ORLA Education Foundation Launches Oregon Tourism Edition of Guest Service Gold Training

[April 18, 2017 - Wilsonville, OR] — The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has customized its Guest Service Gold® training program with a tourism focus, featuring real-life stories from Oregon tourism organizations. The project is a collaboration between the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation (ORLAEF) and AHLEI, with the sponsorship of Travel Oregon.

The new Guest Service Gold®: Tourism, Oregon Edition is the next step in a relationship that began in the fall of 2015, when ORLAEF signed an agreement with Travel Oregon to be the customer service training provider for the state’s travel and tourism industry, using AHLEI’s Guest Service Gold® and the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®). 

“We are very pleased to serve our hospitality partners’ needs by creating a new expanded version of the guest services curriculum,” said Wendy Popkin, ORLA Education Foundation Executive Director. “We appreciate the collaboration with AHLEI and Travel Oregon’s sponsorship so that we could take our concept to reality, and we are excited that it features our state’s own employees representing such a diverse cross-section of our tourism industry. We believe that the use of the curriculum will help provide a common language and platform for our state’s tourism employees with tools that will enable them to create positive and lasting memories for our visitors.”

"We appreciate ORLA Education Foundation’s leadership in delivering a program that enhances the Oregon experience by pairing it with exceptional guest service principles," said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO. "Outstanding customer service can transform a guest's ordinary experience into a treasured memory. We believe that every single guest in Oregon should be treated to the best customer service in the country, which the latest version of Guest Service Gold® will help to achieve.”

Segments in the tourism-focused Guest Service Gold® feature the following Oregon tourism entities: 
  • Recovery: Turn it Around—Theory Restaurant at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
  • Personalization: Provide an Individualized Experience—Timberline Lodge and Ski Area
  • Knowledge: Be in the Know—Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel 
  • Passion: Inspire Others—St. Josef’s Winery
  • Commitment: Be All In—Portland International Airport
  • Inclusion: Include Everyone—Oregon Convention Center
  • Personality: Be Yourself—Travel Oregon State Welcome Center
Victor Arguelles, Manager of Learning and Development for AHLEI, said that the Oregon tourism-specific edition of Guest Service Gold® is “born in hospitality and comes alive in tourism. The goal is to have a seamless guest experience from the time a visitor lands in the airport in Portland to the time they check out of their hotel, and every step along the way. We want everyone who interacts with them to be committed to delivering the best service experience possible.” 

Since AHLEI introduced Guest Service Gold® Making Connections in 2011 and Guest Service Gold® Golden Opportunities in 2015, more than 37,000 individuals have completed the training, with more than 34,000 earning the CGSP® designation.  

For more information on the Oregon program see www.OregonRLA.org/OrGuest.


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The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation (ORLAEF) strives to provide Oregonians with the resources, skills, and means to pursue meaningful careers in the restaurant, foodservice, hotel, and hospitality industries. ORLAEF is the nonprofit education and training arm of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA), the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon. ORLA works to advocate, protect, train and promote the foodservice and lodging industry, which is comprised of over 9,000 foodservice locations and 2,200 lodging establishments, with a workforce of 164,800 and a total economic impact of $8 billion.