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    • January

      January 2013--In This Issue

      EI Interviews STR's Vail Brown

      The Educational Institute recently spoke with Vail Brown, CMHS, vice president, global business development and marketing for Smith Travel Research (STR) Global, about what the numbers say about industry prospects for 2013 and how STR is working with other organizations to certify people who know how to read and interpret vital industry data.

      Smith Travel Research is the recognized leader in hotel benchmarking, and obtains performance data from more than 70% of US hotels, and 50% of worldwide hotels. STR provides monthly, weekly, and daily STAR reports to 46,000 hotels around the world and maintains a census database of more than 150,000 hotels globally.

      Q: As we begin a new year, what were some of the successes of 2012?

      A:  Three main strengths marked a strong 2012. 1) Record demand. The U.S. hotel industry set a record during July for the most roomnights ever sold in a single month with 105,954,122. Through November, the most recent monthly data available, U.S. hotels sold over 1 billion roomnights on an annualized basis an increase of more than 2.9% from the same period in 2011.

      2) Supply slowly rising. The number of hotel rooms under construction was up approximately 24% to 67,468 as of November. Existing supply crept up slowly during the year. March recorded a year-over-year growth of 0.2%, and each month following brought with it slightly higher supply. November finished with more than 145 million rooms opened in the country, which was up 0.7%.

      3) Rate Growth. While the U.S. hotel industry still hasn't reached its 2008 peak in average daily rate of $107.41, ADR growth continued. STR forecasts 2012 ADR growth to end up 4.4%. 

      Q: And what does the industry need to focus on for 2013?

      A: Supply - The number of rooms in the Pipeline is steadily increasing, and we expect to see new hotel openings throughout 2013, mostly in the limited- and select-service categories.

      Demand - We  expect the disconnect between negative headline news and positive market-level revenue-per-available-room news to continue.  Even though uncertainty from the election and economic instability globally, room demand broke records in 2012. We expect the rate of demand growth to slow in 2013, but hoteliers will once again sell more roomnights than ever before.

      ADR - Increasing room demand in markets with limited new supply will lead to more compression nights and pricing power for hoteliers.

      Shorter wait times in U.S. embassies - The best way to increase local tax revenues, increase hotel revenues and drive job growth is to welcome foreign tourists. The White House, together with U.S. Travel Association and a coalition of other trade associations have made inbound travel a priority. Visa wait times have decreased while visa demand continues to climb.

      More mobile bookings - Some travel startups are foregoing their desktop version of a website to go mobile and app only. Most suppliers to the industry are devising the better mousetrap for the mobile devices of choice, be it an app or streamline mobile website.  

      Q: What areas of the country/world will see the greatest hotel growth in 2013 and why?

      A:  In terms of construction pipeline, definitely China and India. The pace shows no sign of slowing in those countries, although due to the supply increases in recent years, we are starting to see performance growth slow in China and decline in India. In Asia/Pacific, I would say the next country to watch will be Indonesia, as it has a strong existing pipeline and a very buoyant economy.

      In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates Pipeline is still incredibly strong; Dubai had a strong year in 2012, so seems to be absorbing the new supply, whereas Abu Dhabi is going in the opposite direction. Saudi Arabia's Pipeline is also growing, along with its performance and that is due to the increase in business travel to the country and the religious tourism in Makkah and Medina.

      Africa is growing in terms of supply-many of the Sub Saharan countries have larger Pipelines than existing supply. Nigeria continues to perform in ADR terms exceptionally-oil business, lack of supply, difficulty in getting projects built or opened, and security concerns all add to that.

      In Europe, the picture is less rosy, particularly in Southern Europe, with the ongoing recession, but economic worries remain throughout the Eurozone. London and Paris will continue to report strong performance, with consistently strong demand. Small RevPAR growth would be expected in most markets. In terms of supply, the largest Pipelines are in the U.K., Russia and Germany.

      Central/South America is not strongly growing in terms of supply, even in Brazil. Brazil should do well next year as the build up to World Cup and the Olympics begin, along with a strong economy. Increasing intra regional travel will also help the performance of other Latin America countries.

      Q: The STAR reports help hoteliers make the best possible business decision at any level; additionally it shows a property's aggregated performance.  However, newcomers to the industry don't quite know how beneficial this report is and/or dismiss it because they don't know how to read it or are intimated by it.  How can STR educate or help in this area?

      A: In 2010 STR created the SHARE (Supporting Hotel-related Academic Research & Education) center, to work with hospitality and tourism schools around the world by providing thorough and timely data for academic research, as well as providing comprehensive and relevant training materials for the classroom. In 2012, we took this concept a step further and created a student recognition certification, STAR Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics. The certification is being offered to undergraduate and graduate students through a joint effort between STR, EI and I-CHRIE (International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education).

