How to be a good Housekeeping specialist at five star hotels

Housekeeping Specialists Course - Home Cleaning - Mumbai, India

It’s campus placement season at your prestigious Blue Whale Academy and you’ve landed your share of offers too. After very carefully scrutinising each and every offer and aligning it with your personal interests and career goals, you have decided to take up the offer that’s closest to your heart – housekeeping specialist at the city’s most famous five star. Apart from being the closest to your dream job, this offer comes with a host of advantages like – proximity (in other words, the hotel is close to your home) and the freedom to opt for a shift of your choice and most importantly good work incentives.

However, when you actually commence work there, things might not exactly be the cakewalk you imagined they would. But worry not, we’ll get you sorted.

First things first – you’d do well to remember that all that your textbooks told you were meant to be used in conjunct with on-ground realities. So to say, on the job, your absolute and lone focus should be in doing things in the quickest and easiest possible manner rather than try to align it to some theory you’ve learnt as a student. In other words, your textual learning must provide only a broad framework that you must refer to only if you absolutely must, and definitely in the spirit, not in the letter or verbatim!

Since managing the semi-literate housekeeping staff can be quite a challenging staff as one often has to negotiate language barriers too, please remember that it’s never a good idea to shout at people or boss around. Be a firm, not a nasty boss by treating every person who’s not in as fortunate a position as you as you’d like your higher-ups to treat you.

Also, housekeeping is often an extremely challenging and thankless job which you can turn around by being meticulous and stringent to details like very quick turnaround times to clear, for instance, stinky rooms after a wild party given that there’s usually only around two hours between check out and check in times. Or reacting to weather-infused or natural situations like damp smells in monsoons or termite/bedbug attacks in summers especially if the room hasn’t really been in circulation for a long-ish time.

As housekeeping is both an internal and guest-facing role, you’ll have to juggle a lot of hats and pacify a lot of frayed nerves. In other words, please remember that you will be responsible for ensuring the routine upkeep and maintenance of the hotel’s property including lobbies, conference halls, restaurants, kitchens, washrooms, internal offices and most importantly, guest rooms.

And just in case you assumed that managing housekeeping is a back-end job, please wake up! You just cannot expect to be done after your staff has done their daily wiping and cleaning job. For, there’ll be boisterous kids out on a mission to ruin all food in sight, their mom’s who’ll spill wine and daintily trip over the mop to accuse the hotel staff of hiring untrained staff and the kids’ dads will most surely join in their football, smashing a few vases on the way to the goalpost, which FYI happens to be the layered glass giant teak side table, a favourite with the promoters of the hotel. So, despite the fact that the hotel management will surely have some rules in place, guests usually don’t think twice before flouting them. So, if the kids are running around, politely but firmly ask the parents to take charge of them.

The worst guests are mostly those who come on one offs like office conferences, weddings, parties and the like. Since they do not have any intention to strike up a long-term relationship with this particular hotel, they’ll most-often not care before spilling, smashing and indulging in unacceptable behaviour in public.

Also, please remember that the bar area is the most-susceptible to damages as it’s a universal human tendency to drink far beyond one’s capacity and then get garrulous, boisterous, quarrelsome and destructive – in that order. Also, people tend to drink till tipping point and then usually throw up.

Yes, don’t cringe, though not you, but your staff will have to clear that up too. But rest assured, it’s nothing too grossly close for comfort – after all, starred hotels are so priced because they employ the latest in cleaning technology and manual scavenging is just not an option!

Again, please note that you can never get away with the excuse that your uniform is stained thanks to the nature of your job. At a seven star, right from the usher to the valet, everyone is expected to be prim and proper, no matter what time of the twenty-four hour day it is. You’ll usually have a lot of spare uniforms – use them rather than turn up in smelly wrinkled clothes that are so very revolting to the human senses. So, please be a little OCD about hygiene as no-one like to be referred to as ‘the stinky unkempt guy’!

And please remember, you’re never fully dressed unless you’ve worn a smile!

Managing the Concierge desk at a Seven-Star hotel

Indian Institute of Hospitality and Management

Have you always been fascinated by the bespectacled young lady sitting pretty right at the hotel’s lobby and forever smiling and making small talk to guests? Have you ever wondered if she never gets tired taking those incessant calls? Or how come she never loses her cool even when guests demand the sun, moon and earth for all their hard-earned money’s worth?

Well, in common parlance, we call hers a receptionist’s job. In the hospitality industry, however, she’s technically managing the concierge desk. So to say, the concierge desk performs the entire paraphernalia of tasks that are beyond the ambit of the services offered by the hotel. In other words, the lady behind the concierge desk is responsible for providing comfort that lies beyond the scope of the hotel staff’s work like arranging for sightseeing tours, organising surprise parties at another hotel etc.

However, you’ll need to keep in mind that appearances are deceptive. For behind all those firm handshakes, effervescent smiles, immaculate make-up and immaculate dressing sense lies a girl just like you! So, to cut a long story short, you really can be managing the concierge desk at any reputed Seven-Star hotel.

But, please remember that it’s indeed a challenging role and demands truckloads of multitasking skills. For, your duties at the concierge desk will include, but not be limited to, seemingly doable stuff like making reservations (at restaurants, other hotels, spas etc.), arranging transportation, currency exchange, procuring tickets (for activities such as sightseeing, pub crawling etc.) arranging porter and courier services as also any other assistance that the guest might require from time to time. And, this time knows no sacrosanct limits or curfews especially when it comes to guests on vacation. So, please don’t get hassled if you get a call at 4am requesting a cab at 430am just so that they can experience the cityscape awash in the supple glow of the rising sun.

