Friday, May 25, 2012

Front Office 1st Semster



INTRODUCTION TO TOURISM, HOSPITALITY AND HOTEL INDUSTRY



·         TOURISM AND ITS IMPORTANCE
·         HOSPITALITY - ORIGIN, EVOLUTION AND GROWTH
·         BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO HOTEL’S CORE AREAS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FRONT OFFICE

TOURISM AND ITS IMPORTANCE

Tourism is recognized as a global industry today. It is sizeable & complex industry, in the last 40 years tourism has been taken a rapid and continuous growth. The multifaceted nature of tourism & its various links with the manufacturing and retail sectors & its numerous seasonal or unofficial businesses make it extremely difficult to asses its market size.

  An integrated amalgamation of those businesses and agencies which totally or in part provide the means of transport, goods, services, and other facilities for travel outside of the home community for any purpose not related to day to day activity.

 INTER-RELATIONSHIP WITHIN THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY

 An important unique feature of the travel and tourism industry is the inter relationships of the various parts of the whole. A trip may consists of a flight, car rental, stay in a hotel, several restaurant meals and some gift purchases.

WHY PEOPLE TRAVEL?

1.               Recreation                                    12. Adventure
2.               Culture                                         13. Heritage
3.               Business                                       14. Attractions
4.               Visiting friends & relatives (VFR)
5.               Health
6.        Enlightment, education
7.        Beauty, nature, national parks
8.        Religion
9.        Indulgence
10.      Festivals
11.      Shopping

 The following table shows the businesses that make up travel and tourism industry.

Accommodation        Travel Agencies                  Luggage

    Hotels                    Tour Companies                 Construction/Real Estate
    Motels                  
    Hostels                   Hotel/Restaurant Suppliers  Distillers/Brewers/Bottles
    Caravans
    Camping                Taxi Services                     Auto/Aircraft Manufacturers

Transportation         Cameras And Film               Motor Fuel Producers
  
    Airlines                  Maps, Travel Books              Clothing Manufacturers
    Cruise Ships
    Rail                       Shopping Malls                    Communication Networks
    Car Rental
    Bus Coaches         Service Stations                  Education/Training Institutes
                                                                      
Attractions               Sporting Events                     Recreation/Sporting
                                                                                 Equipment                                                            
                                                                           
    Man Made             Banking Services                Food Producers
    Natural
                                Reservation Systems           Advertising Media
Food And Beverage
                                Auto Clubs                         Cartographers/Printers
   Restaurants
   Fast Food                                                       Souvenirs    
   Wine Merchants                                  

Tourism goals

The tourism goals set will be tempered by the constraints already discussed. Typical tourism goals are:

Economic: to optimize their contribution of tourism and recreation to economic prosperity, full employment, regional economic development, and improved international balance of payments.

Consumer: to make opportunity for and the benefits of travel and recreation universally accessible to residents and visitors
·               To contribute to the personal growth and education of the population and encourage their appreciation of the geography, history and ethnic diversity of the nation
·               To encourage free and welcome entry of the foreigners, while balancing       this goal with the need to monitor persons and goods entering the country with laws protecting public health

Environment and natural resource:

To protect and preserve the historical and cultural foundations of a nation and as a living part of community life and development, and to ensure an opportunity to the future generations to enjoy the rich heritage of a nation.

·                     To ensure the compatibility of tourism recreational and activity policies with other national interest in energy development and conservation, environmental protection and judicial use of natural resources.

Government operations: to harmonize to a maximum extent possible all federal activities supporting tourism and recreation :to support the needs of the general public and private sectors of the industries involved with tourism and recreation: to take a leadership role of those concerned with tourism, recreation, and national heritage conservation.

   International tourism

Different people will define international tourism in different ways. One way to look at international tourism is in the context of domestic tourism. In the simplest sense, domestic tourism refers to people traveling within their own country. In contrast international tourism refers to people traveling out side their own country.
But international tourism is much more than simply traveling beyond the borders of ones own country. International tourism encompasses all the services required for the tourist-including those in the country of origin, the destination and the stops made en route. Companies other than airlines or cruise lines are involved. International tourism integrates many public, private, and government agencies including airport authorities, border and custom agencies harbors and ports, and public transaction systems. In addition both public and private attractions including lodging operations have a stake in satisfying the volume of demand of international tourism.

International tourism provides employment for millions of people around the world. As tourism expands on a global scale .so too will the number of people employed in tourism related businesses. International travels benefits the nations through cultural, social and economic exchange. Such contacts also foster the exchange of ideas which can result in economic activity and diversification. This is especially the case when tourism introduces new technologies, encourages foreign investment, and results in selective relocation of business personnel.

All things considered, tourism is not without cost. It can degrade the environment as well as dislocate and disrupt societies and cultures. The development of facilities, transportation systems, and amenities to service tourists can be very destructive to the environment. Scenic views and wonders can be destroyed, and the quality of air and water can be degraded. International tourism can also disrupt local norms and cultures by importing new manners of dress, codes of conduct and social interactions that are often very different from those of native culture.

HOSPITALITY - ORIGIN, EVOLUTION AND GROWTH

The hotel industry is undergoing many changes the demand for hotels is affected as the economic fortune of countries, region, cities rise and fall. Each year companies and hotel change ownership and new companies & brands enter the market place. Brand names that are popular today may not be there in the next decade. For example: the popular ITDC chain of hotels has been diluted over time with change of ownership and new brands taking over.

Origin

No one knows exactly when the first inns opened: but certainly the first inns were private homes that offered accommodations to travelers. By 500 BC ancient cites in Greece, Egypt, China, had a number of establishment that offered food and drink as well as beds to travelers. In France, large building that had rooms to let by the day, week, or longer were called ‘hotel garni’. The word ‘hotel’ was first used in England in about 1760 by the Fifth Duke of Devonshire to name a lodging establishment in London.
In 1794 the first hotel in the United States opened – the 70-room city hotel in Broadway in New York City. Over the decades, names like, Cesar Ritz (France), Ellsworth Statler, Conrad Hilton, Ernest Henderson (of the Sheraton chain), Kemmons Wilson (of the Holiday Inn chain) are anonymous with the growth and development of the hotel industry.

While development were in full swing in the new world, India still under the British rule was ignorant to all these progress but for one man. JRD Tata founded the first hotel in India with the opening of ‘Taj Mahal’, Mumbai in 1904. MS Oberoi on the other hand launched the Oberoi chain under East India Company and in independent India chains such as ITC Windsor Sheraton, the Leela group, ITDC, The Park, The Grand, Clarke group; Mahindra hospitality pioneered the hospitality sector.

