Gondwana furthers its commitment to hospitality excellence - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection
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Gondwana furthers its commitment to hospitality excellence

Avatar of inke inke - 14. August 2015 - Gondwana Collection

The Academy will be situated at the Kalahari Farmhouse.

Gondwana Collection has officially launched their new Training Academy which will open its doors at the Kalahari Farmhouse in Stampriet in January 2017. The lodge group’s new hospitality training and leadership development programme aims to provide service excellence, promoting Namibia as a top African tourist destination.

Tourism is the fastest growing sector in the Namibian economy considering its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP.  “Customer Service remains the most important factor in any business relationship. We believe that all Namibian businesses should unite in their efforts to improve our service delivery for the benefit of all Namibians and visitors,” says Mannfred Goldbeck, managing director of the Gondwana Collection of lodges.

Taking up the challenge to elevate the standard of hospitality countrywide, Gondwana is making a long-term investment into Namibian hospitality and skills-development with the launch of their Academy.

Based in Stampriet at the Kalahari Farmhouse, the Academy will provide training for eight months of the year. For the remaining four months it will open to guests, who will be hosted by the trainees, giving them the opportunity to apply their training and gain valuable hands-on experience. It is estimated that 420 Gondwana employees can be accommodated at the Academy per year. Course content will span introductory training in tourism and specific professional skills, as well as critical softer skills such as marketing appreciation, leadership development and communication. 

While the Academy is initially aimed at increasing the skills of Gondwana staff, the intention is to also provide training for people aspiring to work in the hospitality industry and to be a source of leadership development for service professionals wanting to further their skills.

Ultimately, Gondwana aims to acquire relevant hospitality accreditation for its courses, providing participants with recognised formal certification. 

The Academy was launched to the hospitality sector at an exclusive event yesterday evening (13th August) hosted by Gondwana. It included a captivating talk by Canadian musician and advocate of customer service, Dave Carroll. 

Carroll achieved instant fame with his social media clip ‘United Breaks Guitars’ following a poor response by United Airlines to damage incurred to his valuable Taylor guitar. He has since become a recognized consumer advocate, speaking on social media, branding, customer service and self-empowerment. Dave Carroll has been brought to the country by Gondwana Collection, Air Namibia, Bank Windhoek, Namibia Tourism Board and Safari Hotels.

Furthermore, Gondwana managing director Mannfred Goldbeck took the opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of his staff in providing excellence of service. He presented awards to three staff members who have been praised repeatedly by clients, in the social media or internet portals, namely

Anthea Cloete, assistant marketing officer, Gondwana Travel Centre in Windhoek: “… Ms. Cloete’s professionalism, unconditional assistance and advice was unvaluable. She naturally worked with us on the Gondwana hotel reservations where she provided accurate, timely and objective information. … With her drive, enthusiasm and customer commitment, this young woman will make her mark on the industry that she is part of and serves so well. I wish her every success.“ (Email, January 2014)

Simon Andreas, lodge manager, Etosha Safari Lodge: “It was our third visit to Etosha Safari Lodge. We were happy to see that service, food and proficiency of the staff is ever improving. Andreas is the jewel of the lodge. His comment and attention to guests and detail is impeccable. I have not been treated as well, at the Waldorf Estoria in NYC.” (TripAdvisor, July 2015)

Edison Kaura, lodge manager, Hakusembe River Lodge: “Gondwana hospitality – those who have stayed with Gondwana lodges would know exactly what I mean! Very, very friendly reception and wonderful staff. Edison, Yvonne and their team made our 3-day stay an exceptional experience.” (TripAdvisor, July 2014)

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