For, corporate or business travellers who are presumably in the company of their colleagues will usually stick to company guidelines on appropriate hotel behaviour. Also, considering that these business travellers might have an early morning flight to catch or a late-night conference call to make, it’s a good idea for you, as a concierge desk manager, to enquire after their needs.

So, if you’re wondering what skill sets go into the making of a good concierge desk manager, a quick check list would be – oodles of patience (required to keep your cool with eccentric guests), excellent leadership & coordination skills to get things done from an entire entourage including both internal and external parties, multi-tasking skills to ensure you can handle several requests at a time, the ability to say ‘no’ to absurd requests (like exotic or banned meats) and most importantly, great communication skills to ensure that you don’t mess up the tasks at hand. Also, taking notes or using the voice recorder is a good idea to avoid unnecessary complications.

In other words, you need to be extremely well-networked so as to be able to procure anything that the guest might require. And this will, in all likelihood, include a pregnant guest’s weird late night cravings or a drunk guest’s antics too!

Don’t baulk! Things aren’t that ugly too and the above two examples, though just invoked in jest, are possibilities many people who manage concierge desks have reported! The most common requests however are provision of room service, extension of check-out times and keeping luggage in cloak rooms after check out. This might be because the honeymooning couple wants to indulge in some last minute retail therapy or selfie sessions, before taking the cab to the airport.

And while it’s all well that they’ve checked out, your role doesn’t end until after they’ve plonked themselves on their leather sofas back home! Yes, you guessed it right – you’ll have to arrange the transportation to take them to the market, selfie spots and to the airport too. And just before you say ‘phew’, let’s tell you that your duty is far from over. In fact, as a good concierge desk person, you’ll have to call the couple intermittently to check their progress on the journey to ask whether – they’re missing any item of their luggage, they’re done with their check-in, are comfortably seated, have de-planed, and, finally, have reached home – which is when you must thank them and invite them back too!

So, if you’ve decided to pick the job of a trainee concierge desk manager, over the various options you had during the campus placements at your prestigious Blue Whale Academy, go right ahead and take it up! It’ll surely keep you on your nimble feet and be a great learning curve too!

Join a 5-Star Hotel as a Guest Relations Executive

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In the Hospitality Industry, there are probably just a few things that could surpass the glitz & glamour surrounding a 5 STAR HOTEL. These hotels are prominent landmarks and are often the benchmarks of prosperity for any city. More the number, the more prosperous the city is considered.
It’s no surprise then that, many youngsters aspire to work in 5 Star Hotels. If you are one of them and have been exploring various job profiles for a career with 5-Star Hotels, then you can begin your career as a Guest Relations Executive.

What does a Guest Relations Executive do?
Guest Relations Executives are the face of the 5-Star Hotel as they are in-charged with the responsibilities of the reception & lobby services. Right from the time any guest checks-in to the time of her check-out, a Guest Relations Executive is responsible for ensuring an overall pleasant stay of the guest. Excellent personnel skills of a Guest Relations Executive are directly responsible for creating brand loyalty among the visiting guests. By shaping the overall experience of the guest, Guest Relations Executives are directly responsible for ensuring ‘positive reviews’ by the guests on various hotel booking & travel websites.

Who can become a Guest Relations Executive?
The hospitality & hotel industry is very strict on the knowledge & grooming standards of its guest facing staff. Hence any one aspiring to be a Guest Relations Executive is expected to be well versed with the theoretical aspects of the travel, tourism & hospitality industry. At the same time, the aspirant is also expected to be fluent in English & atleast one regional language, have a very pleasant personality and very strong interpersonal skills.
A graduate degree in travel, tourism & hospitality will enable fundamental understanding of the core concepts of the industry.
Blue Whale Academy’s BSc in Tourism & Hospitality Management (UGC approved) is a graduate course that is custom built for ensuring a holistic understanding of the core concepts in travel, tourism & hospitality. For, those looking at international certifications, there’s CTH Level 4 (UK Qualification)

What qualifications should any candidate possess?
The guest facing side in a 5-Star Hotel demands the most immaculate grooming standards. Candidates aspiring to be Guest Relations Executive are expected to

  • Be excellent in appearance & personality
  • Have very strong grooming standards
  • Have very strong interpersonal skills & team management skills
  • Be fluent in English. Fluency in any foreign language is an added advantage
  • Be quick learners & posses high knowledge about the city & competition

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What does a Guest Relations Executive do?
Attending to guests, assisting them with their queries and courteously handling any complaints are the key responsibilities of a Guest Relations Executive. During the time of stay of any VIP such as Sportsmen, Businessmen, Leaders & Foreign Dignitaries, the responsibilities of a Guest Relations Executive become even more crucial. Below are the detailed work responsibilities of a Guest Relations Executive

  • Block all rooms as per guest satisfaction viz. Street facing/ Sea facing, Atrium facing, Smoking/ Non-Smoking, Floor etc.
  • Be completely conversant with the facilities provided in all the rooms & ensure all amenities are placed before the guest’s arrival
  • Co-ordinate with the guest & and the travel desk for airport pick-up service
  • Receive the guest, complete the check-in formalities & escort the guests as per the standard operating procedures
  • Brief the guests on all the amenities such as restaurants, ticketing, shopping areas, spas, library etc. that can be availed off
  • Emphasise especially on the complimentary services offered to the guest
  • Know the duration of stay of the guests and be aware of their preferences to be able to take extra care of them
  • Update guests on the various offers, food festivals, shopping carnivals etc. of the Hotel
  • Pay courtesy calls on the guests to check on their comfort
  • Advice on city’s sight-seeing areas, tourist attractions, shopping areas and bazaars and co-ordinate for any travel arrangement if required
  • Co-ordinate with House Keeping Services for clearing & cleaning of rooms
  • Collect guest feedback during guest departure along with her likes & dislikes
  • Complete the check-out formalities & billing of the guest at the time of the check-out

