Khao Sok National Park (Thailand) – January 20, 2020 (travelindex.com) – The two-day event at Anurak Community Lodge gave valuable training in conservation and tourism hospitality to local service providers inside Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
The workshop was conducted by Dr Scott Michael Smith from Assumption University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The event took place at Anurak Community Lodge and was supported by YAANA Ventures, a Bangkok based sustainable tourism investor. Dr Scott delivered a series of hospitality skill building workshops to the front line of the tourism industry at Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand, 12-15 December, 2019.
Twenty two front office personnel, housekeepers, gardeners, service staff and cooks, from the local community and employed at the lodge, benefited from the “Spirit of Hospitality” two-day training, which was led by project coordinator Dr Smith.
Willem Niemeijer CEO, YAANA Ventures, said of the training, “Anurak Community Lodge operates on the principles of conservation and sustainability. We therefore share the responsibility to ensure tourism is developed in a sustainable way, showing that it can make a positive contribution to conservation that involves and benefits the local community. Scott’s “Spirit of Hospitality Workshop” tackles the human resource issues and considers the hard and soft skills that are needed in the hospitality industry in order to preserve and prosper.”
Ahead of the workshop, Dr Smith conducted a “Spirit of Hospitality” Service Audit using new and established Key Performance Indicators and worked with management and team members to develop a training program to meet the needs of the lodge.
“Our objective was to identify opportunities to exceed customers’ expectations and create positive memory-making moments that surprise and delight guests visiting Anurak Community Lodge. I’m grateful to Guest Relations Manager, Mr “Lekky” for his expert translation, energy and enthusiasm during this workshop.” said Dr Smith, adding, “Service standards are extremely high at Anurak Community Lodge thanks to the leadership of celebrity chef turned Lodge Manager, George Newling-Ward and the award winning team of locals. This provided a happy challenge to work with the team to identify further opportunities to exceed expectations throughout the guest experience.”
Anurak Community Lodge in southern Thailand, is an award winning eco-retreat for active lifestyle visitors who respect nature and local community traditions. The 20-key lodge offers Deluxe Green, Eco Double, Eco Twin, and Deluxe Jungle Tent options. Surrounded by spectacular limestone karst scenery, the lodge is an ideal base to explore adjacent Khao Sok National Park and majestic Chiew Larn Lake.
Since opening in 2016, Anurak has been guided by the principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Key aspects of its sustainability commitment include banning of single-use plastic and styrofoam and the creation of a recycling station and composting zone. Grey water from the laundry is filtered and used on the ecolodge’s “Rainforest Rising” project, which, over the long-term, will return 3,300 square metres of oil palm plantation to native vegetation cover.
This year, Anurak Community Lodge was awarded the 2019 SKAL International Sustainable Tourism Award in the Rural Accommodation category, as well as the 2019 SKÅL Asian Area Award – Environment Category.
The Lodge also received the prestigious Travelife Gold Certification this year. Travelife is an internationally recognized accommodation sustainability program. The Travelife for Accommodation standard contains approximately 163 requirements that hotels must demonstrate compliance to following an on-site audit every two years. These requirements cover the environment, labor issues, human rights, community engagement and animal welfare.