Evolution & growth

In 1960’s the development of new locations fuelled the expansion of the hotel industry. Prior to that time hotels were built primarily in city center and resort areas as commerce and industry spread from urban center’s to rural suburban and airport locations, hotel companies like Hilton, Sheraton, Marriot recognized opportunities to develop their brands in these new location.

In the 1970’s intense competition among established and emerging hotel chains created a need for chains to better differentiate their product. Some did this with architecture and décor. For example, the atrium lobby became the Hyatt’s signature of its regency brand. Hotel company adopts distinctive motifs- Ritz Carlton décor was traditions, Hyatt’s was contemporary.

Pampering the hotel guests was the strategy of the 1980’s, room and bathroom amenities specialties soaps, sewing kits, ,mouth wash, shampoo, and a variety of other personal care items could be found in most hotels what ever the rate category. Ofcourse the higher rate hotel provided the most elaborate amenity package. Some first class and luxury hotels set aside one or more guest floors as club area. For higher rate club guest could enjoy a number of special services including an exclusive club desk for check in and checkout and complimentary, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and before bed snacks served in the clubs private lounge. Exercise room even complete spa facilities were added to many hotels to satisfy travelers growing interest in physical fitness. Hotels with predominantly business traveler markets added business centre to provide secretarial and translating services as well as computer and fax facilities.

In the early 90’s the concept of quality service as a differentiating factor came to the forth. Hotel companies implemented quality assurance program and referred to the quality of service in their advertising, as the 1990’s progresses, the industry emphasized innovation and new business strategies. Segmentation was one of the most important strategies implemented by many hotel chains to increase their market share.

At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures changed lodgings competitive environment globally. In India for example, The Oberoi tower in Mumbai tied up with Hilton International.

BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO HOTEL’S CORE AREAS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FRONT OFFICE

In order to attract and serve the guests and make a reasonable profit, hotels are organized into functional areas or divisions based on the services it provides. Within each division, there are specialized functions. The rooms division handles reservations, check-ins and check-out activities, housekeeping tasks, bell desk and telecommunication services. The food and beverage department takes care of restaurants & rooms food services, lounge service and so on.

The divisions in a hotel can be categorized as revenue centers or cost centers. Revenue centers generate income for the hotel through the sale of services or products to guests. Cost centers, also known as support centers, do not generate revenue directly; instead, they support the proper functioning of revenue centers.
      Revenue Centers                                   Cost Centers
          Rooms                                                 Marketing
          Food & beverage                                   Engineering
          Communications                                   Accounting
          Fitness & Recreation facilities                 Human resources
          Travel desk/space rental Security           Stores/Purchase
          Laundry                                            Security






style='margin-left:27.0pt;text-align:center'>INTRODUCTION TO TOURISM, HOSPITALITY AND HOTEL INDUSTRY

·         TOURISM AND ITS IMPORTANCE
·         HOSPITALITY - ORIGIN, EVOLUTION AND GROWTH
·         BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO HOTEL’S CORE AREAS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FRONT OFFICE

TOURISM AND ITS IMPORTANCE

Tourism is recognized as a global industry today. It is sizeable & complex industry, in the last 40 years tourism has been taken a rapid and continuous growth. The multifaceted nature of tourism & its various links with the manufacturing and retail sectors & its numerous seasonal or unofficial businesses make it extremely difficult to asses its market size.

  An integrated amalgamation of those businesses and agencies which totally or in part provide the means of transport, goods, services, and other facilities for travel outside of the home community for any purpose not related to day to day activity.

 INTER-RELATIONSHIP WITHIN THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY

 An important unique feature of the travel and tourism industry is the inter relationships of the various parts of the whole. A trip may consists of a flight, car rental, stay in a hotel, several restaurant meals and some gift purchases.

WHY PEOPLE TRAVEL?

1.               Recreation                                    12. Adventure
2.               Culture                                         13. Heritage
3.               Business                                       14. Attractions
4.               Visiting friends & relatives (VFR)
5.               Health
6.        Enlightment, education
7.        Beauty, nature, national parks
8.        Religion
9.        Indulgence
10.      Festivals
11.      Shopping

 The following table shows the businesses that make up travel and tourism industry.

Accommodation        Travel Agencies                  Luggage

    Hotels                    Tour Companies                 Construction/Real Estate
    Motels                  
    Hostels                   Hotel/Restaurant Suppliers  Distillers/Brewers/Bottles
    Caravans
    Camping                Taxi Services                     Auto/Aircraft Manufacturers

Transportation         Cameras And Film               Motor Fuel Producers
  
    Airlines                  Maps, Travel Books              Clothing Manufacturers
    Cruise Ships
    Rail                       Shopping Malls                    Communication Networks
    Car Rental
    Bus Coaches         Service Stations                  Education/Training Institutes
                                                                      
Attractions               Sporting Events                     Recreation/Sporting
                                                                                 Equipment                                                            
                                                                           
    Man Made             Banking Services                Food Producers
    Natural
                                Reservation Systems           Advertising Media
Food And Beverage
                                Auto Clubs                         Cartographers/Printers
   Restaurants
   Fast Food                                                       Souvenirs    
   Wine Merchants                                  

Tourism goals

The tourism goals set will be tempered by the constraints already discussed. Typical tourism goals are:

Economic: to optimize their contribution of tourism and recreation to economic prosperity, full employment, regional economic development, and improved international balance of payments.

Consumer: to make opportunity for and the benefits of travel and recreation universally accessible to residents and visitors
·               To contribute to the personal growth and education of the population and encourage their appreciation of the geography, history and ethnic diversity of the nation
·               To encourage free and welcome entry of the foreigners, while balancing       this goal with the need to monitor persons and goods entering the country with laws protecting public health

Environment and natural resource:

To protect and preserve the historical and cultural foundations of a nation and as a living part of community life and development, and to ensure an opportunity to the future generations to enjoy the rich heritage of a nation.

·                     To ensure the compatibility of tourism recreational and activity policies with other national interest in energy development and conservation, environmental protection and judicial use of natural resources.

Government operations: to harmonize to a maximum extent possible all federal activities supporting tourism and recreation :to support the needs of the general public and private sectors of the industries involved with tourism and recreation: to take a leadership role of those concerned with tourism, recreation, and national heritage conservation.

   International tourism

Different people will define international tourism in different ways. One way to look at international tourism is in the context of domestic tourism. In the simplest sense, domestic tourism refers to people traveling within their own country. In contrast international tourism refers to people traveling out side their own country.
But international tourism is much more than simply traveling beyond the borders of ones own country. International tourism encompasses all the services required for the tourist-including those in the country of origin, the destination and the stops made en route. Companies other than airlines or cruise lines are involved. International tourism integrates many public, private, and government agencies including airport authorities, border and custom agencies harbors and ports, and public transaction systems. In addition both public and private attractions including lodging operations have a stake in satisfying the volume of demand of international tourism.