      This is the only hotel-related certification for university students graduating from Hospitality and Tourism programs. The certification will confirm the student has demonstrated an ability to analyze various types of hotel industry data and to make strategic inferences based upon that analysis. The certification also confirms a comprehensive understanding of benchmarking and performance reports produced by STR. Achieving this distinction announces that these students have a place among the best graduates in their profession and opens the doors to the future career opportunities. 

      Q: At a recent hospitality roundtable hosted by the University of Phoenix and the Educational Institute, it was determined that some of the emerging concept within the realm of revenue management are relevant for short periods of time.  Some become outdated in less than one year. What are some of tactics STR uses to stay on top of these emerging trends and what advice might you offer to revenue managers?

      A: Our clients are clear: They want less data-but at the same time, they want more information. As hotels, brands, management companies, intermediaries and research companies, such as STR, collect more data points, the call for meaningful interpretation becomes ever louder. The winner will be who can serve up the best actionable information in the most user-friendly format to help hoteliers make better pricing decisions.

      Vail Brown is responsible for the overall coordination, the functional management and leadership of the sales and marketing strategies and activities for the STR Family of Companies. She is the chair for the AH&LA Women In Lodging (WIL) Council and for the HSMAI Foundation Board of Directors.

      Back to Navigation

      EI Has Long History as AH&LA's Training Arm 

      EI celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2013, but the history of the organization goes back further than that. Arthur Landstreet, a Tennessee hotelier and chair of the (then) American Hotel Association's Education Committee, first proposed an independent training organization to prepare hospitality personnel back in 1949. Industry response was lukewarm, Finally, J.B. Herndon embraced education as the focus of his AHA presidential platform, announcing the formation of the American Hotel Institute (EI's original name) when he accepted the presidency in 1951.

      The actual organization did not become a reality until 1953, when EI had its beginnings at Mississippi State University. The school's faculty worked closely with hospitality leaders to determine the industry's training needs and develop a 12-course home-study curriculum for middle managers. EI moved its offices to Michigan State University in the mid-1950s. Offices in Mexico, France, and India were opened in the mid-1990s-of those, only the India office remains active.

      In 1997, the company's headquarters moved to Orlando, Fla., while the academic sales, publications, and fulfillment center remained in Michigan.  In 2001, the organization's name changed to the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, reflecting the name change of its parent organization, the American Hotel & Lodging Association.


      60 th Anniversary Fun Facts

      What were people watching on TV in 1953? The following shows had their debut 60 years ago:  Make Room for Daddy, Name That Tune, Private Secretary, and You Are There.  Major League Baseball began to be televised on ABC, and the first TV broadcast of the Academy Awards also happened that year.  TV viewers got help deciding what to watch in April 1953, when TV Guide was published for the first time.

      Back to Navigation 

      Navy Lodge Sets Certification Record in 2012 

      Francine Faison, CLM, CHS, Navy Lodge Regional Manager, shared the exciting news about Navy Lodge's record-setting year in hospitality certification-459 certifications in 2012. "This has never happened in the history of the Navy Lodge Program," she said. 

      Here is the breakdown of EI certifications completed in 2012:

      • 5 Certified Hospitality Trainers
      • 5 Certified Guest Service Professionals
      • 10 Certified Hospitality Supervisors
      • 48 Front Desk Representatives
      • 94 Certified Guestroom Attendants
      • 81 Certified Guest Room Attendants
      • 31 Certified PBX Operators
      • 44 Certified Reservationists
      • 24 Certified Concierges
      • 77 Certified Public Space Cleaners
      • 34 Certified Maintenance Employees
      • 4 Certified Lodging Managers
      • 2 Certified Hotel Administrators

      "We currently have 422 line level associates certified out of 842 total associates in the Navy Lodge Program, which means that 50 percent of all Navy Lodge associates are currently certified in 2012," Faison reported. "We also had six Navy Lodge general managers achieve a CHA or CLM in 2012. This means that 31 percent of all general managers are currently certified as a CLM or CHA."

      Navy Lodge has been partners with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute since 1994, in which time they have certified thousand of associates and managers.  As hospitality business partners for the past 19 years, Navy Lodges have earned 34 Silver Pineapples, 35 Bronze Pineapples, 16 Golden Pineapples, and six Meritorious Awards.

      Congratulations, Certification Designees

      Congratulations to all those who earned a professional certification designation in December.  The top five certifications for December were: Certified Guest Service Professional, Certified Hospitality Supervisor, Certified Lodging Security Officer, Certified Hospitality Sales Professional, and Certified Bartender.  For more information about professional certification, call +1.407.999.8100 or +1.888.575.8726 or visit www.ahlei.org/certification.

      Back to Navigation 

      EI Conducts "Hybrid" Guest Service Gold Training in Peru

      Jaime Mesia, EI's managing director for Latin America, conducted two Guest Service Gold/Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) training sessions for 50 participants at Hotel School USIL in Peru on December 12, 2012.

