SITHIND002 Source and use information on hospitality industry
In this unit you will learn how to;
Source and use industry information
Source and use compliance information
Source and use information on hospitality technology
Update personal and organisational knowledge of the hospitality industry
The hospitality industry is one of the largest and most diverse in the world; each year, hotel schools take in greater numbers of students, showing that the industry is continuing to grow.
Why are hospitality industries so popular?
The short answer is that they are vitally important to any country’s economy:
Any destination that could serve as a tourist attraction needs to have a hospitality industry. Tourists need food and accommodation, so restaurants, guesthouses and hotels are a necessity to make their stay enjoyable.
Information centres run by various governments’ tourism industries are essential in making any tourist’s experience a happy one. Providing visitors with enough information on the people and sites inhabiting the place they are visiting, as well as directing them towards a specific place they may be looking for and answering any questions they may have is absolutely essential. Without centres such as these, tourists could get frustrated and gain a negative impression of the area.
The amount of revenue generated from tourism and hospitality every year is significant. Hardly any country would be able to survive financially without input from the tourism industry, with some places reaping up to 90% of their GDP from tourism (which, naturally, cannot function without the hospitality industry).
The level of job creation that comes with a successful tourism and hospitality industry is substantial. Concierges, chefs, hotel management staff and waitresses all need to be hired in order to ensure that every guest or patron is taken care of. Thousands of jobs are created annually as a direct result of this industry.
Knowledge is an important aspect of any job. It is vital to the success of the organisation you work for, and for your own sense of professionalism, to gain as much knowledge about the things that affect your role.
Information you need to be familiar with in your role, could include, but is not limited to:
In depth knowledge of your product or service
In depth knowledge of your organisation and the industry
Effect of your business on local amenities and facilities
The role of the local community in your industry
How your sector of the industry interacts with other sectors within that industry
Local area knowledge
Current and emerging technology and trends and so on
Source and use relevant industry information
Satisfying customer needs must, first, begin with providing them with information necessary for them to make informed decisions about how to best meet their requirements.
In today’s world of almost limitless information, however, where do you begin to know where and how to access it?
Identifying Sources of Information
In order to promote your product or service effectively you will need to be knowledgeable about it. There is an almost never ending array of not only different products and services to choose from, but a great many companies offering them. Nobody expects you to know everything there is to know about all of these products and companies. Much of the product knowledge you attain, you will build up over time.
In the meantime, however, important sources of general product knowledge include:
Discussions with colleagues and customers – No knowledge is better than personal knowledge. If a colleague or customer has recently tried a product or service they are an excellent source of information about it.
Lifestyle programs on television – With the advent of cable TV and lifestyle programs – the world has become a much smaller place. There are a large variety of television shows that provide in depth information about a large range of hospitality products and services
Internet – The internet is an almost limitless source of information about the industry. It is also fairly simple to find information here. Care should be taken when researching information on the internet as not all sites are official. Anyone can post information on the World Wide Web – information which is not necessarily correct. It is recommended, therefore, that only authorised sites such as those of tourist bureaux, airlines, hotels etc. are used.
Sources of specific industry information can include;
Wholesaler/Principal sales representatives – The sales representatives of the companies you do business with are an invaluable source of product knowledge. They call on a regular basis and if you’re not busy you should always take the time to speak with them and develop a rapport. They have a specialised knowledge of the particular products and destinations they sell and can tell you a great many things about them. If in doubt, they are an excellent source of not only information but also assistance if something goes wrong and you need help.
Trade Fairs – Several times a year there will be trade fairs that you can attend. These will be put on by either the tourist bureaux or by industry bodies like Australian Hotels Association (AHA). They are an excellent way to get information about a lot of different products in a relatively short space of time.
Trade Magazines – There are a variety of trade magazines such as ‘Hospitality Magazine’ that are full of articles about the hospitality industry. Articles will include such things as company mergers, latest products, new technology and so on. They are an important source of information.
As mentioned, it is not possible to know everything there is to know about everything! So it is important to keep yourself up to date on all the new products and procedures to ensure your customers are getting the very best available for their money and that the transactions are as smooth as possible.
Relevant information that assists in operational duties
How can this knowledge be refined to suit specific sectors and businesses? Not all industries or sectors of hospitality & tourism will work to the same rules. Each sector of the tourism industry will have issues, procedures and customs unique to it. For example:
If working in a restaurant you may need to be informed about the various dishes served; the ingredients used, cooking methods, complimentary courses and wines and so on. Knowledge of ingredients is very important as some people have food allergies and can go into anaphylactic shock and die if they eat even a small amount of nut product such as peanut oil for example.
In the hotel or information sectors of the industry you would need to have an in depth knowledge of the local area; where to find good restaurants, local attractions, shopping opportunities and opening hours, access to medical attention and much more.
Working in a kitchen environment you would need specific knowledge on hygiene and safety when working with food or food preparation equipment… continued in learner guide ….