International tourism provides employment for millions of people around the world. As tourism expands on a global scale .so too will the number of people employed in tourism related businesses. International travels benefits the nations through cultural, social and economic exchange. Such contacts also foster the exchange of ideas which can result in economic activity and diversification. This is especially the case when tourism introduces new technologies, encourages foreign investment, and results in selective relocation of business personnel.

All things considered, tourism is not without cost. It can degrade the environment as well as dislocate and disrupt societies and cultures. The development of facilities, transportation systems, and amenities to service tourists can be very destructive to the environment. Scenic views and wonders can be destroyed, and the quality of air and water can be degraded. International tourism can also disrupt local norms and cultures by importing new manners of dress, codes of conduct and social interactions that are often very different from those of native culture.


HOSPITALITY - ORIGIN, EVOLUTION AND GROWTH

The hotel industry is undergoing many changes the demand for hotels is affected as the economic fortune of countries, region, cities rise and fall. Each year companies and hotel change ownership and new companies & brands enter the market place. Brand names that are popular today may not be there in the next decade. For example: the popular ITDC chain of hotels has been diluted over time with change of ownership and new brands taking over.

Origin

No one knows exactly when the first inns opened: but certainly the first inns were private homes that offered accommodations to travelers. By 500 BC ancient cites in Greece, Egypt, China, had a number of establishment that offered food and drink as well as beds to travelers. In France, large building that had rooms to let by the day, week, or longer were called ‘hotel garni’. The word ‘hotel’ was first used in England in about 1760 by the Fifth Duke of Devonshire to name a lodging establishment in London.
In 1794 the first hotel in the United States opened – the 70-room city hotel in Broadway in New York City. Over the decades, names like, Cesar Ritz (France), Ellsworth Statler, Conrad Hilton, Ernest Henderson (of the Sheraton chain), Kemmons Wilson (of the Holiday Inn chain) are anonymous with the growth and development of the hotel industry.

While development were in full swing in the new world, India still under the British rule was ignorant to all these progress but for one man. JRD Tata founded the first hotel in India with the opening of ‘Taj Mahal’, Mumbai in 1904. MS Oberoi on the other hand launched the Oberoi chain under East India Company and in independent India chains such as ITC Windsor Sheraton, the Leela group, ITDC, The Park, The Grand, Clarke group; Mahindra hospitality pioneered the hospitality sector.

Evolution & growth

In 1960’s the development of new locations fuelled the expansion of the hotel industry. Prior to that time hotels were built primarily in city center and resort areas as commerce and industry spread from urban center’s to rural suburban and airport locations, hotel companies like Hilton, Sheraton, Marriot recognized opportunities to develop their brands in these new location.

In the 1970’s intense competition among established and emerging hotel chains created a need for chains to better differentiate their product. Some did this with architecture and décor. For example, the atrium lobby became the Hyatt’s signature of its regency brand. Hotel company adopts distinctive motifs- Ritz Carlton décor was traditions, Hyatt’s was contemporary.

Pampering the hotel guests was the strategy of the 1980’s, room and bathroom amenities specialties soaps, sewing kits, ,mouth wash, shampoo, and a variety of other personal care items could be found in most hotels what ever the rate category. Ofcourse the higher rate hotel provided the most elaborate amenity package. Some first class and luxury hotels set aside one or more guest floors as club area. For higher rate club guest could enjoy a number of special services including an exclusive club desk for check in and checkout and complimentary, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and before bed snacks served in the clubs private lounge. Exercise room even complete spa facilities were added to many hotels to satisfy travelers growing interest in physical fitness. Hotels with predominantly business traveler markets added business centre to provide secretarial and translating services as well as computer and fax facilities.

In the early 90’s the concept of quality service as a differentiating factor came to the forth. Hotel companies implemented quality assurance program and referred to the quality of service in their advertising, as the 1990’s progresses, the industry emphasized innovation and new business strategies. Segmentation was one of the most important strategies implemented by many hotel chains to increase their market share.

At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures changed lodgings competitive environment globally. In India for example, The Oberoi tower in Mumbai tied up with Hilton International.

BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO HOTEL’S CORE AREAS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FRONT OFFICE

In order to attract and serve the guests and make a reasonable profit, hotels are organized into functional areas or divisions based on the services it provides. Within each division, there are specialized functions. The rooms division handles reservations, check-ins and check-out activities, housekeeping tasks, bell desk and telecommunication services. The food and beverage department takes care of restaurants & rooms food services, lounge service and so on.

The divisions in a hotel can be categorized as revenue centers or cost centers. Revenue centers generate income for the hotel through the sale of services or products to guests. Cost centers, also known as support centers, do not generate revenue directly; instead, they support the proper functioning of revenue centers.
      Revenue Centers                                   Cost Centers
          Rooms                                                 Marketing
          Food & beverage                                   Engineering
          Communications                                   Accounting
          Fitness & Recreation facilities                 Human resources
          Travel desk/space rental Security           Stores/Purchase
          Laundry                                            Security








FRONT OFFICE HIERARCHY OF A LARGE HOTEL




ACCOMMODATIONS MANAGER


FRONT OFFICE MANAGER
¯  (SECY)
ASSISTANT FRONT OFFICE MANAGER




RECEPTION     RESERVATION     LOBBY        CASHIER   TELEPHONE 
MANAGER             MANAGER     MANAGER                    OPERATOR


   INFORMATION    RESERVATION                 ASSISTANT 
   ASSISTANT         ASSISTANT                     CASHIER    
 
SR RECEPTIONIST  STENOGRAPHER               CLERKS


                                                      AIRPORT REPRESENTATIVE        RECEPTIONIST     GUEST RELATION
                           EXECUTIVE        BELL CAPTAIN
TRAINEES
                                                 UNIFORM STAFF
                               
            
   DOORMAN                  BELLBOYS                CHAUFFEURS

                         BUSINESS CENTER
EXECUTIVE



Types of rooms

Single: meant for one person with a single bed of size 39”*81”.

Double: meant for two persons & size of the double bed in the room is 57”*81

Twin bedded: room having two identical single beds size of the bed is same as the single bed.

Triple room: meant for 3 persons

Quad room: for 4 persons

Cabana: a room on the beach or by the pool separated from the main house and sometimes furnished as sleeping room.

Adjoining room: are rooms next to each other, but not necessarily communicating

Corner room: an outside room on the corner of the building having two exposures

Hospitality: for entertainment

Studio room; a bed approximately 36”*75” without headboard or footboard that serves a s a sofa during the day is called studio bed the room with a studio bed is called a studio room.


