WINDHOEK: The absence of massive awareness creation and the inability of training institutions to embrace the customer service delivery concept, are some of the major obstacles in addressing poor customer service delivery in Namibia.
Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) Head of Marketing Klemens /Awarab raised the concern during a high level seminar organized by the Embassy of Indonesia and the Polytechnic of Namibia’s Department of Hotel and Tourism on Thursday.
“The absence of massive awareness creation or public education on the challenges and opportunities provided by the industry; lack of interest or appreciation due to ignorance; and the perception that the industry is for the wealthy and the elite, are major challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality industry,” he noted.
In his presentation ‘Challenges and opportunities on service delivery’, /Awarab explained that the industry boosts Namibia’s image and appeal with improved reputation; retains and creates more jobs; increase sales; ensures industry growth; and leads to cheap and efficient marketing by word of mouth.
Meanwhile, at the same occasion, Senior Lecturer: Department of Hospitality and Tourism School at Polytechnic of Namibia Erling Kavita noted that there is no baseline study on customer service delivery in the country.
Although efforts are in place, Kavita complained that there is no uniformity approach in customer service delivery.
He recommended research and development on market future trends as well as stakeholders in the industry to work together without doing each other’s jobs.
On future trends of the tourism industry, Kavita noted that critical shortage of skilled staff will encourage hospitality corporations to develop or outsource proprietary centres; crime and terrorism will render some traditional tourist destinations unsellable; introduction of new technologies in the upscale tourism industry will not replace the human element in service delivery – to the contrary, will gain importance; and tourism and hotel schools will move out of the classrooms and libraries onto the web and into the field.
“Always endeavor to understand the customer,” he added.
At the same occasion, the facilitator of the seminar, Inspector General of Tourism and Creative Economy Indonesia Gusti Laksaguna stressed that customer expectations are higher than ever before and the service industry is growing.
“Customers need physical comfort, a place to wait, rest, talk or do business. They also need psychological comfort; the assurance they will be taken care of properly; and the confidence that their needs are met,” he added.
The half-day seminar, ‘Service delivery in the hospital and tourism industry: A case study on Namibia and Indonesia, ’ aims to identify the kinds of service deliveries in tourism and hospitality industry; and how Namibians do it and how the Indonesians do it?’.