        The program was unique because part of the class participated in the

      training session via Skype, enabling Mesia to train more people without having to travel to multiple locations.

      Back to Navigation 

       Ninth Edition of Managing Front Office Operations Now Available

      EI has published the ninth edition of the best-selling Managing Front Office Operations textbook by Michael L. Kasavana, Ph.D., NAMA Endowed Professor of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. The ninth edition features a new section on payment card industry (PCI) compliance. This edition also features hundreds of small but important changes throughout the book to reflect today's new computer, Internet, self-service, and telephone technologies.

      Preview the Table of Contents.

      Because the front office is such an important part of any hospitality operation, Managing Front Office Operations is a required course in several of EI's curricula, including the Rooms Division Area of Specialization, International Hotel Management Area of Specialization, Hospitality Fundamentals Program, Hospitality Operations Certificate, and Hospitality Management Diploma. 

      As with the previous eighth edition, this textbook is available with an optional online component, the Front Office Manager program. Managing Front Office Operations will also be available later in 2013.





      Celebrating 60 Years of Hospitality Excellence!

      February 2013--In This Issue

      EI Interviews Tourism Accommodation Australia's Rodger Powell

      The Educational Institute recently spoke with Rodger Powell, Managing Director of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), the division of the Australian Hotels Association that represents the majority of Australia’s leading hotel chains as well as independent accommodation providers via its membership.  TAA leads in advocacy, industrial relations support, industry education, industry research and analysis, and has offices in every state and territory.

      Q: Visitation to Australia has increased in spite of the decline associated with the global financial crisis.  Australia is now the first country to offer electronic passports and visas. How will this move impact tourism over the next year? The next five years?  How is the Australian hospitality industry preparing to meet this increased demand?

      A:The global financial crisis has had a significant impact on Australian Tourism. Whilst international visitor numbers have increased, especially from China and the USA, the domestic tourism market (which is 70% of the total) has been flat and seen reducing length of stay and yield. At the same time the significant strengthening of the Australian dollar has allowed Australians to travel offshore (particularly to the USA) in the greatest numbers ever. The result has been a patchwork of performance with capital city corporate hotels performing well off the back of Australia’s mining boom, but some resort and leisure destinations with a reliance on the domestic market struggling.

      The introduction of electronic passports and visas, together with ‘smart gates’ at airports for frequent visitors, is intended to make Australia more accessible and easier (more welcoming) to do business with. These initiatives have been well received by travelers and further investment is planned to extend these globally competitive programs.  Australia’s greatest growth is forecast to come from our neighbor China. To this end, Australian hotels have invested in excess of a billion dollars since the global economic crisis in renewing accommodation stock and in many areas new hotels are being built. Programs to ensure hotels are ‘China ready’ have been initiated by hoteliers, the government and by private sector training organisations. These programs include the provision of Chinese specific in-room items, foods, translated menus and directories, Chinese speaking staff and cultural awareness training programs. Australia is actively seeking off-shore investors in order to develop new accommodation stock to meet forecast demand.

      Q: What are the current skills and labor issues challenging the continued success of the Australian tourism, travel and hospitality industries?

      A: Australia enjoys high levels of employment and although Australian hospitality workers are highly paid by international standards, the hospitality sector has strong competition for labor from sectors such as mining and from the more socially-palatable industries that work 9.00 to 5.00 Monday to Friday. A recent study undertaken for the Australian Federal Government has indicated that there are currently in excess of 30,000 open jobs in hospitality in Australia and that this number will rise to 50,000 by 2020. Equally there are shortages of skilled employees such as hotel managers, chefs and cooks.

      Q: What measures will Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) take to successfully tackle some of these challenges?

      A: TAA is working closely with industry and governments on a variety of fronts to address these challenges. Lobbying the federal government to add hotel managers, chefs and cooks to the immigration skilled occupation list (a list which gives preference for visas to individuals with those skills) is one initiative. Extending the working holiday maker visa conditions that would allow young foreign travelers to work in Australia for longer than the currently permitted 6 months is another. Our primary objective in regards to Immigration is to persuade government to create a new category of visa for temporary workers that would allow people from other countries to work in our industry for two years. On other fronts, we are working with governments to get people who want to work back into the workforce. Programs for older people and those with a range of disabilities or training needs are actively being worked on.

      Most importantly is raising the profile of the hospitality sector generally by increasing individual employee’s skills and the transportability of their qualifications from one employer to another. TAA’s partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) is critical to this task. TAA has just launched EI’s CHA program in Australia and is working with EI to get more of EI’s high quality hospitality training products into the Australasian marketplace as quickly as possible. The fledgling relationship with EI is a cornerstone of our industry education strategy. Recognising that we live increasingly in a global village, it is vital that we can deliver globally recognised accreditation programs to our members and their employees and that they individually have a path to build their own careers via industry led and accepted accreditation. We are excited by the opportunities provided by EI and to be working with CEO Robert Steele and his very professional and expert team and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.