Penthouse: situated on the terrace of the hotel generally meant for retired or rich guests.

Interconnecting rooms: two rooms having an interconnecting door

Duplex: Two floors of rooms or a split level of rooms connected through an internal staircase. One room could be used as a bedroom while the other is generally used as a living room.

Efficiency: accommodations that include kitchen facilities

Parlor: a sitting or living room not used as bedroom

Salon: the European designation for parlor

Siberia: jargon for a very undesirable room, one sold only after the house fills and then only after the guest has been alerted to its location and condition

Hollywood twin bedded room: 2 single beds with a single head board meant for 2 persons.

Twin double room: two double beds meant for 4 persons i.e. families.

Single-suite: a set of two or more rooms well furnished

Suite: expensive room having good furnishing and a lot of amenities normally with a living room, bedrooms and kitchenette.

Junior suite: one large room sometime with half partition furnished as both parlor and bed room

Lanai: Hawaiian term for veranda, a room with a porch or balcony usually overlooking garden or water.

Physically challenged room: it is the room meant for handicapped person.




FRONT OFFICE SYSTEMS


Before the 1920s, technology in the front office was almost non-existent and manual operations were the rule in lodging operations.
The semi-automated operations through the early 1970s laid much of the groundwork for the development of the automated operations in the late 1970s.The following overviews, based on the phase of the traditional guest cycle, represent the evolution of front office record-keeping systems.

NON-AUTOMATED SYSTEM

    Non-automated front office record keeping systems relied solely on handwritten forms.

Pre arrival activities: reservations agents entered requests into a loose-leaf notebook or onto index cards. Non-automated hotels typically accepted reservations for no more than six months into the future and they were unlikely to commit space beyond that time. Reservation confirmation,pre-registrationn activities and occupancy forecasts were not common in non-automated hotels since they were very laborious to develop and maintain. Reservation information may also have been placed on a density chart or graph to illustrate future room availabilities and help managers to identify high and low room demand periods. A density board was usually setup as a matrix, with days of the month for rows and number of available rooms for columns. As rooms were blocked or booked , the matrix cells that that corresponded to the dates of stay and number of rooms were coloured in. These coloured squares reflect the density or concentration of rooms reserved.

Arrival activities: Upon arrival, guests were asked to sign a page in a registration book or complete a registration card. Room assignments were made using a manual card replacement technique involving room rack, and sometimes, colour coded flags indicating the housekeeping status for each room for the property. Room rack is an array of metal file pockets that displayed guest and room status information in room number order. The registration card is often time-stamped during check-in and placed in the room rack to indicate occupancy.

Occupancy activities: Multiple copy registration slips, which may have been part of the registration card, allowed copies of the guest’s personal data to be distributed to the room rack, switch-board operator and uniformed service personnel. The original registration card often doubled as a guest account folio. Revenue outlets send sent documentation (vouchers) of charges to the front desk for posting to guest folios. The revenue outlets also maintained a sales record of all the charged transaction so that guest account postings can be cross-checked as part of the night audit routine. Although adding machines may have been used to facilitate accounting procedures, monitoring guest activities within a manual process is often repetitive, cumbersome and tedious.

Departure activities: At check-out, guests settle their accounts and returned their room keys; the cashier notified the house-keeping department of departures. Registration card or rack-slips were removed from the room rack and marked to indicate departure. The registration card or rack slip was then filed in a cardboard box and served as a guest history file. If the registration card was time-stamped at check-in ,it was also time stamped at check-out.

SEMI-AUTOMATED SYSTEM

A semi-automated system or electro-mechanical, front office system depends on both handwritten and machine produced forms. Advantages of a semi-automated system over a non-automated system included automatically generated and easy to read documents that detailed the steps of a transaction.t6hese documents represented what is known as an audit trail. The disadvantages of semi-automated equipment included the complexities of operating and controlling devices that were not integrated with other systems and that were subject to frequent maintenance problems.

Pre-arrival activities: Guests making reservations would call a national reservations network or contact the hotel directly. When reservation requests grew beyond the front desk’s ability to handle them efficiently, many hotels created a reservation department. Pre-registration activities included preparation of registration cards (Reg-cards), guest folios and information slips. Room assignments were usually made based on room rack status, as in a non-automated process. As in non-automated hotels, semi-automated properties usually opted to maintain a manual reservation density board.

Arrival activities: When guests with reservations arrived at the hotel, they simply verified the previously recorded registration information and signed a preprinted registration card. Walk-in guests generally completed a multiple-copy registration card. Copies were distributed to the room rack, the switch board operator and the information rack.

Occupancy activities: The use of semi-automated systems did not significantly reduce the paperwork needed to chart the guest cycle. Vouchers were used to communicate charge purchases to the front desk, and revenue outlets relied on sales record entries to prove transactions. Mechanical and electronic cash registers and front office posting machines were used to process many of the records formerly processed by hand. The use of this equipment enabled the front office to handle guest accounting transactions more accurately and rapidly. A night audit procedure based on posting machine records was used to verify account entries and balances.

Departure activities: A more through audit routine, made possible by a semi-automated system, led to faster and smoother guest check-outs. Front desk agents experienced fewer discrepancies in guest accounts and were able to efficiently reconcile guest accounts. They were also able to relay room status information to house-keeping much more quickly than they could in a non-automated system. Registration cards were collected and placed in the property’s guest history file for future reference.


FULLY-AUTOMATED SYSTEM OR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Front office record keeping in a computer based property management system is mostly the result of programmed routines. Computer systems designed for use in the hospitality industry were first introduced in early 1970s,but were not considered viable until the late 1970s.During 1980s,computer equipments became less expensive, more compact and easier to operate. Intellect data system (IDS), Fidelio is some of the popular PMS used in our industry.

Pre-arrival activities: The reservation software of an in-house PMS may directly interface with a central Reservation system(CRS) or Global distribution System (GDS) and automatically quote rates and reserve rooms according to a predetermined pattern. The reservation software may also automatically generate letters of confirmation, produce request for guest deposits, handle pre-registration activities and establish credit status of the traveler if a credit card or debit card
Number has been provided at the time the reservation is made. Electronic folios can be established and pre-registration transactions can be processed for guests with confirmed reservations. A reservation software package may also generate an expected arrivals list, occupancy and revenue forecasts and a variety of informative reports.

Arrival activities: Guest information collected during reservation process is automatically transferred from the computer’s reservation record to the front office software of the PMS. For walk-in guests, guest information is entered in to the front office system by a front desk agent. The agent may then present a computer prepared registration card to the guest for verification and signature. The installation of on-line credit card authorization terminals helps front desk personnel to receive timely credit card approval. Registration data, stored electronically I the system, can be retrieved whenever necessary, thereby making a room rack unnecessary. Electronic guest folios are also maintained and accessed through the system’s application software.

