Tourism sector players in the Western Kenya circuit have embarked on training for receptionists in the industry in a bid to improve customer care service levels to cater for the growing number of visitors to the region.
The circuit, which has projected increased visits in this high season, hopes to improve service quality and globalise its marketing efforts.
Through a partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, various training institutes and companies interested in digitalising operations of hotels in the circuit, the stakeholders are braced for more earnings this year.
Robinson Anyal, chairman Kisumu Hotel Managers Association, said poor services by some hotel receptionists was pushing away many customers.
“We invited 40 participants drawn from Kisii, Busia, Kisumu and other parts of Western as pilot team for refresher training on how we can improve service delivery in our hotels,” said Mr Anyal.
He said the first formal training revealed that some of the participants had never been taught professional customer care, use of ICT in handling reservations and making referral for visits to tourist attractions.
“We looked at the sensitivity of the reception as the main communication centre for any hotel setting and realised the potential we can raise through the training; the participants recorded an impressive feedback,” he said.
He added that hotel bookings in the western circuit had improved lately with bed occupancy rising to 80 per cent throughout the month.
“With such a good customer base, effective customer care is a priority so as to keep the number of visitors to the circuit growing on a monthly basis,” said Mr Anyal.
Lake Victoria Tourism Association CEO Antony Ochieng welcomed the initiative adding that with growing tourist numbers, the region needed a more powerful human resource to drive the tourism market demands in the circuit.
The circuit is set to document 69 attractions for publishing in the Kenya Gazette as official tourist sites, digitalise hotel reservation systems and identify and map more sites.
Pre-historic sites are also targeted to be put on active use following a commitment by the National Museums of Kenya to preserve these sites.