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The 53rd International Congress of Les Clefs d’Or Concierges Set for Washington DC January 10-15, 2006
Jan 12, 06 | 8:56 am
Features Top Government and Hospitality Leaders
Global challenges in delivering service, trends in hospitality markets worldwide and the future of the concierge profession will be featured at the 53rd annual International Congress of Les Clefs d ‘Or Concierges, Jan. 10-15, 2006 in Washington DC at the Capital Hilton Hotel. Held for only the second time in the United States, over 400 concierges , representing the top three percent of the overall concierge profession in the world will participate along with leaders from hospitality, business , education, government and tourism.
Senator Robert Dole, Simon Cooper, President and COO of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Jean-Luc Naret, Director of the world renowned Michelin Guide and Michael Batt, President and CEO of Carlson Leisure Group headline the experts that will speak and debate the business aspects of service excellence and will offer trends and forecasts of the hospitality industry. With unprecedented natural disasters, continued war and global terrorism, emerging and intensely competitive markets and escalating needs to serve a skeptical and weary public, hoteliers and service delivery professionals are more challenged than ever. Hotels and resorts are striving to attract profitable guests and provide service solutions in a consumer market where excellent, much less good service seems rare.
Amidst these challenges, concierge professionals seem to be emerging as service heroes and role models. “The word ‘concierge” appears almost everywhere these days as the ultimate symbol of excellent service, appearing across all industries as an individual, whole departments and even virtual functions “states Roberta Nedry, President of Hospitality Excellence, Inc., a leading service excellence training and consulting firm. “ Consumer and guest expectations are driving these increasing numbers with a frenzied desire for more personal service and the concierge appears to be the ultimate solution. Today’s professional concierge plays an increasingly strategic role in the overall guest experience.”
This year’s Concierge Congress reflects the Les Clefs d’Or organization’s increasing business and bottom line commitment to the profession while also addressing the state of the worldwide hospitality industry. Topics that will be discussed formally and informally will include smart card technology, government assistance, trends and forecasts for the next five to ten years and the profitability impact of this role in top hotels and resorts. Concierge leaders will also debate the continuing challenges of ethics, integrity, training and the concierge profession’s evolution. Noted concierge pioneer and author, Holly Stiel, the first American woman admitted to Les Clefs d’Or over 28 years ago, will reflect on her own personal journey and today’s concierge impact on lifestyle and personal growth. A panel discussion featuring international experts including Mr. Batt, Carlson Leisure Group, Marshall Calder, Senior VP of Marketing for Leading Hotels of the World, Richard Adie, General Manager of the Statler Hotel at Cornell University, William Hanbury, President and CEO of Washington DC Convention and Tourism Corporation, Michael Hirsch, Area Vice President, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Mr.Naret, Michelin Guide and Ms. Nedry, Hospitality Excellence, will present a lively debate of quality assurance and a vision of the future.
“We are honored to be hosting this fantastic Congress and to welcome delegates from over 37 countries”, says Marjorie Silverman, Honorary Chairperson of the 53rd Congress, officially known as the Union International des Concierges d’Hotels (UICH). Ms. Silverman served as the first woman and first American president of this prestigious organization in1999. “This is the first time we will really tackle hard hitting business issues while continuing to promote and improve the technical skills of the profession along with the highest standards of service for hotel guests.”
Les Clefs d’Or (pronounced “lay clay door”) is French and literally translates as ‘keys of gold” .Groups began as societies in many European countries at the beginning of the 20th century. Crossed gold keys displayed on hotel concierge uniform lapels assure travelers they are dealing with a seasoned professional who is dedicated to serving their every need and who has fulfilled intense membership requirements. Les Clefs d’Or professionals have a never-ending network of acquaintances, friends and colleagues from around the world to assist them in meeting and exceeding guest demands. Known for rolodexes worth millions, Les Clefs d’Or concierges are in the enviable position of being able to recommend destinations, businesses, companies, and/or products to thousands of business and leisure travelers throughout the world. Members of Les Clefs d’Or USA represent over 275,000 hotel rooms nightly at more than 250 primarily four-and five-star properties and constitute the only national association of professional hotel concierges in the United States. For more information contact, Jack Nargil, Chef Concierge at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC, former Les Clefs d’Or USA President and Co –chair of the Concierge Congress at (202) 965-1520 or visit www.lcdusa.org .
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