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Put customers at centre of your business, hoteliers urged

Schultze addressing the audience at Serena Hotel.

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | Horst Schultze, the co-founder of Ritz Carlton Hotels, President and Chief Executive Officer of WP Hospitality has urged players in hotel and tourism sectors to put their customers at the centre of their service so they can post impressive growth numbers.

Schultze was at the end of last week (Nov.01) giving a talk at Kampala Serena hotel on promoting excellence, efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery to members under the tourism sector including Uganda Hotel Owners Association, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and more. He was hosted by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).

Schultze told the over 200 participants in the room to define themselves as persons of excellence or mediocrity.

He challenged them to decide on whether their organisations gets better or dies; whether they know their dream and are working to achieve it and whether their leadership is about being the boss for others or for self.

He told them that success of a business depends on customers liking their products.

“You need to know what they (customers) want given that there is competition,” he said. He added that customers need to be served with what they want and on time.

“Being nice is the biggest driver of customer satisfaction,” he said. He added that wining customers’ trust is everything that the businesses needs.

He said it is important for one to wake up and go to work to create excellence – a key ingredient to growing a business.

He tasked leaders to make their employees happy and to minimize mistakes.

Susan Muhwezi, the chairperson of UHOA and Stephen Asiimwe, the executive director for UTB said Schultze talk was important because Uganda is banking on tourism and hotel industry to achieve visions 2020 and 2040.

Tourism Minister, Ephraim Kamuntu commended the guest speaker and said leaders make great things happen both in private and public sector. He said government wants all people to be engaged in economic activity to be able to achieve development targets.

He said that his ministry is pushing for a tourism marketing strategy that uses visitors and influential people as ambassadors for Uganda’s tourism sector.

“Commercial advertising should be complementary,” Kamuntu said.

In 2017, Uganda earned about US$1.4bn (Shs 5.1trillion) from tourism activities up from about US$1.35bn a year before.

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