Where’s the customer service?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
holidays may, just may, get cheaper if APD is removed from under 12's

a plea to remember the holidaymaker and reward the service they get

The World Travel Awards have been announced. That’s not quite true. They have been announced for Europe, the Caribbean and North America as well as Latin America Indian Ocean countries and Asia and Australasia.  There are more to come before a world final in December.

Established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries it, according to the organisers, is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. Often called the “Oscars” of the travel industry, I have one significant problem with them and that is that too many are given away.

For each continent there are awards. In Europe, this means over 300 hundred awards. There may be more but I lost the will to count after I had reached 200 so I made a rough estimate. For all the continents there must be a thousand awards or more.

If I just look at the pan-European awards I can find an award for sports resorts and private jet charter, river cruises and marketing campaigns, in-flight magazines and luxury car rental. What I can’t find is a single award for customer service, customer satisfaction or, indeed, anything to do with the customer.

Just as I have criticised some of our local British and Irish located travel awards for not including customer service, I must do the same for these “Oscars.” How can they possibly claim to “reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.” Surely a key sector of the travel industry is the passenger? How many travel and hospitality companies claim to be passionate about customer service yet not to have this vital part of the industry honoured suggests the customer is incidental in the industry.

Next year as the awards reach their silver anniversary maybe the organisers could remember the missing feature and the person on whom the travel industry relies for its very existence – the passenger, traveller and holidaymaker!


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