How is the work environment?
A 5-Star Hotel offers a very swanky & plush work environment. Other aspects of work environment are as follows:

  • Working Hours: 5 Star Hotels are 24 hour establishments and hence demand working in shifts such as Morning, Evening & Night shifts. As many international flights arrive & depart during the night time, Night shifts are as busy & hectic as could be morning & evening shifts.
  • Week-Offs & Holidays: Guest Relations Executives usually get a weekly off on any day other than Saturdays & Sundays. Apart from this, Guest Relations Executives are also required to work on public holidays such as Independence Day & Republic day or during religious festivals & celebrations
  • Place of work: The reception & lobby area of the 5-Star establishment are the typical work areas assigned to a Guest Relation Executive.
  • Grooming & appearance: To help identification, a Guest Relation Executive is required to wear the Hotel’s official uniform. In India, the official uniform for women is a Sari while for men it is usually western formals with a blazer.

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How about the career progression & growth?
Major avenues of career growth are available when one starts her career as Guest Relations Executive. With increasing experience & work exposure, Guest Relations Executive are aligned to key functions such as Conference, Exhibitions & Events, or are aligned to VIP & VVIP guests. Excellent performers could also get opportunities in other areas of operations and could also rise to become General Managers of the specific Hotel outlet.

How much is the starting salary?
Fresher(s) typically begin on salary scales ranging from INR 12,000 per month to INR 18,000 per month. International assignments usually fetch higher starting salaries typically in the range of INR 35,000 to INR 50,000.

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How to become a Guest Relations Executive?
Blue Whale Academy offers courses that provide the theoretical concepts and also extend opportunities of Summer Internships and On-the-Job Trainings as a part of the curriculum. While interning with a 5-Star Hotel would require some work-experience, an aspirant could also look at gaining experience with 3-Star or 4-Star Hotels. Selection of the right course is very important as is the correct theoretical knowledge of the travel, tourism & hospitality industry. A Guest Relations Executive is one the most ‘in-demand’ jobs across the world especially in tourism driven countries such as India, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia etc. This presents great opportunities for international assignments as well.

Some 5-Star chains you should look forward to begin your career as Guest Relations Executive
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Taj Hotels & Resorts

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Oberoi Trident

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Leela Group of Hotels

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JW Marriott Group of Hotels

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Hyatt Hotels

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Be a Travel Desk Manager with an MNC

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We all know that multinational corporations & other large corporations employ thousands of people, have multiple offices across every major city in the world and have diversified business interests. Such large organisations, in their own right, are comparable to countries. Such large corporations have large teams with each specialising in a different function and working in tandem to ensure continued profitable operations. Managing travel & stay arrangements for such large companies is a huge task and is taken care of by teams specialised in planning travel, stay arrangements.

What does a Travel Desk Manager do?
With scores of employees needing to travel across the globe, the necessity of a travel professional to handle travel & stay arrangements becomes paramount. A Travel Desk Manager completes this responsibility. Be it travel within the country or abroad, be it travel by road, train or air, a Travel Desk Manager ensures that the employees reach their destinations on time & have a comfortable stay that allows them to complete their business tasks. A Travel Desk Manager is also responsible for other aspects of travel such making available Forex, Traveller’s Cheque, Local SIM Cards etc. & processing of papers for Visa.
A Travel Desk Manager’s task is also challenging because she needs to ensure adherence to the travel policies defined by the company.

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Who can become a Travel Desk Manager?
A Travel Desk Manager needs to be a very efficient planner. This calls for having excellent organisational & planning skills. At the same time, a Travel Desk Manager also needs to have strong analytical skills that shall help her in reducing travel costs. Technical skills such as dynamics of airline pricing, hotel pricing etc. are needed to be able to carry out your responsibilities in the best possible manner. Apart from this, a Travel Desk Manager also needs to be a quick learner to be able to understand the travel policies of her company.

Blue Whale Academy’s BSc in Tourism & Hospitality Management (UGC approved) is a graduate course that is custom built for ensuring a holistic understanding of the core concepts in travel, tourism & hospitality. For, those looking at international certifications, there’s CTH Level 4 (UK Qualification)
For those looking to join at senior positions, an MBA in Tourism & Hospitality (UGC approved) is the correct course.

What qualifications should any candidate possess?
A Travel Desk Manager needs to be a very good organiser & co-ordinator. The qualifications desired in a Travel Desk Manager are as follows:

  • Have excellent co-ordination skills
  • Excellent skills to create and maintain MIS in excel sheets
  • Have strong communication & written skills in English language
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Pleasing personality & strong grooming standards. This is especially true if one is employed as a Travel Desk Manager at a star hotel wherein a Travel Desk Manager caters to the needs of the hotel’s guests

What does a Travel Desk Manager do?
Catering to all the travel needs of the employees is the responsibility of the Travel Desk Manager.

