International travel is a rapidly growing activity entailing cross-cultural communication between hosts and guests from different linguistic backgrounds. There is therefore a growing worldwide need for front-line staff (as hosts) in the hospitality industry thatis able to communicate effectively with guests. As regards the luxury hotel segment, foreign language is a part of the larger issue of cross-cultural literacy since many problems could occur due to cross-cultural misunderstanding since most of the customers are international ones.
Foreign language proficiency helps in welcoming an international guest through a greeting and salutation in his own language. This makes the guest feel comfortable and at ease thereby leading to greater customer satisfaction. It also helps in anticipating the special needs and demands of the customer and effectively fulfilling them.
Addressing foreign guests queries in their own language leads to speedier redressal of grievances. Foreign language proficiency also helps in effectively responding to the international customer’s medical emergencies.Also empathizing with the international customer and resolving service related problems enhances effectiveness.
Informing the international guests about the possibility of upgrading the rooms for e.g. luxury suites, Presidential suites through suggestive selling techniques leads to higher revenue generation. Also informing the guests about the special packages anddiscounts and also about the variety of cuisine and food specialties leads to higher revenue generation.
Foreign language proficiency leads gives the front office employee a chance to interact with the guest who is culturally different from him and being able to resolve his issue successfully creates a professionally conducive and satisfactory job environment for the employee.
Multi-lingual ability gives an added advantage to the front office employee and also an edge over the other employees. It also improves his chances of getting promoted to a higher grade within the organization or move to an international property. Thus it enhances his career to greater heights.
Multi-lingual ability helps in generating goodwill and customer loyalty. It helps in spreading a positive word of mouth and attracting repeat customers resulting in higher revenue generation. Foreign language proficiency helps in getting and edge over its competitors.