Self check-in
In addition, some properties offer self check-in/check-out terminals. In fact these terminals have been in existence for many years, but only recently has the cost of the technology been significantly reduced. In addition, the acceptance of automated teller machines (ATM)used by most banks and self check-in terminals at airports has had a direct impact on guests, who are willing to accept self-help equipments in lodging establishments.
          To use one of these terminals, the guest inserts a credit card, debit card or smart card in to the machine, which reads encoded card data and communicates with the property management system. The central system locates the guest’s reservation and returns the information to the terminal. The guest is asked to verify name, departure date, and rate and room type on the display. Some system allow changes to this information and some require that the guest go to the front desk for amendment (changes).If the information is correct, the system assigns an available room within the PMS and dispenses a rooming slip to different departments and issues guest room keys. Advanced systems provide electronic room keys that are individually created when the guest checks in.
                                         Some world class service hotels may not use self check-in/check out terminals because they want to keep personal contact between the hotel staff and guest. Self check-in terminals are being accepted in large convention hotels where long check-in check out lines can diminish the guest’s experience. These terminals are used to reduce the long lines and get guests to their rooms faster. One additional advantage of this system is in economy and mid-range hotels are that they may eliminate the need for a night shift at the front desk.

Occupancy activities: With a front office system, on-automated room racks and electromechanical or electro posting machines are replaced by computer terminals throughout the front office. As guests charge purchases at revenue outlets, the charged amounts are electronically transferred to the front office computer from the POS (point of sale) location. These e charges are then automatically posted to the proper e4lectronic guest folio. Instantaneous postings, simultaneous guest accounts and departmental entries and continuous trial balances free the front office auditor to spend time on auditing, rather than focusing primarily on guest account balancing.

Departure activities: A Neatly printed electronic folio helps assure the guest that the statement is complete and accurate. Depending on the method of settlement, the computer system may automatically post the transaction to appropriate back office accounts. For a guest account that requires third-party billing, the system is capable of producing a bill to be sent to the guest or credit granting agency. Once the guest’s account is settled and the postings are considered complete, departed guest information is used to create an electronic record in the hotel’s guest history file.


                         xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


            CLASSIFICATION OF HOTELS





CLASSIFICATION ON THE BASIS OF OWNERSHIP

Hotels can be categorized by ownership. There are six different ways hotels can be owned and operated

  • Independently owned and operated
  • Independently owned but leased to an operator
  • Owned by a single entity or group that has hired a hotel management company to operate the property.
  • Owned and operated by a chain
  • Owned by an independent investor or group and operated by a chain
  • Owned by an individual group and operated as a franchise of a chain

An independent hotel is not connected with any established hotel company and is owned by individual or group investors. A management company contracts with hotel owners to operate their hotels. The management company may or may not have any of its own funds invested. It is usually paid by a combination of fees plus a share of revenues and profits. A hotel chain is a group of affiliated hotels.

Example: The Capitol, Bangalore, The Imperial, New Delhi

A franchise is the authorization granted by a hotel chain to an individual hotel to use the chain’s trade mark, operating systems, and reservation system in return for a percentage of hotel revenues plus certain other fees, such as advertising fees. A franchiser is the party granting the franchise: holiday inn worldwide is an example of franchisor. A franchisee is the party granted the franchise. Franchising in the hospitality industry is a concept that allows a company to expand more rapidly by using other people’s money than if it had to acquire its own financing. the company or franchisor gets certain rights: for example to use its trademark, signs, proven operating systems, operating procedures and possible reservation system ,marketing know-how, purchasing discounts and so on for a fee. In return the franchisee agrees by signing the franchise contract to operate the restaurant, hotel and so on in accordance with the guidelines set by the franchisor. Franchising is a way of doing business that benefits both the franchisor –who wants to expand the business rapidly- and the franchisee that has a financial backing but lacks specific expertise and recognition.
The benefits to the franchisee are as follows:

·         A set of plans and specifications from which to build
·         National advertising
·         Centralized reservation system
·         Participation in volume discount in purchasing furnishings, fixtures and equipment

   The benefits to the franchise company are as follows:

  • Increased market share/recognition
  • Up front fees
Example: Le Meridien, Holiday inn

There are also referral systems. Referral systems tend to be made up of independent properties or small chains that have grouped together for common marketing purpose. Marketing consortiums or referral associations offer similar benefits to properties such as franchises, albeit at a lower cost. Hotels and motels with a referral association share a centralized reservation system and a common image, logo as well as management training and continuing training programs.
A referral group consists of a number of properties, independently owned and operated, that join under a common identity while maintaining their autonomy. They do this for one or more of the following reasons.
  • To operate a reservation system.
  • To publish joint brochures
  • To share advertising
  • To refer business to each other
  • To refer trained staff to each other
  • To take advantage of joint purchasing power
  • To maintain sales offices in major traffic centers


The referral associations offer some of the same benefits as franchises, but at much lower costs. a referral association may provide the independent hotel with increased visibility, marketing and buying power, without the necessity of giving up control or ownership. Hotel and motels within a referral association share a CRS and a common image, logo, or advertising slogan. The referral association publishes a membership directory, usually given away free to interested guest. In addition the referral association may offer group buying discounts to members, as well as management training and continuing education programs, hotels pay initial fee to join the referral association and an annual membership fee. Generally this fee is much less than that paid to become a member of the hotel franchise system.

Common Reservation Systems, standardized quality, joint advertising and a recognizable logo were still are the limited objetives of the most referral groups.

Chain hotels

Hotel chains account for a large percentage of the world’s hotel room inventory. Some of the world’s best hotel rooms are managed by chains.
Example: TAJ GROUP OF HOTELS, ITC CHAIN OF HOTELS

HOTELS CLASSIFED BY PRICE

Three broad categories of hotels distinguished by price are:

Limited service: economy and budget

There are many limited service hotels in the market place today. They typically offer guest rooms only. There is little or no public space. And usually no or very limited food and beverage facilities. Room rates are correspondingly lowest for this type of lodging property.
Example: Kamat Group, Comfort Inn chain
Mid price (full service and limited service)

Mid scale hotels offer a wide range of facilities and amenities. Usually there will be in comparison to budget/economy properties, more public space and meeting/function space with at least one food and beverage facility.