  • Co-ordinate all aspects of the business travel of the employee with respect to date of departure, date of arrival, local travel & stay
  • Find out the best possible flight tickets that result in minimal loss of work time
  • For international travel, take care of all formalities for processing business visa
  • Procure foreign exchange at the best possible rates
  • Arrange for other necessities such as local SIM card, ground transportation etc.
  • Making travel allowance available to the travelling employee
  • Maintain all the records in an excel sheet and the company’s software (if any)
  • Co-ordinate with all service providers such as Ground Transportation, Hotel etc. to ensure the correct service is made available to the travelling employee
  • Collate all the travel expenditures and reconcile the records with the accounts department
  • Collect all travel proofs such as Boarding Passes, Hotel Bills etc. and file them for accounting records
  • Ensure strict adherence to the company’s travel policies

How is the work environment?
As a Travel Desk Manager, one could directly be employed either with a large corporation or with a star hotel. Alternately, one could also be employed with a travel company and be deputed as the Travel Desk Manager of an MNC or a large company

  • Working Hours: As a Travel Desk Manager, your work shift would be regular 9am – 5pm shift. However, for co-ordination purposes, one may be required to make & receive phone calls up to midnight. This might specifically apply when any employee travels oversees.
  • Week-Offs & Holidays: The rules of the company where one works determine the nature of the week-offs & holidays. Again, even on week-offs or holidays, a Travel Desk Manager would be expected to make & receive phone calls especially if some travel arrangement has not been correct.
  • Place of work: A Travel Desk Manager is stationed in the office premises of the company she is deputed to. Travel Desk Managers might also be stationed at the office of the travel company and might cater to multiple small enterprises as a part of her job responsibility.
  • Grooming & appearance: A Travel Desk Manager is expected to comply to the dress codes of the company where she is deputed.

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How about the career progression & growth?
Being a Travel Desk Manager requires a highly responsible outlook. As Travel Desk Manager is in charge of all official travel arrangements, she is authorised to sanction money for ticket purchase, hotel bookings etc. With experience and promotion, the scale of responsibility of a Travel Desk Manager increases. Travel Desk Managers handling small enterprises get promoted to handle large enterprises or MNCs. Those already handling large accounts become Team Manager and manage multiple Travel Desk Managers. Those with strong accounting & finance skills might also get promoted to management level positions within the organisation and will be required to draft & suggest travel policies, allocate travel budgets etc.

How much is the starting salary?
Fresher(s) typically joining at a junior position would usually start by assisting a Travel Desk Manager and their starting pay scales could range from INR 10,000 to INR 15,000 per month. Experienced professionals with a post graduation in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality could expect to draw salaried upwards of INR 25,000 per month.

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How to become a Travel Desk Manager?
Blue Whale Academy offers courses that provide the theoretical concepts required to master the core concepts in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality. One should also look at gaining experience through summer internship & on-the-job training with travel companies. Fresher(s) should be quick learners and should also be well versed with concepts such as accounts & finance that will help them fast track their career growth and reach senior level positions in a shorter span of time.

TAKE THE FIRST STEP RIGHT NOW…
Do you believe you could be a great Travel Desk Manager? That’s Great! So take the first step right now and get to know more details of how to Market Yourself to your Dream Company in our FREE Job Placement Guide. Get your FREE COPY here

Wish to work at your city’s Airport? Be a Customer Service Assistant with an Airline

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Have you always dreamt of working at your city’s airport?
 
As a young job seeker, it would excite you to know that modern airports are great avenues for building your career in the travel, tourism & hospitality industry. As airports are the gateways to a country, and the economy is becoming increasingly globalised, cities are demanding state-of-the-art airports. Airports today are getting bigger & bigger in size and are handling an ever increasing volume of passenger(s) & cargo(s). And they are not stopping at that. Airports today are becoming major experience centres by hosting an array of services such as shopping, dining & entertainment.
So if you have been wondering on how to build a career at the airport, it would interest you to know that becoming CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSISTANT with an airline is one great way to start building your career at the airport. So come, let’s explore it further…

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What does a Customer Service Assistant do?
 
Customer Service Assistants are the face of the airline at the airport. They are responsible for ensuring that passengers have a pleasant stay at the airport and assist airline’s passengers before, after and in between two connecting flights. Check-In, Baggage Assistance, Departure & Arrival Gate Assistance, Airport Lounge Services – a Customer Service Assistant could be deployed for any of these roles. Customer Service Assistants are also responsible for assisting those in need of any special service such as accompanying unassisted minors & elderly, passengers who have missed their connecting flights or premium passengers who need to be looked after. The service excellence of any world class airline begins at the airport! Hence, all leading airlines lay high emphasis on the selecting only the best candidates as Customer Service Assistants.

Who can become a Customer Service Assistant?
 
Being a Customer Service Assistant means being on the ‘Guest Facing’ side of the travel, tourism & hospitality industry. Hence a professional appearance and co-operative attitude is an absolute must for any one aspiring to be a Customer Service Assistant.
Although airlines have their training programs for fresher(s), an in-depth theoretical understanding of the intricacies of the travel, tourism & hospitality industry is always desired.
Blue Whale Academy’s BSc in Tourism & Hospitality Management (UGC approved) is a graduate course that imparts the right theoretical skills. Those looking at international certifications can opt for CTH Level 4 (UK Qualification).

What qualifications should any candidate possess?
 
As Customer Service Assistants are required to work intensively with the passengers, assisting them and answering their questions, an ideal candidate is the one who has great interpersonal skills. An airline has the following qualities on its wishlist

  • Excellent grooming standards & pleasant appearance
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent spoken skills in English & atleast one regional language
  • Knowledge of foreign language such as French, Spanish or German would be an added advantage (Especially at International Airports)
  • Knowledge about airline ticketing software(s) such as GDS

What does a Customer Service Assistant do?
 
