enjoyment
  2. Business tourist – the main motive for travel is to make a profit or expanding their business

Tourism is of two types:

  1. Domestic tourism: residents of a country traveling within the borders of that country
  2. International tourism: traveling from one country to another
  • Inbound tourism – this refers to incoming tourist or tourist entering a country
  • Outbound tourism- this refers to outgoing tourist or tourist leaving their country of origin to travel to another country.

FEW TERMS:

Visitor: any person visiting a country other than his usual place of residence for any other reason than following an occupation from within the country visited.

Excursionist: a day visitor who stays for less than 24 hours at a place. Excursionists do not stay overnight.

Tourist: a temporary visitor to a place. People who leave their usual place of residence and work to have a change from their usual routine for a short time, stay at the place overnight i.e. for at least 24 hours.

Traveler: a person who travels from one place to another, irrespective of the purpose of travel or duration of stay.

Transit visitor: a traveler who passes through a country without breaking a journey other than taking connecting transport.

Destination: the place where the tourist travel for leisure or business-related activities. There can be no tourism without a destination. For a destination to develop and sustain itself, the following five A’s are (classic five ‘A’s of tourism) are:

  1. Accessibility – refers to transport and transport infrastructure.
  2. Accommodation –refers to a place to stay
  3. Amenities- facilities available at the destination which help in meeting the needs of the tourist.
  4. Attraction- reason for travel( natural, human-made, cultural, social)
  5. Activities- things to do.
  6. Affordability- the cost of the tour

TOURISM IS MADE UP OF FIVE ELEMENTS:

  • Traveler generating region
  • Transit region
  • Tourist destination region
  • Tourist
  • Tourism industry

All the above are influenced by the external environment.

POSITIVE IMPACT OF TOURISM

  • Economic impact
    • Employment generator
    • Increase tax revenue
    • Foreign exchange earner
    • Rural development promoter
    • Improved infrastructure
    • Increase in gross domestic products
    • Multiplier effect
  • Environmental impact
    • Some tourist destinations like parks, wildlife, and bird sanctuaries help in maintaining the ecological balance
    • Historical sites are preserved and restored
    • Endangered species protected
    • Forest are protected
    • Create awareness about the environment
  • Sociocultural impact
    • Develops entrepreneurship
    • Provides jobs
    • Increase income
    • Improve the quality of life
    • Preserves heritage
    • Revive art and craft
    • Helps national and international integration develops facilities and infrastructure
    • Revives vernacular languages
  • Demonstration effect
    • Welcoming Attitude
    • Dressing and fashion
  • Cultural impact
    • Helps in the preservation of culture
    • Rejuvenation of art forms folk dance and music retain authenticity
  • Political impact

NEGATIVE IMPACT OF TOURISM

  • Economic impact
  • Leakage- it refers to the process through which tourism receipts are withdrawn or leave the destination’s country. this happens when money is spent on buying goods and services from another economy.
  • Environmental impact
  • Environmental pollution
  • Depletion of natural resources
  • Land erosion
  • Loss of natural resources
  • Traffic congestion
  • Garbage trails
  • Sociocultural impact
  • Rural-urban migration
  • Disruption of lifestyle
  • Narcotics and drug abuse
  • Decreased use of local language
  • Health issues like HIV, AIDS, flu, and virus
  • Prostitution
  • Alcoholism
  • Crime- pickpocketing, mugging, rape, murder
  • Money laundering
  • Disrespect to local customs
  • Demonstration effect
  • Local or host irritation
  • Hostility from locals
  • Cultural impact
  • Social norms and customs are effected
  • Cultural arrogance
  • Dilution of culture
  • Political impact
  • Leads to Terrorism

CONSTITUENTS OF THE TOURISM INDUSTRY:

  1. MAIN CONSTITUENTS:
  • Transport- means the means of travel. It includes
    • Airways
    • Roadways
    • Railways
    • Waterways
    • Parking areas
    • Airports
    • Runways
    • Bus stands
  • Hotel- tourist needs a place to stay. We will discuss the same in chapter II
  • Food and beverage- tourist require catering services which include
    • Non-commercial outlets or welfare outlets- like institutes, etc.
    • Commercial outlets-
      • Residential- includes hotels, guest houses, resorts, etc.
      • Non-residential- include specialty or fine dining restaurants, fast food restaurants, coffee shops, bars and pubs, lounges, vending machines, dhabas, etc.
    • Entertainment or attractions:
      • Natural attraction- hills, beaches
      • Built attraction- resorts, amusement or theme parks
      • Business attraction- MICE
      • Relatives and friends-
      • Historic attraction- heritage building, monuments, palaces
      • Cultural and ethnic attraction- custom, traditions, fairs, festivals
      • Special events- commonwealth games, Olympic games
      • Medical attraction-spa, sanatorium
      • Religious attraction- pilgrim
      • Government attraction– white house, parliament
    • Retail and shopping- shopping malls, markets, hawkers, etc.
    • Travel agents and tour operators- travel agents act as intermediaries serving between the various services providers and travel consumers. Travel agencies perform a number of functions such as provide travel information, planning itineraries, liaising with vendors, costing, ticketing, reservation, documentation, settlement of the account, MICE, foreign exchange.

Tour operators are different from a travel agent. Tour operator assembles all the different components of travel and sells it as a package tour, to and from a destination, with complete ground arrangements.

  • Guides and escort- guides is a travel industry representative; a public relations representative for his city, region, and country- as well as an educator, an entertainer, and a public speaker. There are many types of guide location guide, monument guide, museum guide, etc.

Escort has to accompany the tourist right from the commencement till the end of the tour. An escort facilitates check-in facilities, customs clearance; accompanies the tour during sight-seeing, shopping, etc.

  • Tourism organization- organizations are formed when groups of people come together for a common purpose. Tourism organizations play an important role in marketing destinations and managing the tourism industry. There are many levels of organization international, national, state, and local levels. World Tourism Organisation is an international organization founded in the year 1975. Few  tourism organizations  are:
    • Airlines- IATA
    • Travel agencies- UFTAA, TAAI, ASTA
    • Tour operators- IATO
    • Hotels and restaurants- FHRAI
    • Transport- IRU, IUR
  1. SECONDARY CONSTITUENTS:
  • Shops and state emporium
  • Art and craft
  • Local transport
  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Communication services- include public phones, mobiles, internet café, videoconferencing, television, radio, telex, fax
  • Performing artist
  • Publisher
  • Advertisers
  • Hawkers and coolies
  • Agents and brokers
  • Essential services- electricity, waste disposal, sewage, health facilities, security

TRAVEL MOTIVATORS: factors that create a desire in people to travel. Motivators are the internal psychological influences affecting individual choices.

  • Physical motivators-these are related to
    • Physical rest
    • Relaxation
    • Sports
    • health
  • Cultural motivators- these are related to
    • Culture
    • Lifestyle
    • folk art
    • music and dance
    • spiritual
  • Interpersonal-these are related to meeting
    • friends
    • Family
    • New people
  • Status and prestige motivators-
    • Personal esteem
    • Status symbol
    • Education
    • Pursuit of hobbies
    • Business and work

DIFFERENT FORMS AND TYPES OF TOURISM:

  • LEISURE OR HOLIDAY- change in climate and place, enjoy the scenery, de-stress, rest, and relax. Destination includes hill, beach, and island. Facilities include body massage, steam and sauna bath, yoga, facial, etc.

 ADVENTURE

    • Adventure on a land-includes jungle safari, desert safari, motor racing, wall climbing, trekking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, heli-skiing,
    • Water adventure-includes diving, scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, water scooters, water skiing, windsurfing, white water rafting.
    • Aerial adventure-ballooning, parachuting, skydiving, paragliding, parasailing, gliding, hang gliding, bungee jumping
  • SPORTS-oldest form hunting and skiing. Cricket, white water rafting, football, windsurfing, yachting, river rafting, hover crafting, racing, tennis, soccer, golf
  • RELIGIOUS– is also known as pilgrimage or spiritual tourism.
  • HEALTH– people traveling to improve and rebuild their health and stamina. Include a visit to the spa( Sanus per Aquam)means good health through water, yoga, massage, body scrub, facial, reiki, pain relief.

Health tourism includes the following aspects:

  • Change in climate
  • Alternative therapy- like hot sulfur spring, ayurvedic treatment, mud therapy, naturopathy, the art of living, etc.
  • MEDICAL TOURISM– tourist visiting for medical treatment i.e. Hospitals, technology, doctors, nursing, paramedical staff
  • CULTURAL– lifestyle, dress, jewelry, dance, music, architecture and painting, customs, beliefs, fair, festivals, a religion practiced
  • VFR– interpersonal relationship.
  • BUSINESS AND MICE- the motive for travel is work such as attending meetings, conferences, conventions, trade fairs, selling products, meeting clients. 85% of air travel is business-related, 50% of hotel occupancy is business travel segment. Business traveler looks for the best facilities as expenses are paid by the company. Duration of stay is short, destination business based, a frequent and experienced traveler, more demanding.

