While beautiful and noteworthy sites may be essential elements in attracting tourists to a destination, the existence of solid hospitality services including the availability of accommodations whose quality and standards meet the needs of visitors, is also an important element that marks the success of a tourism destination. This aspect of tourism development continues to be a challenge across many destinations in Indonesia. In an effort to contribute to such positive development and raise the quality and standards of the local hospitality sector in Toraja, has partnered with Swisscontact WISATA to implement the Hospitality Coaching (HoCo) Program which has started in a first batch from August 2016 to February 2017.
HoCo is a training and coaching program for small hotels and guesthouses that sets out to improve the management system of these local businesses to become more competitive and efficient. The program was developed in close cooperation with national and international consultants and based on ILO’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) Program, which is a global technical assistance program initially developed for enterprises in the manufacturing sector.
HoCo runs over 3-4 months and admits a maximum of five participating hotels in one training cycle, ranging from guesthouses to small hotels with a maximum of 15 employees. By involving the management and employees in the entire training cycle, as well as through the creation of hotel improvement teams, HoCo aims to have a positive impact in creating business operations that are more sustainable.
The HoCo Program covers three different themes, all of which include both training workshops and in-house coaching sessions. The first theme addresses the issue of Workplace Cooperation as base of successful business operations. Participants learn the importance of team work and communication in solving workplace challenges. The second theme highlights the topic of service quality and human resource management in achieving customer satisfaction. Participants are taught to use simple tools in measuring customer satisfaction, such as by using customer feedback forms. During the third theme the topic of good environmental practices is on focus. As part of this theme, the participating businesses learn simple ways of improving their environmental footprint, why environmental management may matter to costumers, and why using local products may benefit the business.
As HoCo intervenes on a system level, all participating businesses create their own action plans to improve business operations within the range of the set 3 themes. Over the course of 3-4 months, the in-house hotel improvement teams work to implement their action plans and tackle workplace challenges through their own first improvement projects. Within the participating businesses, HoCo aims to initiate continuous improvement efforts in order to path the way towards customer satisfaction. Participating businesses successfully complete the Program if they can achieve 70% of their set targets.
During HoCo Batch 1 implementation which was held from August 2016 to January 2017, the following participants successfully completed the HoCo Program: (1) Hotel Indra, (2) Hotel Pison, (3) Hotel Torsina, (4) Homestay Buntu Pantan. Batch 2 implementation followed between March to July 2017 with (1) Hotel Pia’s Poppies, (2) Hotel Niel, (3) Wisma Imanuel, and (4) Hotel Batupapan.