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      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau Seeks to Become First Certified Guest Service Destination

      Orlando, Florida, October 2012—The Lee County (FL) Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) are pleased to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership that offers the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) certification to tourism industry employees in Lee County as part of the VCB’s Guests First Customer Service Training Program. The VCB kicks off this partnership with the goal of becoming the first VCB in the country to certify all of the hotels in their area and become the world’s first Certified Guest Service Destination.

      “A commitment to guest service is an absolute necessity in the hospitality and tourism industry,” said Robert L. Steele III, CHA, EI’s president and COO. “Becoming the first Certified Guest Service Destination is an enormous challenge, and we’re excited to work with the Lee County VCB to make it happen.”

      To earn certification, once completing Guests First, a seven-module workshop program, the participant will be eligible to take the CGSP final exam. Passing the exam will provide the participant with their CGSP certification. Nationally known as Guest Service Gold Training and Certification, the comprehensive program is designed to create guest service-oriented front-line employees who know how to engage with their guests to provide memorable guest service. Core components build a solid foundation in guest service skills, which is right in sync with the VCB Guests First program’s vision and goals.

      Hospitality employees must have effective guest service skills in today’s competitive market. They must be able to engage and connect with their guest to go above and beyond the call of duty. EI’s Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) designation provides recognition for those individuals who know how to achieve and express exceptional service by engaging with their guests and creating memorable experiences. Recognized worldwide, the CGSP designation is the highest acknowledgment of award-winning guest service for employees in the hospitality industry. Successful graduates will receive a certificate and CGSP gold lapel pin, to be worn on their uniform in recognition of their knowledge and skills in guest service.

      For more information on Guest Service Gold, visit www.ahlei.org/guestservicegold, or call 800-349-0299 or 407-999-8100.

      About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
      Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute’s mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

      Elizabeth Johnson - ejohnson@ahla.com

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