Monday, December 11, 2006

Think Tourism - Create Good First Impression

Good first impression vital

HOTELIERS and all those offering services relevant to the tourism industry play critical roles in creating good first impressions to visiting foreigners, said Malaysian Association of Hotels Perak branch chairman Jimmy Yeo.
Yeo, who is also general manager of Pangkor Island Beach Resort, said all member hotels of the association were gearing up to implement the government’s ‘Think Tourism’ concept.

“We need to look deeper into this, especially with Visit Malaysia Year 2007 around the corner,” he told a press conference at the resort re-cently.

He added that the responsibility was not just in the hands of hoteliers but also on those running businesses affiliated to tourism such as restaurant and transport operators.

“If tourists are happy with their experience here, they will return,” said Yeo, adding that it was vital to get returning tourists and not just one-time visitors.

The recipe, he said, lies predominantly in having a dedicated team of employees, great customer service and paying attention to detail.

“I always believe that caring about the little details will make a big difference.
“For example, we welcome our guests with a drink and a song and our beach is cleaned twice daily,” he said.

Yeo’s recipe has paid off handsome-ly as Pangkor Island Beach Resort was recently voted one of the top 11 beach resorts of in the country this year.

The accolade, awarded to the hotel by Malaysia’s Expatriate Lifestyle magazine, proves that the resort stands proudly amongst some of the country’s most prestigious resorts like Terengganu’s Tanjung Jara.

He said that most guests returned because the staff were so friendly and even kept track of guests’ names.

“I also believe in leadership by example here. If I see a small bit of rubbish on the floor, I will pick it up,” said Yeo.

He added that all his 225-strong member staff are locals.

“It gets difficult if too many foreign workers are hired,” said Yeo.

The Pangkor Island Beach Resort is the island’s largest resort on a 29.5ha land fronted by a 1.2km-long white sandy beach. It has 258 rooms and newly constructed villas strictly for couples and honeymooners. Activities include sailing, jungle trekking, snorkelling and swimming.

Source : STAR

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