insights

Hospitality skills: the art of welcoming people to help them make the most of their “trip to Italy”

The big event “Hospitality skills. The art of welcoming” on 28 October in Milan, promoted by Amicucci Formazione, Idea Management and apropositodime.com in partnership with Host – FIERA Milano, gave voice to those people who are successful hosts in various sectors and with different organisations and structures. The training aspect of the event was based on experiential testimony, in a “Ted Talks” style people talked about their experiences of excellent hospitality and appropriate behaviour for a &laquohospitality system&raquo and, therefore, a &laquohospitable country&raquo. It was based on a questionnaire that had more than 2000 answers, designed by the promoting companies (Idea Management, Amicucci Formazione and apropositodime.com) and technically created by Intesa San Paolo’s training centre, and 18 interventions-narratives on the theme of hospitality. After the amazing and impressive presentation on Spanish best practice for the Compostela Trail, brilliantly presented by Bocconi University, various successful small hoteliers, pleasure-boating entrepreneurs, and managers of companies such as Costa Crociere, Arena Verona, Trasporti Della Sardegna, FAI, Manpower (placement agency for EXPO2015), Intesa San Paolo, Nuova Simonelli, Sadler, Quandoo, Confguide, Museo Egizio, Explora (Destination Management agency for EXPO2015) took the stage. The relationship between people and the experience of that relationship comes into play in the dynamics of hospitality: efficient, attractive facilities cannot replace, per se, the concept of virtuous hospitality, which must be consistently improved and innovated, while still being aware of the characteristic &laquosigns&raquo that distinguish places, structures and experiences. The hospitality system is a tangible, concrete and measurable value, which is determined by the sum of a person’s experiences during a trip. Every visitor draws his or her map of positive and negative values. Among the constellation of hospitality skills, the following shine more brightly: loyalty, creation of a service network, engagement (with the person at the centre of communication), listening to guests’ needs in order to reassure them and help them, improvement of the infrastructure and services that are part of a core business, permanent innovation and quality. We need to attract, care, convince others that Italy offers the best possible experience, whether they are tourists, businessmen, foreigners or locals. We need to listen to and take care of all the stakeholders they might never visit our country, but they will read about it, learn about it and communicate their ideas about Italy. These are undoubtedly the best practices for hospitality that we need to develop. Therefore, good hospitality, our “what we do”, starts with the knowledge of our being the main stars in the hospitality system, so that we can take an important step forward: we must press for a cultural leap that promotes people from being mere &laquovisitors&raquo to the more noble role of &laquoclients&raquo that is, those who place expectations on us, to which we in turn must give a warm welcome. Melissa Vallesi

Scritto da: Melissa Vallesi il 14 November 2014

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