Example: The Chancery, Bangalore, Taj Indi one, Bangalore

Luxury hotels

At the top of the price category are the luxury hotels. They feature upscale décor and furnishings that may be unique to the particular hotel. These hotels offer a full range of amenities and services. Such hotels would typically have a concierge service and several food and beverage operations, including fine dining facilities, banquet area and full room service. Different types of recreational facilities are also available.
Example: Taj Westend, Bangalore, The Leela Palace, Bangalore


HOTELS CLASSIFIED BASED ON SIZE

Size or the number of guest rooms in a property gives us one common way to categorize hotels. Hotels may be broadly grouped as under:

·         Under 150 rooms
·         150 to 299 rooms
·         300 to 600 rooms
·         More than 600 rooms

BASED ON LOCATION & CLIENTELE

Commercial Hotel
These hotels are located in downtown or business district–areas that are convenient and of interest to their target markets. And cater primarily to the business traveler. These are also referred to as transient hotels because of the relatively short length of guest stays compared with other hotels. Such of these hotels have full service facilities with coffee shop as well as other restaurants, bar or cocktail lounge, room service, laundry, valet service, business center, gift shop and health club facilities.
Example: Taj Residency & The Oberoi Bangalore,
RESORTS

Resort hotels are generally found in destinations that are desirable vacation spots because of their climate, scenery, recreational attractions, or historic interest. Mountains and seashore are favourite locales. Resorts provide a comprehensive array of recreational amenities, depending on the geographic location. A Variety of f &b outlets is available, ranging from informal to fine-dining restaurants. Usually hotels located at hill stations, beaches, lakes, backwater, forest belt, etc are termed as resorts.

Example: Fort Aguada Beach Resort, Goa, The Leela Beach, Goa

AIRPORT HOTEL

Many airport hotels enjoy a very high occupancy because of the large number or travelers arriving and departing from major airports. The guest mix in airport hotels consists of business, group, and leisure travelers. Passengers of late flights may stay over at the airport hotel while others wait while waiting for the flights.
Airport hotels are generally full service. To care for the needs of guests who may still feel as if they are different time zones, room service and restaurant timing may be extended, even offered twenty four hours. Convenient locations, economical prices, easy and less costly transportation costs to and from the airport are some reasons why airport hotels are becoming intelligent choices for the business travelers.

Example: The Trident, Chennai: The Centaur, New Delhi

MOTEL

Freeway hotels and motels came into prominence in the 1950s and 1960s.the travelers needed a convenient place to stay that was reasonably priced with few frills. Guest could simply drive up, park outside the office, register, and rent a room .over the years more facilities were added: lounges, restaurants, pools, game rooms etc.

Example: The Guest line, Bangalore, Suman Motels


FLOATEL

Floating Accommodation & other allied hospitality services situated on water bodies.

Example: Cruise liners, shikaras (house boats)

ROTEL

Hotel facilities available on wheels such as a train, caravan.

Example: Palace on wheels



STAR CLASSIFICATION

ONE STAR

  

Typically smaller hotels managed by the proprietor. The hotel is often has a more personal atmosphere. It is usually located near affordable attractions, major intersections and convenient to public transportation. Furnishings and facilities are clean but basic. Most will not a restaurant on site but are usually within walking distance to some good low priced dining.

·         The hotel should have at least 10 lettable bed rooms of which at least 25% should have attached bathrooms with a bathroom for every four of the remaining rooms.
·         At least 25% of the bathrooms should have the western style WCs.
·         Receptions counter with a telephone and a telephone for the use of guests and visitors.

Example: Hotel Ajanta, Bangalore

   TWO STAR
    
 


Usually denotes independent and name brand hotel chains with a reputation for offering consistent quality amenities. The hotel is usually small to medium sized and conveniently located to moderately priced attractions. The facilities typically include telephones and TVs in the bed room some hotels offer limited restaurant service. Somehow room service and bell service are not usually provided.

·         The hotel should have at least 10 lettable bed rooms of which at least 75% should have attached bathrooms and showers with a bathroom for every four of the remaining rooms.
·         25% of the rooms should have AC.
·         Receptions counter with a telephone
·         Telephone on each floor if the rooms do not have a telephone each.
·         Supervisory staff must understand English.
·         Laundry and dry cleaning services.

Example: woodlands Hotel, Bangalore, Kamath Yatrinivas, Bangalore

   THREE STAR

  Typically these hotels offer spacious accommodations that include well appointed rooms, decorated lobbies. Bell desk services are generally not available. They are often located near major express ways or business areas, convenient to shopping and moderate to high priced attractions. The hotels usually feature medium sized restaurants they typically offer breakfast through dinner. Room service availability may vary. Valet parking, fitness centers, pools are often provided.

·         The hotel should have at least 20 lettable bed rooms of which all should have attached bathrooms and tubs/showers.
·         At least 50% of the rooms should be AC.
·         Reception and information counter, book stall, travel agency, safe deposit etc.
·         Telephone in each room and one for the use of visitors.
·         Good quality Indian and continental food
·         Senior staff must possess a good knowledge of English.

Example: Museum Inn, Bangalore, Angsana Oasis Spa & Resort, Bangalore

  FOUR STAR

Mostly large formal hotels with reception areas, front desk service, and bell desk service. The hotels are usually located near shopping, dining, and other major attractions. The level of service is well above average. And the rooms are well lit and well furnished. Restaurant dining is usually available and is having more than one choice. Some properties will offer continental breakfast and /or happy hour delicacies. Room service is usually available during most hours. Valet parking, concierge service, fitness centers, pools are often provided.

·         Hotel must have 25 lettable rooms and all with attaché bathrooms with shower cubicle/bath tub
·         Should have a recognized travel agency, book stall, safe deposit facilities, left luggage etc.

Example: Taj Gateway, Bangalore, Hotel Janpath, New Delhi, St. Marks Hotel, Bangalore.

 FIVESTAR






These are hotels that offer only the highest level of accommodations and services. The properties offer a high degree of personal service. Although most five star hotels are large properties, sometimes the small independent (non-chain) property offers an elegant intimacy that can not be achieved in larger setting. The hotel locations can vary from the exclusive location of suburban area to heart of the city. The hotel lobbies are sumptuous, the rooms complete with stylish furnishings, and high quality linen. The amenities often include DVD players, Jacuzzis and more. The hotels feature up to three restaurants with exquisite menus. Room service is also available 24 hours a day. Fitness centers, valet parking are typically available. A concierge is also available to assist you.

