The Hospitality Charter
TOURIST CONSORTIUM IN – MANAROLA, CINQUE TERRE
CHARTER OF HOSPITALITY
OUR PHILOSOPHY: QUALITY, SUSTAINABILITY, LINKS WITH THE LAND.
The Hospitality Charter The associated hospitality activities, hotel and non-hotel, provide rooms and/or apartments to rent in different buildings in the villages of Manarola, Groppo and Volastra, in the heart of the National Park of Cinque Terre.
Together, the buildings make up a kind of “hotel you cannot see” as the rooms and apartments intended for guests are not all in one building, created “ad hoc”, but are located within the pre-existing uninhabited and restructured historical buildings.
The common goal is to strengthen our type of hospitality, attentive to the themes of sustainability, recovery of the local character, the authenticity of the experience and, at the same time, aiming to provide a high-quality tourism service.
OUR DEVELOPMENT MODEL IS CHARACTERISED BY THE FOLLOWING KEY POINTS
- economic and social sustainability and respect of the local cultural environment: idespread micro-enterprise, allows income and employment in the area to be maintained; therefore it represents a true social defence as it avoids depopulation of the villages, without contaminating the local culture, environment, identity of the places; the “village inn” allows the inhabited centres to maintain a variety of functions, residential, business, artisanal, agricultural;
- environmental sustainability: creation of our accommodation has not had an environmental impact as it did not require construction of new buildings, but rather simple restructuring and evaluation of the old existing urban heritage;
- authenticity of the experience: unlike the traditional big tourist facilities (large hotels, tourist residences, tourist villages etc.) our original lodgings allow tourists to stay in houses designed as real homes, with structural characteristics which differ from those designed for “tourists”. Guests can also live in contact with residents, rather than with other tourists; the experience of the place thereby becomes an experience of the overall culture of the community as a whole in its various manifestations;
- structure of the proposal: the guest has at their disposal a wide range of choices. The proposed product itself is differentiated in terms of different accommodation types (small guest buildings, non-hotel buildings such as holiday houses and guest houses), different architectural characteristics of the buildings and variety of services; this allows a policy of differentiation (including of prices) with the intention of applying different facilities to different types of use;
- management style and links with the area: our style of hospitality is characterised by the original atmosphere and its links with the area. Management of each individual structure reflects both the personality of the owners and the spirit of the area;
- quality of services: the Charter of Hospitality guarantees the delivery of specific services with well-defined quality standards. Particular importance is given to the system of continuous verification of the quality of the network as well as in order to maintain the agreed standards over time. Verification of customer satisfaction through appropriate “satisfaction measurement” is a crucial part of the project as it constitutes a continued source of suggestions to improve the service offered. The data obtained from the questionnaires will also be integrated with data relating to the ranking of the buildings on the main online Web review platforms (TripAdvisor etc.) and on the main
online booking and review portals (Booking.com, AirB&B etc.).
Transformation of the information collected into operational information will allow continued redefinition of the characteristics of the service which can be quickly adapted to the needs of the customers.
We state that the Charter does not overlap the “stars” and “suns” hotel and non-hotel service ratings system, but integrates with the offer of services affecting their quality.
RESPONSIBILITIES SHARED BY MANAGERS:
Accommodation employees who adhere to the Charter of Hospitality of the in-Manarola Tourism Consortium must have a specific vocation for the hospitality culture and good interpersonal skills.
They ensure that:
- the guests’ perception of hospitality is continually noted throughout the entire stay;
- hospitality also means taking care of the experience the guests have in the area and outside of the guesthouse;
- it is also the job of the guesthouse to present and represent the culture of the area;
- the suggestions and complaints from clientele must be welcomed and considered as starting points to implement policies to improve management of business activities.
THE RELEVANT MANAGERS THEREBY UNDERTAKE:
- to accept the principles and philosophy of the model;
- to be involved in the services, management, products and in the decor, care and attention to culture of the place; to organise hospitality which is a union between evaluation of the rare and unique aspects of the area and satisfaction with the wishes of the customers in terms of the destination’s welcome, hospitality and quality;
- to begin communication which meets the requirements of thoroughness, clarity and veracity;
- to show proper adhesion to the charter by using the specific brand correctly in internal and external communications; cessation of membership in the scheme, for any reason, involves the immediate return of the plaque with the brand logo and absolute prohibition of use of the brand itself, in any way and under any circumstance;
- To maintain at every guesthouse the following quality standard:
- welcome/hospitality: high level of hospitality in relation to the specific construction and functional characteristics of the guesthouses; each manager will undertake to make the stay of the guests as pleasant as possible; they guarantee:
- the presence of an employee on the customer’s arrival when they have booked in advance and immediate availability in the event of the customer’s unexpected arrival;
- timely assistance to the customer, in the event the guesthouse is fully booked, in finding other accommodation in the area, preferably near the guesthouse belonging to the Consortium;
- the utmost attention by employees to supplying the main information relating to the guesthouse (telephone availability, timetables, rules, services and common areas during the stay) and local logistics (public transport timetables, departure of excursions etc.);
- the utmost solicitude and availability to guests should they find themselves in a situation where they need specific assistance or help;
- the utmost commitment to guaranteeing the guests have a calm and tranquil stay, with regard to local customs related to the calmness of the villages and the rules of behaviour for those staying in the guesthouse;
- compliance with regard to prices and fees declared to the relevant authorities;
- rooms/units: all buildings are presented in a clean and tidy fashion. The rooms or units have a welcoming appearance with pleasant, comfortable and functional decor;
- professionalism: guest house employees possess the following basic professional requirements:
- knowledge of the tasks connected with the activities performed;
- possession of suitable interpersonal skills;
- adequate knowledge of the area and its attractions;
- basic knowledge of the English language;
- promotion of the area: the managers carry out constant activities to promote the area and conscious use of the same through:
- verbal information aimed at the users;
- distribution of promotional information, maps, documentation and bibliographical information in various languages in the guesthouse;
- display of an information board. They can also direct the guests at the information desks in the area where they are able to promptly provide further information.
Of particular importance is the promotion of excursions, to discover the area’s natural beauty and historical and cultural heritage, and tasting of typical products.
With the customer satisfaction form, the managers are responsible for providing guests with a questionnaire on service satisfaction to return to the authorised persons in the guesthouse itself.