A Customer Service Assistant (also known as Passenger Service Agents) carry out all airport operations on behalf of the airline. A Customer Service Agent is required to:

  • Perform the allocated customer service functions viz. Check-In, Explaining Customers about Luggage Charges, Arrival & Departure Gate Assistance, Ramp Assistance, Carrying out reservation upgrades etc.
  • Assist passengers with formalities of customs & immigrations
  • Personally deal with passengers who have been denied boarding, or with irate passengers
  • Provide information to passengers on flight delays & cancellations. Communicating with them about their food & stay arrangements.
  • Taking care of passengers with special needs (as per the guidelines of the airline) such as Unassisted Minors, Unaccompanied Elderly, or passengers with special needs such as those requiring wheel chairs
  • Helping passengers board their connecting flights with ease
  • Escorting first class & business class passengers from the airport gate to check-in to airline lounge to boarding gate
  • Calming & reassuring nervous passengers
  • Checking status of all flights such as Catering Uplift, Requirement of any Special Meals or Additional Meals, All Passengers Boarded etc.

How is the work environment?
 
As a Customer Service Assistant, you would be deployed at your city’s airport. You could be assigned either to domestic operations or to international operations depending on your airline’s operating network.

  • Working Hours: As major airports in India work round the clock, Customer Service Assistances are required to work in shifts. The duration of work shift varies with the airline. In domestic operations, your shift could begin as early as 5am while for international operations, your shift could begin as late as 11pm
  • Place of work: Your place of work will be the airport. At the airport, you could be deployed at any point of operation depending on your airline’s human resource deployment guidelines
  • Grooming & appearance: To help identification, you would be required to wear the airline’s official uniform

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How about the career progression & growth?
 
Airports are becoming increasingly complex in their operations. Major airports in India such as New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, Mumbai Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport and Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport are major aviation hubs, are of world standards and are competing with other airports in Middle East to become global aviation hubs. This is providing immense opportunities for major airlines in India and abroad to increase their operations here.
This provides unprecedented opportunities for their airport staff to grow their careers.
Beginning your career as a Customer Service Assistant, one could expect salary & designation growths and would be require to handle an increasing responsibility of operations. A dedicated & intelligent Customer Service Assistant could also go on to head Airport Operations for her airline. One could also get deployed at a Foreign International Airport which is a major focus area for the airline.
INTERNATIONAL JOB opportunities would also come across as airports such as Dubai International Airport seek to recruit experienced staff from countries like India.

How much is the starting salary?
 
Fresher(s) typically begin on salary scales ranging from INR 12,000 per month to INR 18,000 per month. International assignments such as a job in Dubai could get a fresher a starting salary in the range of INR 35,000 to INR 50,000. With increasing responsibilities & designations, the salaries offered are among the best as compared with other many other contemporary industries.

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How to become a Customer Service Assistant?
 
Enrolling for the right course & getting summer internship experience or on-the-job experience is important to be a Customer Service Assistance. Blue Whale Academy offers courses that provide the theoretical concepts and also extend opportunities of Summer Internships and On-the-Job Trainings as a part of the curriculum.

As a Customer Service Assistant, you could begin your career with any of these airports in India & abroad!

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Mumbai Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport

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New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport

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B Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport

Dubai-International-Airport
Dubai International Airport

Abu-Dhabi-International-Airport
Abu Dhabi International Airport

Qatar-International-Airport
Qatar International Airport

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So do you think becoming a Customer Service Assistant is your true calling? That’s Great! Get to know more details of how to Market Yourself to your Dream Company in our FREE Job Placement Guide. Get your FREE COPY here

Being a Travel Consultant is good fun and also rewarding

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Indians love to travel. Today, the famed Indian Middle Class are an avid traveller & also an excited explorer. They love undertaking trips both in India and abroad. And, when they do take these trips, they need professional advice to help plan their itinerary, hotel stay, etc. all well within their discussed budget. Now you know that we Indians love bargaining and we also try to squeeze in everything in smaller budgets. That’s where the services of a TRAVEL CONSULTANT are desired.

Who is a Travel Consultant?
 
A Travel Consultant is a travel professional who helps holiday makers plan their holiday by helping them design their itinerary, booking their accommodation and in managing their costing/ budget.

Who fits this job?
 
On the passion side, to be a Travel Consultant, all one needs is to be well versed with the geography & the dynamics of various destinations.
On the business side, one needs to clearly understand pricing models adopted by airlines, hotels and other services. A complete understanding of the business metrics of tourism is also desired.
Any person graduate aspiring to be a Travel Consultant can get a post graduation certificate in these business skills by enrolling for Blue Whale Academy’s PGDM in Tourism Management (UGC approved). For those who have just finished their 12th standard examinations, BSc in Tourism & Hospitality Management (UGC approved) is the perfect course. These courses cover the theoretical fundamentals & concepts such as Airline Pricing, Hotel & Accommodation Pricing, Sales & Distribution Channels, etc.
One should also have an appetite for sales as the profile requires convincing skills, routine follow-ups and satisfying customer expectation.

What qualifications should any candidate possess?
 
A Travel Consultant profile is a guest facing profile. If you are a Travel Consultant with an e-commerce/ technology travel company, then your communication with client would be primarily telephonic conversations. Holiday companies would generally seek out candidates who have

  • Good knowledge about the international tourist destinations
  • Planning & designing of itineraries based on Airline Schedules, Local Weather, Travel Necessities, Tourist Attractions & Sight-Seeing, etc. with ability to customise an existing holiday package or building an entirely new one as per customer’s need
  • Excellent communication & interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge about airline ticketing software(s) such as GDS

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What does a Travel Consultant do?
 