·         Architectural features and general construction of the hotel building should be distinctive
·         Adequate parking space for cars.
·         Hotel must have at least 25 lettable; rooms with modern shower chambers.
·         All guest areas should be air-conditioned
·         Adequate number of efficient lifts.
24 hours reception, cash and information counter

Example: The Oberoi, Bangalore, The Grand Maratha Sheraton, Mumbai,Taj Bengal and The Park, Kolkota, The Inter-Continenetal Park Royal, New Delhi, ITC hotel Maurya Sheraton & towers, New Delhi

OTHER HOTEL CATEGORIES

CASINO HOTELS

Casino hotels and resorts differ significantly in their operation compared to most hotels. In casino hotels and resorts, gaming operations are the major revenue centers. Most of these are in Las Vegas. The casino industry is now coming into the financial main stream to the point that as a significant segment of the entertainment industry especially in the US. Casino hotels are leaning towards making their hotels into “family friendly”

They have baby sitters available at any point of the day, children’s attractions ranging from parks to circuses and museums, and kid’s menus in the restaurant. for adults in addition to gaming health spas for relaxation, dance clubs, and dazzling shows are available.

Example:  Las Vegas Hilton Hotel & Casino, MGM Grand, Flaming Hilton in Las Vegas
Heritage Hotels
The concept of Heritage Hotels was introduced with a view to convert the old palaces, havelies, castles, forts and residences built prior to 1950 into accommodation units as these traditional structures reflect the ambience and lifestyle of the bygone era and are immensely popular with the tourists. The scheme is aimed at ensuring that such properties, landmarks of our heritage are not lost due to decay but become financially viable properties providing additional room capacity for the tourists.
The Heritage Hotels have also been sub-classified in the following categories:
Heritage
:
This category covers hotels in residences / havelies / hunting lodges / castles / forts / palaces built prior to 1950 but after 1935.
Heritage Classic
:
This category covers hotels in residences / havelies / Hunting lodges / castles / forts / places built prior to 1935 but after 1920.
Heritage Grand
:
This category covers hotels in residences / havelies / hunting lodges / castles / forts / palaces built prior to 1920.
Till the end of March 2002, as many as 69 properties have been classified as Heritage Hotels providing a room capacity of 1810 rooms. Guidelines have also been formulated for conversion of heritage properties into heritage hotels and their approval at project planning stage.
Example: Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior, Lalitha Mahal Palace, Mysore.
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, Lake Pichola hotel, Udaipur

TIME SHARES/CONDOMINIUMS

Time-sharing, more recently known as vacation ownership, involves a “type of shared ownership in which the buyer purchases the right to uses a residential dwelling unit for a portion of the year or more periods. Each condominium or unit of a vacation ownership resort is divided into intervals, typically by the week and sold separately. The condominiums are priced according to a variety of factors including unit size, resort amenities, location and season. Purchasers of vacation ownership properties can typically travel to other destinations through exchange programs provided through the timeshare resort developers. Condominium hotels are also called condo hotels or even condotels. Vacation ownership offers consumers the opportunity to purchase fully furnished vacation accommodations in a variety of forms, such as weekly intervals or points in points based systems, for a percentage of the cost of the full ownership. For a one time purchase price and payment of a yearly maintenance fee, purchasers own their vacation either in perpetuity or for a predetermined number of years.

During the 1960s and 1970s, when inflation was a serious problem in many countries, time sharing-which first started in the French Alps in the 1960s-seemed like an idea whose time had come. 

Example: RCI, Club Mahindra, Country Club Group

BOUTIQUE HOTELS

Boutique hotels span all price segments and are noticeably different in look and feel from traditional lodging properties interior design styles in boutique hotels range from postmodern to homey. Soft attributes, such and image and atmosphere, typically distinguish these properties. Traveler’s desires to be trendy, affluent and artistic tie into boutique themes.

Example: The Park, Bangalore, The Park, Kolkota

ALL-SUITE HOTELS

All suite hotels became known as a separate category in the 1970s.guest rooms are larger than the normal hotel room usually containing more than 500 square feet. A living area or parlor is typically separate from the bedroom, with some properties offering kitchen areas. All-suite hotels can be found in urban, sub-urban and even residential locations. The amenities and services can vary widely in this type of hotels.

All suite hotels were originally positioned to attract extended stay travelers, but they roved popular with other kinds of travelers as well. An all suite hotel gave guest more private space.

Example: Residence Inns, Fairfield Suites & Town-Place Suites by the Marriot chain.

CONVENTION HOTELS

Convention hotels are large with 500 or more guest rooms. These properties offer extensive meeting and function space, typically including large ball rooms and even exhibition areas. Food and beverage operations tend to be extensive, with several restaurants and lounges, banquet facilities and room service. Convention hotels are often in close proximity to convention centers and other convention hotels, providing facilities for city wide conventions and trade shows. These hotels have many banquet areas within and around the hotel complex. These hotels have a high percentage of double occupancies. Convention hotels may also offer a concierge floor to cater to individual guest needs. Round the clock room service, an in house laundry, a business center, a travel desk, and an airport shuttle service are other amenities found in convention hotels.

Example:


CONFERENCE HOTELS/CENTERS

Although all hotels with meeting facilities compete for conferences there are specialized hotels that almost exclusively book conferences, executive meetings, and training seminars. While they provide most of the facilities found at the conventional hotels, conference centers are built to provide living and conference facilities without any outside distractions that might detract from hotels held in ordinary hotels.

ALTERNATIVE LODGING PROPERTIES:

Besides hotels, these are several other types of lodging establishments which compete for business and leisure travelers. recreational vehicle parks, campgrounds, and mobile home parks are somewhat like hotels since they involve the rental of space for overnight accommodations

Another form of alternative lodging is the corporate lodging business very commonly known as serviced apartments. These are designed for guests wishing to stay for longer periods, some times up to six months or longer. While hotels are usually designed for guests staying from one to ten nights, corporate lodging is better suited to guests with very long stay requirements. Instead of using hotels or hotel buildings, corporate lodging usually provides fully furnished apartments for guests. The service provider rents the apartment, provides furniture and house wares, and provides housekeeping and other services to the guests. Corporate lodging is usually cost competitive with hotels, since apartments can be rented and furnished by the owner or the service provide for a lower daily cost than that incurred by hotels.

Example: Stay and Work, Bangalore,

Another example of alternative lodging is the cruise ship industry. Cruise ships have become major competition for resorts. They offer many amenities offered similarly at island resorts, while having the unique advantage of moving from island to island as part of the experience. Modern cruise ships offer all the advantages of resort hotels. they are equipped with many modern convenience such as ship to shore telephones, satellite television, fitness centers, movie theaters, multiple dining and cocktail lounge facilities, spas, casinos, shopping, and of course novelty to waking up in different location at every morning. Some cruise ships now even offer conference facilities for corporate or association meetings.

Example: Carnival Cruise liners, Caribbean Cruise liners, Norwegian cruise liners.



