Thistle Hotels’ ongoing commitment to developing and improving customer service has resulted in a commitment to accredit the full UK estate with Hospitality Assured status – in conjunction with the Institute of Hospitality.
Thistle’s dedication to carrying the renowned mark of approval from the hospitality body begins with its announcement that it is now working in partnership with the IoH to become 100% accreditated for its service standards by 2010.
The full accreditation from the body would be a first for any major UK hotel group and would see the 33-strong portfolio set its service standards in line with the Institute of Hospitality’s defined guidelines for exceptional practice within the leisure and tourism industries.
Within the next 12 months, Thistle’s UK hotel sites, as well as all support departments including HR and Finance, even chief operating officer, Heiko Figge, will be carefully assessed to be awarded the IoH certification.
Hospitality Assured recognises hospitality practice that exceeds the IoH’s strict principles on offering the highest quality of customer service, encouraging continued improvements and re-evaluation of service, and coaching managers who promote a culture of excellence within colleagues.
Thistle, which is currently undergoing a £100million rebranding programme including a full overhaul of all its properties, is already leading the way with this dedication to excellence, with four of its hotels now marked with the Hospitality Assured stamp of distinction: Thistle Inverness, Thistle Aberdeen Caledonian, Thistle Aberdeen Alterns and Thistle Aberdeen Airport.
Thistle has been busy working alongside the IoH within these hotels to set the standards for the roll-out of the accreditation across the group, which includes a self-assessment process undertaken by all colleagues to identify any areas of service improvement and finally, the successful completion of an external assessment from a third party assessor.
According to Heiko Figge, chief operating officer, Thistle Hotels, the Hospitality Assured accreditation is further testament to the group’s commitment to excellence:
“Greatly improving the experience for our guests lies at the core of our current investment across all of our properties, which includes installing first-class facilities, refurbishing the properties to a contemporary high-quality finish and ensuring the very best customer service – to be the first UK hotel group that is fully recognised in this way by the leading industry body is a great honour.
“Accreditations such as Hospitality Assured prove excellent service is achieved within all of our hotels, and that customers can continue to depend on the Thistle guest experience.”
Ann Corrigan, Deputy Chief Executive, Institute of Hospitality adds: “We’re delighted that a national, well-recognised hotel group such as Thistle Hotels is working closely with the institute to educate its colleagues on our service excellence framework – the Institute and Thistle are working in partnership to provide exceptional service within UK tourism.”