You could be a Travel Consultant for Foreign Destinations or for Domestic Destinations. In either case, a Travel Consultant profile requires you to

  • Handle the complete life-cycle of a customer’s query including regular follow-ups & co-ordination for all travel arrangements such as Passports & Visa etc
  • Customise the itinerary of an existing holiday package or form a completely new itinerary as per the demand of the holiday maker
  • Suggests improvisations based on the type of holiday desired viz. Honeymoon, Family Vacation, Bachelors’ Excursion Party etc.
  • Suggest on local sight-seeing options & must visit places at the destination

How is the work environment?

  • Working Hours: As a Travel Consultant, you would be required to work at regular office working hours viz. 9am to 5pm.
  • Place of work: Is usually the corporate head office or regional office of the travel company.

How about the career progression & growth?
 
A Travel Consultant directly contributes to the top line of the company. The first round of growth usually comes in seniority. With increased experience, a Travel Consultant would usually find herself leading the sales initiatives of the new tour & travel packages introduced by the company. Exceptionally performing Travel Consultants could also get opportunities to become Product Managers (Read a Product Manager’s Job Profile here).
Travel Consultants who consult for Luxury Tours secure a very high salary growth as they service a very elite group of clients.
As Travel Consultants are from the core business side of the company, opportunities of becoming the top executive of your company are also not remote.

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How much is the starting salary?
 
Again, there are many factors that define the salary scale in this profile. For example:

  • What Travel Consultant are you (Foreign / Domestic)
  • What type of company do you work for? (Multinational Holiday Company/ Experiential Travel Company/ Regional Tour Operator/ e-Commerce Travel Company)
  • Type of Travel (Luxury Travel Consultant/ Economy Travel Consultant)
  • How experienced are you? (Fresher/ Very experienced)

Fresher(s) typically begin on salary scales of INR 15,000 per month and above. With increasing responsibilities & designations, the salary offered is one of the most lucrative as compared with other contemporary industries.

How to become a Travel Consultant?
 
Blue Whale Academy offers courses that provide the theoretical concepts. All our courses have Summer Internships & On-the-Job Trainings as a part of the curriculum during which a student could explore a Package Tour Designer & Marketer job profile.
Having a flair for SALES would always be an extra added advantage. So would be knowledge about various tourist destinations.

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Interested in becoming a Travel Consultant? Now take a step ahead and get to know the many companies that you could work for as a Package Tour Designer & Marketer. Get your free copy here

Wish to be the CEO of a travel company? Start your career as a Package Tour Designer & Marketer

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While the Indian travellers’ quest for new destinations is at an all time high, their style of travel hasn’t changed drastically over the years. When it comes to travel exploration, Backpacking is the most popular style in USA & in Europe. But in India, backpacking has a very esoteric appeal. It’s only for the hardened traveller. The Indian traveller still feels more comfortable travelling in a group rather than travelling alone. It’s not surprising to see the heavy consumption of PACKAGE TOURS in India.

So, do you think you have the ability for designing, marketing & selling PACKAGE TOURS? In our this blog post, we find out the academic necessities and skill sets that one requires to become successful in designing package tours. Let’s begin with understanding what package tours are.

What are package tours?
 
Package tours are holidays commercially organised by a travel company. The package tours are marketed as an ALL-INCLUSIVE holiday with arrangements made for the travellers

  • Air fare
  • Visa & Insurance
  • Accommodation & Stay
  • Food
  • Local Travel
  • Sight Seeing & Museum Tickets

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Who fits this job?
 
To be a Package Tour Designer & Marketer requires deep knowledge of the travel, tourism & hospitality industry fundamentals and is required to manage the entire life cycle i.e. from strategic planning to execution of the Package Tour.

Blue Whale Academy’s MBA in Tourism & Hospitality Management (UGC Approved) & PGDM in Tourism Management (UGC approved) cover the theoretical fundamentals & concepts such as Travel Experiences, Travel Preferences, Airline Pricing, Hotel & Accommodation Pricing, Sales & Distribution Channels, etc.

Students who have just finished their Higher Secondary Examinations (12th Standard) can also opt in for BSc in Tourism & Hospitality Management (UGC approved)

As a Package Tour Designer & Marketer, you could work with any Holiday Company such as Cox & Kings, Thomas Cook, Kuoni, MakeMyTrip.com, Yatra.com or also with experiential companies such as Blue Berry Trails, Backpacker & Co. etc.

For people with entrepreneurial spirit, this Job Profile offers a very detailed insight into the working of multiple aspects of the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry and thus offers them the perfect background to be able to start their own Travel Company in the future.

What qualifications should any candidate possess?
 
Package Tour Designer is not a guest-facing profile, but requires deep understanding of consumer behaviour & preferences. An ideal candidate would be one who possesses the following attributes.

  • Excellent understanding of the destinations/ geographies for which the package tour will be designed
  • Consumer tastes & preferences where the package tour will be marketed & sold
  • Planning of itineraries based on Airline Schedules, Local Weather, Travel Necessities, Tourist Attractions & Sight-Seeing, etc.
  • Complete understanding of Product Pricing Strategies
  • Cross functional understanding of areas such as Contracting, Marketing & Communication, Finance, Sales & Distribution etc.

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What does a Package Tour Designer do?
 
