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Hotel group gets ethical award for second year

And its easy to see why

The Rezidor Hotel Group has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the second year in a row.
Following a first award in 2010, the Ethisphere Institute (USA) has again honoured Rezidor’s real and sustained ethical leadership and has named the group as one of the 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies.
“We defended our rank by further going the extra mile and by working with upright business practices which support our own success, bring benefit to the community and raise the bar for ethical standards within the industry”, said Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of Rezidor.
Rezidor’s award-winning and group-wide Responsible Business Programme has been going for 22 years. Besides the respect for social and ethical issues within the company the programme also focuses on health and safety for guests and employees as well as on a reduced negative impact on the environment.

The organisation’s ethical culture and Code of Business Ethics is introduced to each employee through the Living Responsible Business training programme.
This foundation is expanded and promoted widely within Rezidor from the STAR supervisor development programme, to internal audit training and all the way up to the internal General Managers Certification Programme.
It is also reflected in the “Always Care” motto of the group’s Safety and Security programme, TRIC=S, which is internationally recognised as best practice for corporate security management.
All this was reflected in the service and style at the 427 room Raddisson Blu Berlin, when I stayed there for the ITB.

There is a good reason that this hotel is the 2010 Tripadvisor choice – not just because of the incredible 25 metre high Aqua Dom (see: AquaDom ) with 1500 tropical fish swimming in the lobby atrium. But maybe they do all have a calming effect on staff and guests.

At the end of the day it is a complete package that equals sustainability, not just an emphasis on energy-saving or waste disposal – yes these are important, but they are the symptoms of an attitude, not rules to be enforced to win plaudits and gongs.
When the attitude is right, everybody benefits and this is what Rezidor have focused on in their Responsible Business Programme.

The effect – an hotel that is almost perfect. What does perfect mean in this context? Simply, it means delivering a few key services faultlessly (or as near faultlessly as possible). In other words you get what you expect.

Check in, check out, breakfast, working shower, wifi – these are the things that need to be perfectly provided and it is amazing just how many ‘top’ hotels fall at these simple hurdles. Not the Radisson Blu Berlin, where I was checked in and out faultlessly (of course in the usual rush), where breakfast actually indicated the city I was staying in, where the shower worked perfectly, where the wifi was FREE, and even the room had a view – the 1500 strong fish tank.

The complex part of the equation is the delivery of ‘hospitality’ and ‘service’. These are parts of the compact that are both critical and frequently misunderstood. I have often wondered why the industry characterizes itself as ‘Hospitality’ when most hoteliers lost the true understanding of the word decades ago.

To use a modern phrase, hospitality is delivered at ‘touch points’. Each and every ‘touch point’ is an opportunity. And, to be honest, I am utterly astonished that the staff at the Raddisson Blu never, ever missed an opportunity to impress.

There were probably 600 guests staying at the hotel when I was there – how come everybody remembered my name (in reception, around the hotel, in the bar) and greeted me using it? How come, when I arrived for breakfast on day 2 the girl who served me said she hoped I’d have more time for breakfast today? How come the girl at reception made such efforts to get some fruit back that had been mistakenly taken from my room? Little things. Little engagements.
But little engagements that are born out of confidence not servility, little engagements that were made with people that seemed to ACTUALLY care. Quite unlike the ‘Have a good day’ concept – in fact I doubt I heard that phrase once. Each tiny conversation was far more nuanced and worthwhile.

So, what’s all this got to do with sustainability? EVERYTHING!
At its root sustainable tourism is about getting the guest-host relationship back to one of mutual respect. Unless this happens, tourism is empty and unfulfilling – we lose respect for the environment, cultures, societies – and it goes into economic decline.

Whatever else Rezidor’s Responsible Business Programme does, it is producing staff that know the true meaning of hospitality and that understand the guest-host relationship. In French there is a phrase ‘Bien Elevee’ – well brought up. These are the well brought up leaders of tourism’s future.

Writer Valere Tjolle is editor of the Sustainable Tourism Report Suite.

This article is a quoted from Travelmole newsletter from 2011-03-22. To read the original article please follow this link .

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’

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Posted in Best practice, Cooperation and network, Education and qualification, Market knowledge, Performance and management, Sustainability.

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