MICE- MEETING, INCENTIVES, and CONVENTIONS AND EXHIBITION:  not the mainstream business travel but it is the subset of business travel. It includes small meetings, training courses, seminars, workshops. MICE traveler expects a high level of comfort, hassle-free movement and value for money.

INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIRED FOR MICE

  1. Accommodation
  2. Convention center
  • Transportation
  1. Convention and meeting planners
  2. Exhibition grounds and halls
  3. Food and beverage service
  • Trained human resource
  • Communication aids
  1. Internet accessibility
  2. Security services
  3. Sightseeing
  • entertainment

Areas that require special planning for MICE are:

  • venues- enough space for international delegations to hold meeting, conventions, and exhibition
  • transportation- both air and ground
  • accommodation- near meeting, conference, exhibition venues and should be equipped with fax, laptop, internet connection, telex, video conference facilities
  • other support services- catering, shopping, entertainment

ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF TOURISM-

Alternative tourists are different from regular tourists. Alternative tourism establishes a cordial rapport between visitors and the local hosts. These tourists normally avoid the services that are used by the tourists such as accommodation, transport, and other services. They prefer to use and share the services used by the local people. Their main motive is to experience and get an insight into their way of living. It is regarded as a key to sustainable development. While mass tourism can have a negative impact on a  destination, alternative tourism promotes a balanced growth form, more in line with local environmental and socio-cultural concerns.

  • SPECIAL INTEREST TOURISM:
  • ECOTOURISM
  • RURAL TOURISM
  • ETHNIC TOURISM
  • SENIOR CITIZEN TOURISM
  • WILDLIFE TOURISM
  • SPACE TOURISM
  • SPECIAL INTEREST TOURISM: special interest tourism can be defined as people traveling to a particular destination with the purpose of fulfilling a particular interest, which can be pursued only at that destination. Product ranges from historical, culinary, archaeological, and other interest such as golf, fishing, and underwater adventure e.g. Tal Mahal, Red Fort, Special interest tourism in India can include visiting Mughal architecture, gardens of India, textile centers of India, gourmet tours, tribal areas, safari, car racing, commonwealth games, world cup, etc.
  • ECOTOURISM: it is often defined as sustainable nature-based tourism. Ecotourism is usually used to describe tourism activities that are conducted in harmony with nature. This tourism fosters environmental principles with an emphasis on visiting and observing natural areas, it controls the impact of tourism on the environment.

“Ecotourism can be defined as purposeful travel to natural areas to understand the culture and natural history of the environment, taking care not to alter the integrity of the ecosystem, while producing economic opportunities that make the conservation of natural resources financially beneficial to the local citizens.”

Large movement of people (carrying capacity) and unplanned tourism destroy forests, consume firewood, create pollution, and destroy flora and fauna diversity.  It upset wildlife, the ecosystem, and the local people’s lifestyle. Ecotourism reduces all these ill-effects of tourism.

  • RURAL TOURISM: tourists nowadays are shifting their interest in travel to new destinations to explore and experience the destination and have first-hand knowledge of the local people, cuisine, and actual way of living. Of late rural tourism has gained importance in India through its ‘INCREDIBLE India’ promotional campaign.  In India states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, M.P., U.P., etc. have heritage hotels, forts, Havelis, and palaces which are converted into hotels and are giving the true taste of that state to the tourist.
  • ETHNIC TOURISM: ethnic tourism involves travel for the purpose of observing the cultural expression of lifestyle and customs of the indigenous and exotic people. This type of tourism focus directly on the local people. The tourist visits the local homes, observe and participate in their traditional rituals, ceremonies, dances, festivals, etc.
  • SENIOR CITIZEN TOURISM: This is a new emerging trend in tourism meant for senior citizens or old people. Tours packages are specially designed for elderly people. This type of tourism is common in the west.
  • WILDLIFE TOURISM: wildlife is a term used to refer to both the floral and faunal components of a natural environment. Enthusiast’s young and natural lovers, adventure seekers are exploring this new area of tourism. This is a comparatively new form of tourism, becoming popular in the last decade. Wildlife tourism is also considering important elements in wildlife protection. Luxury safaris, wildlife backpacking, zoos, aquaria, and safari parks all form part of the wildlife tourism industry.
  • SPACE TOURISM: space tourism is the term broadly applied to the concept of paying customers traveling beyond the earth’s atmosphere. New and not so popular type of tourism.

