The Leading Hotels of the World to raise hotel quality in Mid East

Quality assurance and training for the hospitality industry are just two of the services to be offered by the new The Leading Hotels of the World regional office in Knowledge Village, Dubai.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  March 1, 2005

Quality assurance and training for the hospitality industry are just two of the services to be offered by the new The Leading Hotels of the World regional office in Knowledge Village, Dubai. The luxury hospitality organisation has pledged to raise standards across the board at member hotels through its joint venture, Leading Quality Assurance, which was introduced to the region last month. Leading Quality Assurance is a full-service quality inspection organisation providing not only assessment programs to test all areas of a hotel’s operation, but also analysis, consultancy, seminars and benchmarking. “Many of the global hotel groups have their own inspection procedures, but for independent and small chain hotels, which comprise the majority of our membership, the best method for assessment and benchmarking is to use independent sources,” explains Jean-Jacques Gauer, chairman of The Leading Hotels of the World. “It is precisely for this reason that we are introducing Leading Quality Assurance, and the mystery guest, into the Middle East region,” he adds. Leading Hotels of the World currently has 12 hotel members in the Middle East. “Many of our hotels are either independent or belong to smaller groups, such as Jumeirah International and Rotana in this region, and it is these properties in particular that are looking for assistance with the development of human resources and benchmarking assessments to ensure quality standards are met and enhanced,” Paul McManus, president of Leading Hotels of the World, told Hotelier Middle East. The Leading Hotel Schools of the World represents accredited hotel schools from around the globe, and was set up to augment links between members of Leading Hotels and the potential labour pool, adapting the standard educational curriculum to address specific employment requirements. “We can facilitate the placement of qualified graduates and interns within member hotels, provide staff training programmes; customise private-label training for hotel companies and deliver on-site, on-campus or e-learning experiences,” says McManus. “As every hotel opens, there is continued pressure to recruit the most experienced or qualified staff, and from our new base in Dubai, we will be able to offer a single resource for our members to give them an added advantage in this area.” Leading Hotels was formally known primarily for its global distribution, reservations and marketing conduit for premium hotels, representing more than 420 hotels, resorts and spas in 80 countries. Its new regional office will provide a central reservation office for travellers wishing to book at these hotels. “Really, the office provides a service to the local market, for the outbound travellers, and to service the intraregional market. For many years, Leading Hotels of the World’s dominant market was the US outbound. Now, we are seeing the emergence of the Middle East as an outbound market, and as a travel destination in its own right. That is very important,” explains McManus.

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