Cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing is the hot ticket in town as tourist sea­son ap­proaches

Ex­pe­ri­ence at Keltic Lodge re­in­forced de­sire to work in tourism

The Victoria Standard - - Front Page - CAR­OLYN BAR­BER

The skills and ex­pe­ri­ence Ethan Wal­lace, 25, ac­quired last sea­son work­ing at the Keltic Lodge have trav­elled back to Aus­tralia with him.

Wal­lace took part in the Keltic Lodge’s first ever in­ten­sive pre-sea­son cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing for front line staff, fa­cil­i­tated by con­sul­tant Ian Mcneil in co­or­di­na­tion with the Depart­ment of Labour and Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion. The five-day train­ing cov­ered top­ics cru­cial to the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, in­clud­ing first im­pres­sions and pre­sen­ta­tion (body lan­guage, ges­tures), ac­tive lis­ten­ing, tak­ing lead­er­ship, up­selling, time man­age­ment, and deal­ing with dif­fi­cult or ag­gres­sive guests. Wal­lace is now pre­par­ing for a man­age­ment role in the travel in­dus­try.

“I fre­quently call on the skills I learnt both with Ian and dur­ing my sea­son at Keltic,” said Wal­lace, now work­ing in head of­fice at the Flight Cen­tre Group, one of the world’s largest travel brands, while pur­su­ing a Masters of In­ter­na­tional Business at Grif­fith Univer­sity in Bris­bane. He al­ready had post­grad­u­ate study plans prior to tak­ing the po­si­tion at the Keltic Lodge, but says the ex­pe­ri­ence re­in­forced his de­sire to work in the travel in­dus­try.

“I learned a lot about com­mu­ni­ca­tion and I feel it has helped me in my cur­rent role. It was an as­set when I worked at a hos­tel in Cam­bo­dia. I was deal­ing with peo­ple from a range of back­grounds which, a lot of the time, meant bal­anc­ing the ex­pec­ta­tions of our guests with the re­al­i­ties of be­ing in a de­vel­op­ing coun­try.”

Wal­lace be­gan his jour­ney home to Aus­tralia in Novem­ber.

“I had a re­union with my mum at Dis­ney World be­fore head­ing off to the Baltics and then on to Rus­sia. Re­al­iz­ing I may never again be in a po­si­tion where I needed to make a one-way trip back from the north­ern hemi­sphere to Aus­tralia, and want­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence an­other north­ern win­ter, I de­cided it would be a good op­por­tu­nity to do the Trans-mon­go­lian rail­way from St Peters­burg to Beijing. From there, I headed down to Cam­bo­dia where I worked in the hos­tel.”

Ac­cept­ing his col­leagues’ chal­lenge upon de­par­ture, he took a photo with his train­ing cer­tifi­cate on ev­ery leg of the jour­ney.

Ethan Wal­lace re­ceived a Work­place Ed­u­ca­tion cer­tifi­cate for his par­tic­i­pa­tion in a cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing pro­gram at the Keltic Lodge last year. In the past year, Wal­lace trav­elled across the globe be­fore land­ing in his new home of Bris­bane,...

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