      About Rodger Powell: Rodger Powell’s 30-year management career includes senior management and executive roles with a number of the hospitality industry’s largest multi-nationals such as Hilton, Bally, Southern Pacific Hotels (now I.H.G.) Best Western and Lion Nathan. He has served in a variety of sectors including Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality, Gaming, Information Technology, Aerospace and Agriculture, working on four continents.

      Powell is also Chairman of Otway Pork, Inland NSW Regional Tourism and Adventure Aerospace P/L and former Chairman of BIG4 Holiday Parks. He is a Director of Baseball NSW, the Sydney Blue Sox, Sunshine Coast Destination marketing, St Andrews Cathedral School and Gawura Foundations; and Deputy Chair of the University of NSW School of Business, Services Marketing Industry Advisory Group.

      EI Attending ITB Berlin In March

      The Educational Institute will be exhibiting during ITB Berlin in the Education Hall 5.1 Booth #309 from March 6-10, 2013. Each year, this combination of industry exhibition, trade fair for the public, and the world's largest tourism convention attracts 180,000 visitors, as well as more than 10,000 exhibitors, and some 7,000 media representatives.

      Visit the ITB Berlin website for more information about this trade show.

      Please let us know if you are attending so that we can schedule a meeting. If you are attending, we would be happy to meet you. Thank you in advance and we hope to see several of you in Berlin next month.

      Guest Service Gold Continues to Make Global Impact

      EI’s Guest Service Gold training program and Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) certification continue to provide hospitality students and employees with the skills needed to deliver amazing guest service.

      NYLO Hotels became the first brand to have all of its properties earn the Certified Guest Service Property designation after training employees at its four hotels: NYLO Plano at Legacy, NYLO Dallas/Las Colinas, and NYLO Dallas South Side (all in Texas); and NYLO Providence Warwick (in Rhode Island).

      The hospitality programs at Cheyney University in Cheyney, Pennsylvania; Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, Indiana; Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, S.A., in Lima, Peru (featured in last month's eNewsletter); and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science in Helsinki, Finland, have all begun teaching their students with Guest Service Gold.  In addition, EI also conducted a train-the-trainer workshop for an instructor at Haaga-Helia who will serve as the main Guest Service Gold trainer in the Helsinki region and provide EI’s Guest Service Gold training to industry professionals in the future.

      In addition, EI also conducted a train-the-trainer workshop for an instructor at Haaga-Helia who will serve as the main Guest Service Gold trainer in the Helsinki region and provide EI’s Guest Service Gold training to industry professionals in the future.

      Watch the video interview with two Haaga-Helia students about Guest Service Gold. 

      Guest Service Gold Training

      As part of its new 2013 tourism and hospitality training scheme, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (Ras Al Khaimah TDA) in Saudi Arabia presented Guest Service Gold training and the CGSP exam to 25 participants. It was one of five major courses for employees of tourism entities in the emirate aimed at improving and upgrading the quality of service within hotels as well as tour operators and destination management companies.

      Victor Louis, Chief Operating Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority said: “Through this new tourism training scheme we are providing exclusive training solutions for the tourism sector to ensure that Ras Al Khaimah tourism industry continues its premium development with world-class people involved at all levels.”

      Newton Hotel School in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is EI’s newest Global Academic Partner (GAP) school. The school, which is part of Newton International, Inc., provides training, recruitment, and placement services to top international and domestic hotels by drawing on its pool of trained graduates, current students, and our extensive network of hospitality professionals within Bangladesh.

      Newton Hotel School currently offers EI's TRAC (Train, Retain, and Certify) programs for restaurant servers, guestroom attendants, and front desk representatives, and will be adding hospitality  management courses and Guest Service Gold training to their student offerings.

      Newton International is a growing group of companies in Bangladesh that are developing professional, productive and well-rounded employees for great businesses. Its mission is to provide the highest quality professional development courses and services that empower students to enjoy more rewarding careers and prosperous lives.

      Upcoming Certified Hospitality Educator Workshops

      The following schools will host Certified Hospitality Educator(CHE) workshops this spring. To enroll, complete and submit an application and enrollment fees to EI's certification departments. Additional fees may be required by the host school.  Complete details can be found at www.ahlei.org/che.

      University of Pittsburgh at Bradford (Bradford, PA)
      April 25-27, 2013
      Instructor: Jill Staples
      Application Deadline: March 22, 2013

      Henry Ford Community College (Dearborn, MI)
      June 21-23, 2013
      Instructor: Polly Buchanan, CHE
      Administrative Fee: $100 (please send to Eric Gackenbach,
      Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd., Dearborn, MI 48128)
      Application Deadline: May 20, 2013

      Congratulations, New Certification Designees!

      EI congratulates the 301 people who earned a professional certification designation from EI in January. Want to be on this list? Visit our certification page for a complete list of available certifications, qualifications, and applications.