HOSPITALITY

The generous and cordial provision of service to a guest is known as hospitality. The dictionary defines hospitality as the reception and entertainment of guests with liberality and goodwill. Hospitality organization provides accommodation, food and beverage, transportation, entertainment, and health care. The hospitality industry mainly consists of all those businesses and institutions that provide food and lodging – such as hotels, motels, lodges, inns, cruise ships, restaurants, and the institutions of public services. In a broad sense, any group engaged in tourism, entertainment, transportation, and lodging are covered under hospitality. The hospitality industry is part of the travel and tourism industry. The hospitality industry is now both profit-making as well as non-profit making. For example, commercial hotels are profit-making while canteens, cafeterias, and religious catering outlets are non-profit makings. The hospitality industry provides services that are need-oriented and the services vary with the needs. For example, the need of a business executive shall be a business hotel while the needs of a student are generally a youth hostel.

ORIGIN– Early travelers were either warriors or traders or people in search of knowledge and there were no hotels for them to stay when they were away from their homes. They had to pitch tents for their accommodation and carry their food for the entire duration of their journey. It was not always possible for everyone and so traders and people in search of knowledge had to place a high value on hospitality and sometimes traded their merchandise for lodging. Innkeeping can be said to be the first commercial enterprise and hospitality one of the first services for which money was exchanged. Inns of the Biblical times offered only a cot or a bench in the corner. Guests stayed in large communal rooms with no sanitation and privacy. The rates were, of course, reasonable. The company was rough. Travelers shared the same quarters with their horses and animals. These accommodations slowly and gradually improved.

HOTEL

A hotel is a public place that provides boarding and lodging to customers on payment. Common law states that “A hotel is a place where all who conduct themselves properly, and who being able to pay for their entertainment, are received if there be accommodation for them,” and who without any stipulated engagement as to the duration of their stay or as to the rate of compensation, are while there, supplied at a reasonable cost with their meals, lodging, and other services and attention as are necessarily incident to the use as a temporary home.

A hotel may be called an establishment where the primary business is to provide to the general public lodging facilities and which may also furnish one or more of the various services such as food, beverage, laundry, uniformed services, etc. As per the dictionary, the term ‘Hotel’ refers to a house of entertainment of travelers’

Inn: Public houses in early times in England were called inns. Normally the term inn was meant for the finer establishments catering to the nobilities and clergy. In France, these were called Hotelleries.

Tavern: The house frequented by common man was known as taverns. The important establishments in France were called Cabarets.

Hostel: Derived from the word host and was used very late. The head of the hostel was called Hostler in French, while in England he was called Inn-keeper.

HOTEL SERVICES

The present-day modern concept of the hotel is not just a place to provide accommodation, food, and beverage, but is like a city within a city and offering to its guests every possible facility, accommodation, service, and convenience., such as rooms, restaurants, bars, cocktail lounges, banqueting facilities, convention, and conference facilities, telephone, radio and television, laundry, valets, cigars and cigarettes, book shops, banking, parking, florists, chemist, gymnasium, beauty parlor, travel agents business center, etc. Apart from these a vast shopping arcade providing various items like jewelry, men’s wear, ladies’ wear, toys, books newsstands, and magazines, etc. are also provided. In addition to these, personal services like babysitting, private detectives, planning of tour itineraries, railway/air booking, and accommodation, booking in other hotels may also be provided along with Clubs and night club, health club, foreign exchange, swimming pool, library, car rental, and chauffeurs, cinema and theatre ticketing, etc. All these facilities may occasionally be without additional charges to the guest but generally specifically charged.

GUEST

A person who purchases the services of the hotel and pays for them. Hotel guests may be defined as “people who have, who are, or who will be availing the services of a hotel, for a particular period in order to satisfy their demand for accommodation, food, and beverage or entertainment, for which they are willing to pay”.

Initially, a guest comes to a hotel for its good name and reputation about service and food, the second time he comes to confirm his experiences and further keeps on coming for its comfortable and emphatic atmosphere and becomes a regular customer because by now he is pretty confident about the hotel.

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Source: The Decor Circle
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