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Orlando, Florida, August 2016—Travel Oregon has become the first state tourism agency to earn the title of Certified Guest Service Partner from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). To achieve this distinction, all staff members completed AHLEI’s Guest Service Gold® training and earned the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) designation.

“Having the entire team at Travel Oregon certified speaks to the value we see standout customer service making in a guest’s impression of a destination,” said Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson.  “As we work to share the wonders of Oregon with travelers, we remind ourselves that individuals are as unique as our state, and finding special ways to connect and personalize their trip-planning process and stay is sure to instill positive memories.”

Last fall, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation (ORLAEF) signed an agreement with Travel Oregon to be the customer service training provider for the state’s travel and tourism industry, using Guest Service Gold® and CGSP®.  As part of that agreement, the staffs of both organizations completed the process themselves.

“Our staff had fun with the training and certification,” said Carole Astley, director, Industry and Visitor Services for Travel Oregon. “We had a friendly contest to inspire staff to aim for the best possible exam score. Prizes were awarded and certificates were presented at one of our all-staff meetings.”

Most of the Travel Oregon staff members used the online version of the program, which gave them flexibility to fit the program into their schedules with less disruption to regular business operations.  AHLEI also offers a print version of the training, which some staff members used instead.

“As major proponents of the Guest Service Gold® training and certification, it’s very important that everyone in our organization has experienced the program first-hand,” Astley explained. “This is not only for our own benefit, but to demonstrate our commitment to stand behind what we’re advocating for our industry partners. As an organization, we discuss the impact that great guest service has on a visitor. And with an extremely competitive travel market, we need to find successful ways to make Oregon stand out. Committing to guest service training is a natural fit.”

Apparently, the training is having a positive effect in making Oregon stand out. Astley reported that the Gold-certified staff at their main Welcome Center receive “amazing, heart-felt compliments” daily, with comments like “You’ve made my trip!” “Wow, people in Oregon are so friendly,” and “You are SO helpful and the Welcome Center is awesome.” 

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI)

Established in 1953 as the nonprofit education and training arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), AHLEI’s mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to educate, develop, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

Contact: Elizabeth Johnson

ejohnson@ahla.com / +1.517.318.2359

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