      EI Played Role in Opryland Hotel’s Staff Development Efforts

      Dr. Marc Clark, CHA, president and CEO of M. Douglas Clark & Associates and one of EI’s Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) instructors, shared these thoughts on the occasion of EI’s 60th anniversary.

      60 years in a leadership position is quite an accomplishment for any organization. I first became aware of the Educational Institute while holding the position of Director of Training for the Opryland Hotel, located in Nashville, Tennessee back in 1985.  Jack Vaughn, then general manager and industry icon, was a visionary and strong supporter of staff development and the educational resources available through the Institute.

      We achieved two remarkable accomplishments with the support of the Institute’s staff and resources:

      • Opryland Hotel was the first hotel/convention property to hold more than 20 professional certifications at a single location at the same time (CHA’s, CHRE’s, CRDE’s, CFBE’s, CHHE’s, etc.) and
      • the hotel established the largest EI Chapter (in size of membership and community participation) in the country.

      Personally, I’m proud to be a CHA-3 Diamond.  The Institute has had a powerful influence on my personal and professional growth over the past three decades and is a wonderful organization to be associated with.

      Congratulations, EI administration and staff personnel, for your commitment to enhancing education and the level of professionalism you bring to the industry.  Hats off to your 60-year celebration!

      Customized Textbooks Benefit Professors and Students

      When curriculum changes at Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies led to a course that included housekeeping, maintenance, and front office, associate professor Dawn L. McGiffen, CHA, CRDE, CHE, CHS, turned to the Educational Institute for a Customized Textbook. Working with an EI academic account executive, she chose chapters from three different EI books to create a single publication that reflected the content of the class.

      “The three EI texts for front office, housekeeping and property operations maintenance developed into a customized text is excellent. We selected the content that would provide the operations of each department and the importance of their working relationship of the hotel,” said McGiffen. “There are so many new specialized businesses in our industry and a customized textbook allows universities and instructors to tailor the content to prepare our students in many types of properties.”

      Customized textbooks can have any number of chapters—from a two-chapter supplement to a multi-volume text. In addition to chapters from EI textbooks and supplemental textbooks, professors can add their own non-copyrighted materials, then arrange the materials in a way that makes sense for their syllabus.  The Customized Textbook’s cover includes their name and the name of their course—it’s unique to that instructor and school.

      Anthony Agbeh, a hospitality instructor at Southern Illinois University said that while he likes how easy the process is to create a Customized Textbooks, his students most appreciate the savings. “I do not have to have two to three textbooks for a course. The students like that because it is cost effective, and they don’t have to buy two books. It is one-stop shopping,” he explained.

      Customized Textbooks chapters are $6 each, and there is a minimum initial order of five books. Because the books are created to each instructor’s specifications, Customized Textbooks are nonreturnable.  For more information, contact +1.800.349.0299 or +1.517.372.8800 or e-mail academics@ahla.com.

      MARCH 2013                                                                                                                

      Celebrating 60 Years of Hospitality Excellence!
      March 2013--In This Issue                         

      Q & A: A Perspective on Developments in Lithuanian Hospitality

      EI Launches New Website for Improved Customer Experience   

      ITB Berlin Offered Positive Opportunities for Global Outreach              

      Lodging Management Program International Competition Celebrates 10th Year      

      Educational Institute Welcomes Leon Shi, New Country Manager for China        

      Elite Hospitality Brings EI Training to Vietnamese Hospitality Industry             

      Pan Pacific Vancouver Empowers its Employees with EI Training, Certification

      Upcoming Certified Hospitality Educator Workshop
      Rizvi College, Mumbai Holds CHE Workshop

      Congratulations, New Certification Designee

      A Perspective on Developments in Lithuanian Hospitality:
      EI interviews decisionmakers at its partners in Lithuania from the Lithuanian Hotel & Restaurant Association and International School of Law and Business.            

      The Educational Institute recently spoke with Evalda Šiškauskienė, President of the Lithuanian Hotel and Restaurant Association (LVRA), a national association of hotels and restaurants and the single largest hospitality business unifying social organization in Lithuania, and Liudvika Kazlauskaite, head of the Tourism Management Department at the International School of Law and Business in Vilnius, EI’s Global Academic Partner (GAP) school, to discuss the hospitality development from two perspectives, that of industry professionals and education centers.                                                                                                               


      Evalda Šiškauskiene




      About Evalda Šiškauskiene: Evalda Šiškauskiene has been active in the hospitality and tourism industry in Lithuania for over 25 years. Starting out as a hotel receptionist at the Hotel “Lietuva” in 1982 Šiškauskiene steadily climbed the hospitality ladder serving later as the General Manager and owner of various hotels and restaurants in Vilnius, Lithuania. She later applied her hotel knowledge to her own consultancy company before becoming president of the Lithuanian Hotel and Restaurant Association. Evalda has been a key player in the Lithuanian hospitality indsutry and has extensive experience lobbying and working with the government, state and local institutions. Šiškauskiene is also President of the Lithuanian Chamber of Tourism and an EXCOM member of the European Confederation of hotel and restaurant associations HOTREC.

