This refers to the study of spatial distances between individuals in different cultures and situations. This is also no less important part of the etiquette, as this phenomenon is embedded with the basic comfort of the individuals. For example, a client may have the cultural trait of interacting from close and thus an appropriate response from the professional would make the person feel at home. Eye contact: There is difference in the practice of eye contact among cultures and this is also an important ingredient of culture.
Dining/Serving etiquette: The ways of dining and serving are varied across the world and thus professionals need to learn and practice the art of dining and serving to provide the clients a feel of their native cultures. Foods: The adage that “the best way to enter one’s heart is through stomach” proves to be the guiding angel in hospitality sector, because foods away from home happens to be a serious matter of concern for the tourists and thus providing them appropriate delicacies served in right manner is extremely important to keep them in cheerful spirit.
Conversation: This is a broad-based area, where conversation can range from chit-chat to cultural exchange. Accordingly the professionals would do well to subtly provide instances of proximity with the cultures of the clients to earn their confidence. Hospitality & Customer service expectations: Varied are the ways of expectations of people belonging different cultures. Thus a knowledge on how to present a bouquet or even to arrange the room may become a source of joy to the clients and open further prospect of closer ties.
Conflict resolution: Conflicts can arise almost from nowhere in multicultural situation, where there is gross difference in language or lifestyle habits. This is an extremely sensitive issue in the hospitality sector, as often it becomes difficult to find out what went wrong with treatment due to the lack of knowledge about the other culture. Knowing about the cultures and traditions of various regions will be not enough, as the researchers observe, because a large chunk of clients in hospitality sector visits other countries on behalf of their organizations on business purposes.
Therefore, knowledge about company culture is also an important area which the professionals of the hospitality should acquire, which would not only help them serve better to the company officials, but also would ensure further business with them, because such acts would help them earn the confidence of the clients (Kwintessential, 2009). Kwintessential, also provides a clue about the subjects that could be instrumental in acquiring effective cultural competency.
Though their list evolves out of the hospitality environment in UK, yet it serves the benchmark of cultural competence education, which has been placed as below: Culture and Orientation: This covers the culture and tradition of the region as well as the regions from where the major traffic of tourists are expected. History: One of the best way to serve people from other cultures is to know their heritage, from where the culture flows. For that matter knowledge of history of various regions is an absolute must to acquire cultural competency.
Politics: Political ambience of a region grossly influences the human behavioral process and in their decision making – therefore, the professionals would always do well if they keep abreast of the political backgrounds of the clients from other regions. Economy: Knowledge about both the local and the regions from where the clients arrive can greatly help in establishing trust and confidence in the overseas clients. For example, if someone comes from a low economic region, tips on how to have a good time at low spending would be invaluable to the person.
Demographics: Knowledge of this too is an absolute must for the current and aspiring hospitality sector professionals, since it is an extremely essential tool for helping the clients to maintain their mobility. Taboos/Etiquettes/Manners: Taboos are the source of cultural blunder and hence knowledge about them is also very important. The importance of etiquette has already been discussed earlier. Customs: The professionals are expected to serve like a ready-reckoner of various existing customs of the region, besides being knowledgeable about the customs practices by the client.
This helps greatly to enhance the inter-cultural communication and also a way to earn mutual respect about various cultures. Doing Business in the UK: There are several ways and means to legally doing business in UK, which the client may not know, and thus it is the responsibility of the hospitality professionals to provide them all possible information regarding the same. This is no less an important service, since it is the quality of information might determine the future course of action of action of the foreign client, which eventually can bring more business for the hospitality sector itself.