ORGANISATION




1. The Reservations

More than half of the hotel guests make reservations. These individuals arrange the hotel accommodations through sales representatives, travel agencies, GDS (global distribution systems) by way of telephone calls, fax, e-mail, Internet and other communication devices. The reservation department is responsible for receiving and processing reservation requests for future reservations. Although procedure may differ from hotel to hotel with regard to reservations handling, maintenance, processing and confirmation, the purpose is still the same: to accommodate the guest request in a manner that maximizes the hotel occupancy and room revenue.

Reservations systems can be programmed to provide reservations agents with information on the types of rooms available (including room size, view, furnishings, amenities and bed size) for a given day. Reservation systems provide a great deal of information, some of which needs to be provided to the guest on request.

Reservations agents should convey the desirability, features, benefits of staying at the hotel, rather than simply processing an accommodation request.

It is essential for the reservations agents to work closely with the sales and marketing department when group reservations are being solicited or processed. On a day today basis the reservation manager should review the reservation system reports and room availability in order to avoid over booking. Over booking can create bad feelings and contribute to lost business in future.  

Many hotels use revenue management techniques in the reservations department. This means using information, historical and current, to enhance a hotel’s ability to carry out a number of common business practices and there by increase both its revenues, and its customer service abilities.

2.The Reception

The typical functions of a reception or registration department is:

  • Greeting guests
  • Registering guests
  • Establishing a method of payment for the guest rooms-credit card, cash or direct billing
  • Assigning guest rooms that are clean vacant.
  • Assigning guest room keys to the guests.
  • Informing guests about their room location and special hotel amenities, facilities, and answering questions about the property and surrounding community
  • Calling bell desk to assist the guests with their luggage, if such service is normally provided

3. Concierge

Concierge may provide custom services to hotel guest. Duties include making reservations or dining, securing tickets for theater and sports events, arranging for transportation, providing information on cultural events, and local attractions. Concierges are known for their resourcefulness. Most successful concierges have established an extensive contact of local, regional and national contacts for a variety of services.   

4. Bell Desk

Many guests arrive at the hotel with heavy luggage or several pieces of luggage. The major functions of the bell desk would be as follows:
                                                                                    
  • Transport guest luggage to and from guest rooms
  • Familiarize guests with the hotel’s facilities and services, safety features as well as guest room and any in room amenities.
  • Provide a secure area for guests requiring a temporary luggage service.
  • Deliver mail, packages, messages and special amenities to guest rooms.
  • Help guest to load and unload their luggage
  • Provide information on hotel services and facilities as well as group functions

5. Communications

The telephone switchboard area or department maintains a complex communications network similar to that of any large company. The telephone department may also refer to as private branch exchange or PBX. Hotel switchboard operators may have responsibilities that extend beyond answering and distributing calls to the appropriate extension. When long distance calls are routed and priced through the telephone switch, charges must be directly posted or relayed to front office for posting to the proper guest account. Switchboard operators may also place wake up calls, monitor automated systems (such as door alarms, fire alarms) and coordinate emergency communications. Operators may also protect guest’s privacy and thereby contributing to the guest security prgramme by not divulging guestroom numbers.


6.The Night Auditor

The night auditor balances the daily financial transactions audit duties include checking and completion of guest and hotel accounts, the balancing of hotel revenue figures, as well as producing statistics and summarizes of hotel revenue for management. This task is generally done during the night shift by the night auditor or by the night shift front office cashier.

7.Front Office Cashier

The cashier has full responsibility for all the cash and settlement of guest account as well as the supervision of work of the front office cashiers. The front office cashier is responsible for the opening, preparation and settlement of resident guest’s accounts. They check to ensure that all charges are added to guest’s bills and that settlements are properly processed. Front office cashier also administer the safe deposit system of the hotel.

8.Mail And Information

A mail and information counter is normally found only in very large hotels and these days been incorporated to reception or concierge. This department is responsible for giving out guest’s keys and deliver guest’s mails and messages. They are also responsible for dealing with guest’s visitors, and providing information on hotel facilities and local attractions.

9. Business Center

This section of the front office provides for all secretarial needs of the guest such as photocopies, faxes, binding, web browsing, etc. A small meeting/conference room may also be the part of the business center for use of the guests. This is manned round the clock and is easily accessible to the guest.

10. Guest Relation Desk

Located in the lobby area strategically placed to ensure that all guest walking into the hotel are seen. The GRE ensures the inspection of rooms, welcome of VVIP,SPATT, HWC, etc. She coordinates specific guest request/query with the concerned department (of the hotel).

11. Travel Desk

    Travel desk is in-charge for all guest needs such as car rental, ticketing and itinerary planning. Hotel may sometime outsource these services to an external agency.




 DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF FRONT OFFICE STAFF

FRONT OFFICE MANAGER

·         To recruit right personnel for front office department in coordination with the human resource department
·         Coordinate to schedule their induction, orientation and training
·         Responsible for reception of all VIPs, IPs, SPATTs, HWCs etc.
·         Handling of major complaints and ensuring rectification of the same.
·         Understanding the latest trends in market with regard to hospitality marketing
·         Responsible to maximize occupancy and ARR
·         Responsible for smooth functioning of the front office department
·         Ensuring proper coordination with other departments
·         Reviews night audit report
·         Reviews incoming reservations for the day
·         Communicates information to all employees on all shifts, concerning reservations, room assignments and room inventory
·         Resolves guest billing discrepancies and complaints
·         Prepares budget with the general manager with the general manager and the controller


ASSISTANT FRONT OFFICE MANAGER

·         Acts as FOM in his/her absence
·         Delegation of duties given by FOM is the job profile of an Assistant manager

LOBBY MANAGER

·         Responsible for all staff working in lobby area (bell desk, concierge, reception)
·         Personally receives all VIPs, IPs, SPATTs, HWCs etc along with FOM
·         At the check in time he ensures that the guest is assigned the room of his choice




PERSONALITY TRAITS OF THE FRONT OFFICE STAFF




PROFESSIONAL MANNERS:
·         Report work on time
·         Has a positive attitude toward the job & the hotel
·         Recognizes positive &negative aspects of the job
·         Possesses maturity in judgments
·         Appears business like
·         Maintain control & composure in difficult situations
CONGENIAL NATURE
·         Smiles readily
·         Exhibits cordial & pleasant behavior
Helpful attitude
·         Is sensitive to the guest needs
·         Possesses a sense of humor
·         Responds and speaks Intelligently
·         Demonstrates creativity
·         Practices good listening skills
FLEXIBILITY
·         Willing and able to accept a different work shift if necessary
·         Understands others points of view
·         Willing to try new ways of doing things innovative
·         Works well with the guests and hotel staff a team player
WELL GROOMED APPEARANCE
·         Dresses appropriately,
·         Meets property standards for the wear and care of uniform, Jewelry and personal grooming








































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