      Q: What trends do you see emerging in Lithuania hospitality and how is the industry preparing to address those trends?
      A: Lithuania is really distinguishing itself in the provision of high-quality hotels, resorts and renovated chateau-style accommodation. Among other new properties, two new chains unveiled hotels in Vilnius in recent months – the luxury chain Kempinski and the Norwegian chain Comfort.

      Hotels in Lithuania continue to do good business, with occupancy rates rising along with capacity. There are currently 7,873 beds in 4,080 rooms in 76 hotels in the capital, and 24,909 beds in 12,113 rooms in 341 hotels overall in Lithuania. This does not include other types of tourism accommodation such as hostels and sanatoriums, which are also prevalent across the country.

      LHRA is currently working on the introduction of a new classification system. The internationally recognised system managed by the HotelsStars Union under the patronage of the European Union’s HOTREC association will replace the outgoing national system.

      It will be obligatory for Lithuanian hotels to be rated. It’s a more flexible system that will be better for hotels and guests alike. Guests staying in Lithuania will be able to understand the standard of hotels on a European level.

      Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the hospitality industry in Lithuania the next year—5 years—10 years?
      A: The biggest problem in Lithuania is seasonability, so our nearest task is to develop conference and medical tourism in Lithuania. Our first contact fair for conference tourism, CONVENE, was held this year in February, for all Baltic region and it is going to be traditional every year.

      Another exciting development that hotels in Lithuania are getting involved in is golf tourism, offering packages that include rounds at the country’s five professionally designed courses. For example, a golf break 20 minutes’ drive from Vilnius at Le Meridien Vilnius, a sprawling 186-room resort-style spa hotel with neighbouring PGA golf course called The V Gold Club could also include visits to the nearby Capitals Golf Club and the Centre of Europe Golf Club. And it’s no problem to then extend a stay with visits to the Vilkės (Wolf) Golf Club in the relaxing spa resort of Druskininkai and the National Golf Resort near the coastal city of Klaipėda.

      Another fascinating development is a wave of openings of freshly renovated chateaus in Lithuania – manors and estates that fell into disuse during the 20th century but which now shine in all their former glory – and welcome guests to stay. Each manor has a specialty or combination of specialties – antiques, concerts, gastronomy and slow food, costumed medieval feasts, wine or beer-tasting, saunas, fishing, horse-and-carriage rides, cycling, kayaking, cross-country skiing.

      Liudvika Kazlauskaite


      About Liudvika Kazlauskaite: Liudvika Kazlauskaite, head of Tourism Management Department in International School of Law and Business, Vilnius, Lithuania represents a leading provider of Hospitality education in Lithuania. She is engaged in curriculum development, supervision and implementation, internationalization of study programmes, quality assurance of the programme, and communication with national and international associations and employers.

      Q: What is your school doing now to meet the increasing demands for hospitality education and training in Lithuania in the future?                

      A:The supply and competition of the hospitality education is very tough now in Lithuania. Each region has a school or several schools, which train hospitality specialists. As a destination, Lithuania is being discovered together with other Baltic states, therefore hospitality business has a potential to expand. The number of trained hospitality specialists is also growing and the competition in this area is increasing every year with new graduate editions. Each school is trying to gain its competitive advantage by offering students double degree programmes with foreign hospitality schools, top-up years, and exchange programmes not leaving aside practical training possibilities. This is a common complex each university offers for their students.

      The International School of Law and Business strives to create better education options in partnership with international educational institutions. As a result, we have created progression routes to leading Swiss hotel management schools where our students can pursue international degrees as well as gain valuable experience for their future careers. The practical training is based on in-company training and on-site learning, while a growing number of international internship opportunities does not only add value to the education but also inspires students to seek further career growth and personal development. 

      A year ago the school signed an agreement with American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. This has been a small step for international cooperation for the school but a giant leap for the graduates of the ISLB. This breaking-through opportunity opens the door for the graduates to experience the added privilege of the education in international career. Perhaps the Lithuanian market might seem too small for EI hospitality training traditions, but facing the globalisation and increasing emigration, it would be unforgivable to ignore the fact of emerging new markets and becoming global citizens. Our study programme has been partially merged with EI 12 course Hospitality Management Diploma programme, the programme stands out of all other programmes offered on the market and is popular with international students. Other EI products will be offered to students and the people from the industry, which would be a fresh injection of hospitality mind-set and skill set for the professional. 

      EI Launches New Website for Improved Customer Experience
      EI has launched a new website at www.ahlei.org, with a clean, new look and feel and easier navigation for finding the perfect training products and programs. The new site includes updated social and sharing features and an automatic translation tool with more than 60 language options to enable EI’s global customers to peruse the website in their own language.