A Package Tour Designer’s job profile is very interesting as it involves managing the complete life cycle of the package tour. One could be package tour designer of Outbound Tours – International, Outbound Tours – Domestic or Inbound Tours. While Outbound Tours are primarily aimed for Indians, Inbound Tours are aimed at Foreign Tourists.

  • Surveying & short listing travel experiences & destinations in popular countries. Examples would be Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Europe, Australia & New Zealand in case of Outbound Tours – International. For Outbound Tours – Domestic, examples would Leh & Laddakh, Goa, Kerala, North East. In case of Inbound Tours, the examples would be Rajasthan, Goa etc.
  • Research & factor in the off-season & lean-season nature of the package tour
  • Finalise local sight-seeing destinations & tourist attractions that would be included in the package tour
  • Finalise the duration (Ex. 4 Days & 5 Nights ) of the tour and introduce options if required
  • Liaison with internal teams & external vendors to work out the economics of consumables such as Airline Tickets, Hotel & Accommodation, Local Travel Arrangement & Expenses, etc.
  • Detail out the expenses that would be incurred by your company and suggest the optimum sale price for the package tour
  • Introduce flexibility in the package tour such that it allows customisation by the traveller
  • Brainstorm with the marketing team to define unique selling propositions to your package tour

How is the work environment?

  • Working Hours: A Package Tour Designer is a desk job and is one of the few jobs in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality industry that are 9-5 in nature. The job profile requires travel which is obviously an additional perk.
  • Place of work: Is usually the corporate head office or regional office of the travel company.

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How about the career progression & growth?
 
Package tours form a major portion of the revenues of any Travel Company. Hence, these jobs are also one with immense growth opportunities. For one, this is one of the few non-guest facing jobs in the travel & tourism industry that requires travel. Growth for any Package Tour Designer comes by handling territories of higher revenue. As Package Tour Designers & Marketers understand the business aspects very well, they generally progress to head departments. In some cases, the person could also progress to become the Chief Executive Officer.

How much is the starting salary?
 
There are many factors that define the salary scale in this profile. The nature of tour (Outbound / Inbound), the type of company (Multinational Holiday Company/ Experiential Travel Company/ Regional Tour Operator), play a factor in deciding the salary scales. Fresher(s) typically begin on salary scales of INR 20,000 per month and above. With increasing responsibilities & designations, the salary offered is one of the most lucrative as compared with other contemporary industries.

How to become a Package Tour Designer & Marketer?
 
A deep rooted passion for travel is an absolute necessity for becoming a Package Tour Designer & Marketer. Coupled with this passion, a complete knowledge of theoretical concepts the travel & tourism industry and also the business aspects & dynamics of the industry are required. Blue Whale Academy offers courses that provide the theoretical concepts. All these courses have Summer Internships & On-the-Job Trainings as a part of the curriculum during which a student could explore a Package Tour Designer & Marketer job profile.
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Interested in this job profile? Now take a step ahead and get to know the many companies that you could work for as a Package Tour Designer & Marketer. Get your free copy here

Being a Tour Manager is great fun. Here’s what a Tour Manager does…

BlueWhale-Academy-MBA-in-tourism-hotel-management-tour-manager-1Holiday & travel is fast becoming non-negotiable on to-do list of many Indians. It’s hardly surprising to know that the number of Indians travelling abroad is set to increase from 15 million annually to 50 million by 2020. The total spend by Indians on foreign travel & holidays is expected to touch $91 billion (approximately 54000 crore rupees) by 2030. No wonder that Holiday Companies are taking a note of this increasing travel spend. This will lead to a sharp increase in the demand for TOUR MANAGERS.
So, in the blog post for today, Blue Whale Academy takes you through the typical job profile of a Tour Manager.

Who fits this job?
 
A Tour Manager profile is best suited for students of MBA in Tourism & Hospitality Management or Graduates in Tourism Management who don’t get excited by the typical corporate office jobs in functions such as Marketing, Sales & Business Development, Tourism Product Development etc.

What qualifications should any candidate possess?
 
As a Tour Manager, you would be interacting with the guests upfront over a long duration and hence would be required to put on your best skills forward to be a great host. An ideal candidate should have:

  • Pleasing personality & high grooming standards
  • Excellent communication skills in English & Hindi
  • Spoken fluency in atleast one popular foreign language such as French, Spanish, German
  • Very strong analytical skills in interpreting situations and data

On the business front, a candidate is expected to possess:

  • Great co-ordination, planning & organising skills
  • Professional knowledge related to travel documents & formalities, medical insurance, airline ticketing & luggage rules, hotel & accommodation rules, forex & traveller cheque rules etc.
  • Professional knowledge related to history, arts & culture, people, tourist destinations, geography & food about each destinations in all the countries of travel

BlueWhale-Academy-MBA-in-tourism-hotel-management-tour-manager-2What does a Tour Manager do?
 
As a Tour Manager, you would be the top executive representing your company and chiefly responsible for

  • Co-ordinating all travel arrangements with respect to flights, accommodation, meals & services, etc. as per the itinerary promised by your company
  • Advise holiday makers about facilities during travel and at their place of accommodation
  • Deal with critical issues such as over-booking by airlines, lost baggage by airlines, stolen passports, stolen travel documents
  • Organising entry tickets to local sight-seeing attractions, and co-ordinating with service providers for local transport
  • Complete all billing & payment formalities at with all partner vendors such as Hotel Partners, Meal & Service Partners etc.
  • Respond to special requests such as details on buying local mobile phone SIM Card, impromptu arrangement of Cakes for Birthdays & Anniversary celebrations etc. made by the travelling group
  • Crisis management during unfortunate events such as Medical Emergencies, Accidents etc.
  • Take feedback from the travelling group and file a report with your company

How is the work environment?

