x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Abu Dhabi tourism staff service to be improved

Abu Dhabi is aiming to improve customer service standards in the capital's hotels and tourist attractions.

Abu Dhabi is aiming to improve customer service standards in the capital's hotels and tourist attractions after a Government study identified the need for specialist training. The four-month study, commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), included sending undercover people into hotels and attractions to see how staffthey dealt with customers, and conducting interview exercises for their staff. The study found that a number of staff who deal directly with the public lacked product knowledge and needed further training in service and sales techniques. Most employees in the capital's tourism industry are not from Abu Dhabi and often have limited knowledge of its cultural aspects. The ADTA also identified a need for a number of staff to improve their English and Arabic. The authority said it had started to "plug Abu Dhabi's tourism industry training-needs gaps" by launching a series of workshops for the industry this month. "The majority of areas under scrutiny achieved very healthy ratings for their premises, their housekeeping services and the politeness and courteousness of their staff," said Nasser al Reyami, the director of tourism standards at the ADTA. "Our joint task now is to get all other areas aligned to these particularly high standards." Raising service standards is seen to be of great importance as Abu Dhabi aims to expand grow its tourism industry to attract 2.3 million hotel guests a year by 2012, from current levels of about 1.5 million guests. Customer service, which is often neglected in by hotel classifications systems, plays an important role in Abu Dhabi's strict new ratings system system, which haves strict standards and is designed to raise the bar considerably for all hotels in the capital. "This study has helped us identify the gaps which can make all the difference in delivering excellence and gaining a competitive edge," said Mr al Reyami. "We want to work with the industry to ensure that together we evolve into a destination of distinction, where our promise of a traveller's welcome is delivered on across all levels." James Young, the general manager at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, said: "The ADTA programme and seminars are a welcome addition to what we offer to our team," said James Young, the general manager at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi. "Training is an integral part of ensuring consistent levels of customer service and we work in close partnership with the ADTA on initiatives such as this, which are important to continue to position Abu Dhabi as a preferred international destination." The ADTA said it would hold stage two seminars in November focused on training educating the industry to cater for on appealing to the North Asian and Chinese markets, as it tries to attract more tourists from these regions. rbundhun@thenational.ae