      The website has been optimized for better search results.  It also features a new “articles” section with detailed content about EI programs and information of interest to the hospitality industry.   

      The launch of the new website, which offers quick and easy access to essential information to EI’s products and services, is part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to enhance the quality and availability of information to members and hospitality professionals worldwide.  The website boasts a modern, colorful, and mobile friendly design. 
      ITB Berlin Offered Positive Opportunities for Global Outreach      

      For three consecutive years, EI has attended ITB Berlin, The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show®.  The whole spectrum of the travel world is present at ITB Berlin: ministers, executives, destinations, tour operators, booking systems, carriers, hotels and all other suppliers who want to embellish their customers' experiences.

      Joe McInerney, AH&LA president and CEO, and Robert Steele, EI president and COO, had an opportunity to attend the Pacific Asia Travel Association brunch, where they saw many longtime friends and associates. This was an opportunity for Joe and Robert to discuss with Martin Buck, director, Messe Berlin and head of ITB, some ideas that will benefit EI  next year at ITB.

      EI held a well-attended reception of their current and potential licensees. All were eager to congratulate EI by signing an anniversary message board. The EI booth also received many visitors, including Irina Parfyonova, Olga Pirogova, and Anastasia Pirogova from Ural International Institute for Tourism (pictured right with Robert Steele, Brenda Vazquez, and Ed Kastli).


      Friday, along with being back on the floor at ITB, Joe McInerney and Brenda Vazquez, EI’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, paid a courtesy call on Alexis Trujillo Morejon, Cuba's vice minister of tourism, and Luis Ruiz Gonzalez to make them aware of EI and its programs.  Although we’re aware we can’t sell them education products, it’s important to be known to them in the event that travel to Cuba is opened up by the U.S. government.  

      Friday, EI’s Ed Kastli, Managing Director, and John Lohr, Education and Training Consultant –Europe, had an opportunity to draw attention to EI’s academic courses via a presentation: Enhance your online and traditional academic education programs through partnership.  It was an opportunity to explain to schools exhibiting at ITB how EI courses work, online components available with some courses, as well as how to become a Global Academic Partner (GAP).
      Lodging Management Program International Competition Celebrates 10th Year!

      The Educational Institute will welcome high school hospitality students from around the world to Orlando April 10-12 for the 10 th annual Lodging Management Program (LMP) International Competition. Teams of students will compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships while participating in events that showcase their knowledge of many aspects of hospitality management.
      This year’s teams represent the Bahamas (Andros Island and New Providence), California, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, and Wyoming.  The competition will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, with a closing award ceremony at Epcot Center. During the competitions, high school educators and partner state association education directors will have the opportunity to preview Year 2 of EI’s new Hospitality and Tourism Management Program, which is replacing the Lodging Management Program.                 
       Sponsors for the annual competition include: the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation, Heartland Payment Systems, hCareers, Best Western International, Pearson, Hersha Hospitality, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, and Orlando Tech. Judges for the event represent AH&LA, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, New Castle Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Coakley Williams Hotel Management Co., Best Western International, Wyndham, hCareers, Johnson & Wales University, Sullivan University, and San Diego State University CES.

      Educational Institute Welcomes Leon Shi, New Country Manager for China 

      While the Educational Institute has sold its products and services in China for several years, it has recently changed the structure by which it is represented, in order to expand its reach to more hospitality companies and schools throughout the country. Leon Shi, CHE, has been hired as EI’s country manager of operations for greater China. He holds the Certified Hospitality Educator professional certification from the Educational Institute and has both hospitality industry and academic experience. He was the food and beverage outlets manager for Raffles Beijing Hotel from 2007 to 2009, and pre-opening general manager of the Jade Hotel, Wuhan. He also served as a hospitality instructor for CIBT from 2009 to 2010.             

      As country manager, Mr. Shi will seek out new partners in China’s provinces, provide technical assistance to partners and customers, and oversee the growth and development of EI’s presence to China’s hospitality industry. New partners include:   
      •                     Hangzhou Meihang Education Advisory Service (MEAS), ZheJiang Province                 
      •                     Dalian Mei Ge Culture Communication, Liaoning Province                 
      •                     Yamay Hotel Management Co., Shanghai Province                 
      •                     International Education & Culture Alliance, Sichuan Province                 
      Colgate Holmes Academy in Suzhou has signed an agreement to become one of EI’s Global Academic Partner (GAP) schools, offering EI’s hospitality management courses and certificates to its students. At right, Mr. Shi addresses participants at the GAP signing ceremony for Colgate Holmes.  Audience members included human resource managers from area hotels such as Marriott, IHG, and Shangri-la.

