Foreign Language In The Hospitality Industry Tourism Essay

Language acts an essential part of success in hospitality, and has impacted the hospitality industry continuously. Not only has it influenced the method of marketing strategies or the methods of human resource management, it has also influenced the educational system as well. Many have come to realize that foreign language skills can be utilized in the industry to assist the foreign traveler, communicate with non-English speaking-employees and to work in non-English speaking countries.

Foreign language in the hospitality industry is needed to assist foreign travelers. The hospitality industry – a service industry that sets to provide service to achieve the customers’ satisfactions. Customers are seeking for exceptional and customized service that fits them well. A made-to-measure service usually comes from organizing matters that the customers are used to, such as a guests favorite drink, preferred room type, and the spoken language is part of it as well. Of many tourists that travels, it is likely that they may not excel in the language of the foreign country that they are traveling to. If an accommodation that the customer is staying is not able to provide quality service due to the fact that mis-communication occurs frequently, the customer is likely to develop a negative opinion towards this certain hotel or restaurant. Therefore, the hospitality industries usually adapt ourselves to the customer’s preference by providing multi-lingual service in order to support the customers’ needs.

Over the past few years, tourists from China have increasingly become active all over the world. With the rise of China on the world stage, it’s language – Chinese has always been the top language spoken in the world and it is also gradually becoming a major tourist-spoken language. This trend has impacted the marketing strategies of many; and mastering this language has become a priority for hoteliers’ careers.

Switzerland has come to the awareness of the potential of the Chinese market brought by tourist. And Switzerland has come to realize that the incoming guests have high expectations for the “Swiss hospitality service”. But many hospitality industry are not yet ready to face the Chinese tourist trend by providing professional service, and most hotels’ are established with European standards. As a result, Switzerland has published an official guide guiding hospitality industry managers on how to professionally serve the Chinese tourist. Dr. Christian Rey, president of the hotelleriesuisse, said that hospitality industries in Switzerland have brochures, menus and leaflets translated into Chinese to provide a closer service.

Following up, A very good example can be also seen in Mauritius while an increasing amount of Chinese tourist is visiting Mauritius recent years. “In Mauritius, the country has received 17,233 Chinese tourists during the first ten months of the year, against 12,571 visitors during the same period in 2011.” According to a Mandarin teacher in Mauritius, she pointed out that among all the Mandarin-learning students, “there are employees of big companies, businessmen, importers, tour guides … All these people deal with the Chinese and for them to master this language has become indispensable.” And in recent years, “there is a strong demand from hotel groups to train their employees in Mandarin. ” Said Elise Raffray, Managing Director of Formaclic . According to the data of The Language Training Centre in Mauritius, the center has trained hundreds of hotel employees in Mandarin, including hotel receptionists, employees in food and beverages departments and departments. This brings the us to the next point.

Foreign language in the hospitality industry is needed while communication between employer and non-English speaking employees. As international tourists increases all around the globe, simultaneously increases the need to hire international employees as well. However, communication satisfaction has always been a significant influence to the work outcomes amongst between managements and non-English speaking employees. Language barriers have been mainly seen during speaking communication and professional situations.

English is the most common-used language around the world and applies to the hospitality industry as well. In the United States, an increasing number of non-English speaking employees have caused hotel companies many communication issues. It has come to the attention that this problem can no longer be tolerated as it is burning on many companies’ functioning. A research study from the journal of hospitality & tourism research has shown that 53.5% of the lodging industries reported that “top management has paid attention to language barriers in the workplace. In fact, 46.5% stated that their company encourages employees with limited-language skills to improve by offering English at work programs.” Also, many has been providing language training states the fact that how important it is. Following up, according a survey, which notes that “32% of the companies provide language training for the employees to acquire language for special purposes, and 52% of the employees expect a language course to be communicative with professional topics.” It is obvious that it shows that there is a demand for the practice of professional situations. Employees are seeking to fluently communicate with their top management in order to carry out the correct task while in the work place. Employers are also expected high expectation for service standards which are related to the company’s reputation. With language barriers blocking in the pathway of the hospitality industry’s success, language trainings have gradually become a necessary part of the employment training.

Furthermore, these language trainings help to develop a positive professional attitude which will be able to contribute to a positive impact on team work and in better service to the clients. Dave Ozageer, director of Pearle Beach Resort & Spa, said that it is essential for the staff to be trained to communicate with Chinese guests with mandarin. By understanding Chinese guests’ demands and express their emotions directly, the staff will be able to better serve the guest. The president of the Chinese Business Chamber, James Ho Fon further points out that it is necessary that hotels provide tour guides who speak mandarin in order to attract more Chinese tourists.

Foreign language in the hospitality industry is needed when working in a non-English speaking country. A research collecting data from various hotels’ human resources departments in the U.S. have shown that graduates with the ability of speaking a foreign language, particularly Spanish, was found to be an advantage when seeking for jobs in the States. It has also been suggested that with this certain skill, one may more likely obtain an employment at the supervisory level. The report also shows that with “previous foreign travel and some foreign language skills enable program participants to more fully appreciate their study abroad experience.”

As a result, Students of hospitality programs benefit immensely from learning a foreign language. Many universities with hospitality management majors have been providing study abroad programs, and foreign language is becoming crucial to the education of the industry as well. “Colleges that offer hospitality degrees which integrate foreign language learning contribute to the success of the hospitality industry in general and to the success of the individual students in their future careers as managers.” said by Yuan J. Houston in one of his journals in Journa of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism. Such in hospitality degree courses, the teaching of foreign languages has focused on the learning for professional purposes that students may likely be facing in their future career.

Hence, Rita Mae Brown once said,”Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” A lot of institutions acknowledged that the overall improvement of students who participated in a study abroad program have expectedly developed cross-cultural knowledge which will prepare them well for their future career in hospitality and tourism field.

In conclusion, foreign language has always been a great impact in the hospitality industry in general. While many research and data collecting has been conducted and demonstrated in this research paper. It is obvious that over the past few decades, an increasing amount of hotel employees, hotel managers or even students in training have come to realize that the importance of excelling in a second foreign language. This highlighted professional attitude of learning a foreign language is majorly due to the fact that foreign language skills can be utilized in the industry for a variety of purposes. Ultimately, this sense of achievement in foreign language can benefit the students’ personal development and can have a positive impact on their professional attitude. Thus, future hotel managers are more likely to withhold the ability of speaking a foreign language majorly due to the fact that this skill can be utilized to assist the incoming foreign travelers , to communicate with non-English speaking-employees in the workplace, and to work fluently in non-English speaking countries.

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