"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux

AIRDA NewsDesk

Message of the Month

February 2019

Hello and welcome to my Message of the Month.

This story of mine has to do with feedback, customer feedback at a hotel, resort, or maybe a home-stay location. (That little slip of paper where you have tick-boxes on service levels.) Some of these have smileys with different expressions - ranging from happy, to hopping mad.

And there are times when, out of sheer reflex action linked to a particular incident, we tend to award “minus” points to the resort, on ALL other counts. Though this is completely understandable, I would suggest that you take the broader, more considerate view.

Here are some insights to the other side of the story >

* People working in food service are probably the most over-worked people at a hotel. Though they work within a shift system, many of them (especially the seniors) work long, painstaking hours. They not only have to plan and roll out multiple meal sessions for the day, they need to look into room service orders that come in practically round-the-clock.

So, on the one hand they need to look at quality, freshness and taste - on the other, they need to consider how to make things visually interesting on your plate. F&B work days are really overflowing with important tasks (including food requests from guests with food allergies and health issues,) so do forgive them if there’s something small that is out of place, or overlooked. 

* People working in housekeeping are under the same kind of pressure – maybe more because their work is labor intensive. (Try and get one double-bed refreshed with a heavy 8-inch mattress and you’ll see what I mean.)

Their work is tedious because there could be a hundred things to clean and spruce up in your room (that you may not even notice). Making sure your room is refreshed and welcoming; the right soaps, shampoos, accessories; fresh, clean towels; and the right kind of top-ups in terms of light refreshments in your room. Now that’s a lot of work that happens almost on the quiet – practically invisibly.

The work of other departments such as customer support, reception, guest relations and other support areas are just as “close to the customer” - though not as tedious as the profiles described above. As a collective, the entire team and work force gets together to make your stay as comfortable as possible. These people are not just trained to do a great job, they have it in them to live up to your expectations – every single day.

I do understand that there will be occasions (remember Murphy’s Law) when something might slip up a little, and I’m not sure “slip up” is the right phrase here. And if it does happen, I am sure the people concerned will go to great lengths to set things right.

So all I am saying here is this: be patient, be understanding, be considerate, be kind. Just put yourself in their shoes for half-a-day and you’ll see what I mean. Because the “hospitality business” gets more than its share of comments and criticism. For some inexplicable reason this industry seems to be more accountable on customer delivery and service.

If we expect smiling faces, prompt and courteous service from people, we need to return the favor. With a nice, wide smile, if possible.

And I will thank you from the bottom of the heart for that.

B. S. Rathor

Advisor & Member - Executive Committee

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