      Elite Hospitality Brings EI Training to Vietnamese Hospitality Industry 
      Elite Hospitality Group is the Educational Institute’s licensee in Vietnam.  Under the direction of Paulina Ngo, founder, president and CEO, the company has been providing hospitality education and training to Vietnam by focusing on professional certification for Vietnamese hospitality industry professionals; workforce development using EI’s Skills, Tasks, and Results Training (START) program; and piloting EI’s hospitality management courses and areas of specialization.               
      Vietnam welcomed 6.8 million international arrivals in 2012, marking a year-on-year increase of 13.86 per cent and bringing revenue of nearly US$7 billion, although improving the country's tourism services could boost the figures some more. Last year, Elite Hospitality certified more than 100 hospitality professionals after introducing the following certifications: Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS), Certified Hospitality Departmental Trainer (CHDT), Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT), Certified Hospitality Facilities Executive (CHFE), and Certified Hospitality Sales Profssional (CHSP).  In 2013, the goal is to certify another 300 Vietnamese professionals, and to launch the following certifications: Certified Rooms Division Executive (CRDE), Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE), Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE), and Certified Lodging Security Director (CLSD).               
      Elite Hospitality is also piloting the START program for entry-level training, finding school partners to deliver START to their students and also securing commitments and support from industry partners to offer skills training and paid on-the-job training for students.  Industry partners include five-star hotels such as Sheraton, Caravelle, Pullman, and JW Marriott.  Elite’s approach to the program features 180 hours of classroom training, 100 hours of practical skills training and 500 hours of paid on the job training.               
      Finally, Elite is pilot testing EI’s five-course areas of specialization curricula to it industry partners.  The company will also be seeking and securing Global Academic Partner (GAP) schools to help them deliver EI’s academic programs to prepare students for hospitality careers.               
      To learn more, visit www.elite-hospitality-group.com

      Pan Pacific Vancouver Empowers Its Employees with EI Training, Certification 

      The Pan Pacific, a 4-diamond and 5-star hotel in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is a world-renowned property that combines the warmth of Canadian hospitality with contemporary North American service excellence to provide a superlative experience for guests and visitors. A local landmark of quality and distinction, the Pan Pacific Vancouver has earned a global reputation for excellence.                                                                                                                                                                                  

      The PanPacific has contracted with the Educational Institute to provide its employees with training and professional development opportunities, using the CourseLine® e-learning platform and professional certification. None of the training is mandatory, but employees have open access to pursue as much training as they desire in whatever areas interest them. Posters in the employee break room (like the one at right) make employees aware of the training opportunities.
      Our associates like that CourseLine is current and has a wide variety of material,” said Shailee Fruin, human capital and development manager for the Pan Pacific Vancouver.  “There are quick, easy access videos that focus on particular skills, or they can go more in depth with the courses.” She noted that the property’s 430 associates have the opportunity to take whatever courses they choose. For instance, one back-of-the-house steward took an accounting course, while a restaurant server is working her way through several courses, exploring her future options in the hospitality field.

       “Our associates appreciate having it available. We have three computer stations in our education and training room, and many associates simply access it from home,” Fruin explained. “As their skills evolve, they can apply for new positions and work toward professional certification."                

      We enable our associates to be responsible for their own development by giving them options,” she continued. “Access to e-learning is free. And while we don’t pay for professional certification up front, employees can submit for educational reimbursement up to $500 per year, including certification fees.”
      The Pan Pacific Vancouver offers its employees recognition points for completing CourseLine training modules and for earning professional certification. These points can be redeemed for a variety of recognition rewards. In addition, when an employee earns a professional certification, the executive team and the associate’s direct manager and peers gather and publicly present the associate with his or her certificate and pin. At right, Rolando Garcia receives his Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS) certifcate and pin.


      Upcoming Certified Hospitality Educator Workshop              
      The following school will host a Certified Hospitality Educator(CHE) workshos this spring. To enroll, complete and submit an application and enrollment fees to EI's certification department. Additional fees may be required by the host school.  Complete details can be found at www.ahlei.org/che.

      Henry Ford Community College (Dearborn, MI)
                              June 21-23, 2013                     
                              Instructor: Polly Buchanan, CHE                     
                              Administrative Fee: $100 (please send to Eric Gackenbach,                     
                              Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd., Dearborn, MI 48128)                     
                              Application Deadline: May 20, 2013

      Rizvi College in  Mumbai Holds CHE Workshop               






                             Rizvi College of Arts, Science, and Commerce in Mumbai hosted a CHE workshop in February for six participants. Instructors for the workshop and certification exam included Mr. Gladvin Rego, Mr. Kamal Manaktola, and Ms. Avril Sule. The school offers a bachelor's degree in hospitality studies.
      Congratulations, New Certification Designees! 

      EI congratulates the 337 people who earned a professional certification designation from EI in February. Want to be on this list? Visit our certification page for a complete list of available certifications, qualifications, and applications.

      60 Years of Hospitality Excellence!

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