  • Working Hours: While on a tour, a Tour Manager’s work schedule is hectic as she is on a 24 hour duty. To ensure smooth progress of the tour, a Tour Manager’s responsibilities require her to be dedicated in ensuring the comfort of the travelling group which usually stretches a typical working day to 14-15 hours of work each day.
  • Place of work: A Tour Manager is a traveller’s DREAM JOB. Visiting different foreign countries is the biggest perk. Every aspect of a Tour Manager’s travel viz. ticket, stay, meals & daily expenses are taken care by the Holiday Company. When a Tour Manager is leading a tour, she spends time at the company’s head office and assists the product development team by providing various insights about the itinerary, travel arrangements & services etc.

BlueWhale-Academy-MBA-in-tourism-hotel-management-tour-manager-3How about the career progression & growth?
 
A Tour Manager’s profile promises satisfactory growth & career progression. As every holiday company has premium & luxury tour packages, a Tour Manager’s typical growth involves leading tours that are more premium & hence profit earning. With more experience, the scale of the tour to be managed also increases. Senior Tour Managers are responsible for handling & leading corporate tours that easily see batches of 300+ tourists.

In very senior capacity, Tour Managers are tasked with responsibility of arranging & escorting High Value Individuals such as CEOs & Presidents of Big Corporate Companies, Sports Stars & Celebrities etc.
A Tour Manager can also expect lateral movements and progress to become Business Heads or CEOs of Tour Packages in their companies.

How much is the starting salary?
 
A Tour Manager’s salary rises exponentially with experience. Although salaries vary with the scale of the Holiday Company, typical starting salaries are in the range of INR 25,000/- per month. Because of the amount of travel involved, many Tour Managers end up saving significant portion of their salaries. Free visit to tourist destinations is an added perk which is simply invaluable.

How to become a Tour Manager?
 
Blue Whale Academy, Mumbai offers UGC recognised & internationally certified courses that educate an aspirant with the right theoretical knowledge to become an expert in the field of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality. Blue Whale Academy goes beyond just imparting theoretical knowledge by including summer internships & on-the-job-training that allows students of travel & tourism courses to experience different job profiles & chose the one that best suits them.

BlueWhale-Academy-MBA-in-tourism-hotel-management-tour-manager-4Did you know that there are so many awesome companies in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry? From new age e-Commerce Technology Companies to traditional Holiday Companies, to Tourism Boards to Airlines – see the list of the many companies that you can work with by downloading our Placement Guide. Click here to download the Placement Guide Now.

Reservation & Ticketing Executive with Commercial Airlines

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Airlines are very important for the business and economy of any country. The airline industry is a very people intensive industry and offers good growth opportunities & career progression. In this post, we take you through ‘Reservation & Ticketing’ career option with a commercial airline.

Who fits this job?
 
The reservation & ticketing profile is best suited for fresher(s) seeking to build their careers with a commercial airline but not in flying functions such as Pilot & Cabin Crew.

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What qualifications should any candidate posses?
 
As reservation & ticketing profiles are the guest facing side of an airline industry, the candidate should have:

  • Pleasing personality & high grooming standards
  • Excellent communication skills in English & Hindi
  • Very strong analytical skills in interpreting situations and data

On the technical front, a fresher candidate is expected to possess:

  • IATA certification in ticketing & reservation
  • Training experience on airline reservation & ticketing software(s) such as Galileo CRS
  • Graduation or 12th Standard (Depends on each individual airline)

Blue Whale Academy offers IATA certification course which also includes training on Galileo CRS

What does a reservation & ticketing executive do?
 
As a reservation & ticketing executive, you will be responsible for handling:

  • Flight and fares queries
  • Refunds and discounts
  • Issuing of Direct Tickets, Agent Tickets & Interline Tickets
  • Ticket Cancellations & Change requests
  • Redemption & crediting of flying miles
  • Other responsibilities such as welcoming & escorting premium guests such as First Class & Business Class Ticket Holders

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How is the work environment?
 

  • Uniform: To help proper identification, the job requires you to wear the airline uniform. Most of the airlines provide a uniform allowance for this
  • Working Hours: As airlines operate flight 24 hours a day, you will be required to work in shifts. If you have been deputed on Domestic Operations, your shift could begin as early as 6 o’clock in the morning. In case of you have been assigned International Operations, then you could expect a night shift that typically starts at 10 o’clock in the night.
  • Place of work: Domestic & International Airports are the most common places of deployment. Depending on the airline you work for, you could also be deployed at 5-Star Business Hotels or Corporate Offices. You could also be deployed at the centralised reservation & ticketing centre of the airlines

How about the career progression & growth?
 
Your airline would train you for 3-6 months before deploying you at any of its reservation & ticketing centres. You would begin your work as a trainee under supervision of a senior and would be regularly checked on a list of key performance parameters as per the airline’s norms & guideline. Career growth includes handling of more responsibilities, designation promotions to become a senior reservations & ticketing executive, key account manager, reservation executive trainer and so on.
You could also look at intra-departmental shifts such as moving to guest relations which would include assistance at check-in counters, boarding gates & bridges, etc.

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How much is the starting salary?
 
The starting salary varies with every airline. International airlines could offer higher salaries, but also have very strong selection criteria. The salaries also depend on your city of work as metro cities might have higher salaries as compared to Tier II cities. On an average, a fresher selected as a Reservation & Ticketing Executive could expect a starting salary of Rs. 12000/- per month.