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A critical review of training and development in the hospitality industry of Athens, 2000-2010 - Essay Example

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A critical review of training and development in the hospitality industry of Athens, 2000-2010
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A critical review of training and development in the hospitality industry of Athens, 2000-2010

What brings someone to spend hard-earned money on enjoyment is a trust that the hospitality provided will be of a high quality. Poor customer service can scuttle major companies, while good CSRs can develop the capital and brand name of an upstart. Training is the process used for the development of knowledge and skills needed to perform the jobs, duties, and tasks found in an organization (Christine Jaszay, Paul Dunk). Education is identified as a key component in ensuring the sustainability of tourism (Chandana Jayawardena). Customer service representation is a skill that is worth billions to companies (Stella Service, 2010). Training all of the aspects of the hospitality industry, such as massage therapy, spa skills, customer service skills and interaction, entertainment abilities such as singing or dancing, cooking, and all of the other essential skills for hospitality industry success is extremely pricey but utterly important to success. The purpose of this study is to examine how many of the 4 star and 5 star hotels in Athens have training programmes for employees or or prospective employees, the way these training programmes are planned and executed, and the difference of the training in international hospitality chains and the individually owned hotels in the area of Athens. Research History and Current State of Athens Hospitality Industry The Athens hospitality industry is currently undergoing a resurgence, but hospitality has always been a key part of Greek culture. Xenia, or hospitality, was an important element of Greek culture in an era where every stranger on the road could be an imminent threat and travel was dangerous, lonely and dreadfully important (Lucas, 2007). “Zeus, the king of the gods, demanded that strangers be treated graciously. Hosts had a religious duty to welcome strangers, and guests had the responsibility to respect hosts. The tight interconnections and mutual respect in this host-guest relationship are reflected in the fact that the word zenos in ancient Greek can mean both “host” and “guest.” The relationship is often symbolized in the Odyssey by the presentation of gifts” (Lucas, 2007). The Odyssey and The Iliad indicate, in general, that “[t]he higher a society's level of hospitality, the more civilized that society is” (Tiedemann, 2009). Penelope could not simply cast out her suitors: Doing so would be grossly impolite, even though she did not wish to marry. Paris' seizing of Helen from Menelaus was an unbelievable violation of xenia, and would secure Zeus' support for the Greeks against the Trojans. And the nightmarish treatment of the Odyssey by Circe was not least a violation of xenia. Thus, there are millennia-old cultural traditions that predispose Athens to value hospitality and providing the best service to those who visit. This is an important cultural asset that should be emphasized in literature, training and promotion. The Athenian hospitality market was transformed after the Olympic games. The hospitality industry was far from weak prior to the Olympic games, but certainly political instability and the Papadopolous junta were problematic to Greece's international image as well as Greek attitudes towards foreigners, especially Americans (Karalis, 2009). Prior to the Olympic games, Athens had 252 hotels; four new hotels were created in 2005 and four closed in 2006, bringing the total back to 252, which matches the larger Hellenic Chamber trend as well (Ikkos and Pashidalis, 2007). But it wasn't so much in the number of hotels but the quality of hotels that the post-Olympic period was different from the pre-Olympic one. The number of five star hotels grew by 3 from 2003 to 2007, the number of four ... Read More
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