Compared to the northern part of Botswana, the hospitality service in Gaborone stinks.
Having recently travelled to the north-western part of Botswana with other media personnel, along with CEDA employees, our line of thought was the same: why can’t we receive this same type of service in Gaborone?
We exchanged stories about how snobbish and unpleasant hospitality service providers and their employees are to their customers, the very same people they exist to serve.
It would make sense to assume that service in places like Nata, Kasane and surrounding areas is excellent because they receive a lot of international tourists, which has forced them to be amongst the best in hospitality.
They understand that its tourists who put the bread on their tables so they adapt a mentality of always ensuring that their customers are happy with their service because they also know and respect the multiplier effect.
The layman’s explanation of the multiplier effect would be that its information that is passed on through word of mouth.
The number of service providers in the area compels healthy competition thus they need the recommendations that come from the people who have made use of their services.
It still doesn’t explain why providers in Gaborone treat hospitality customers as if they don’t need them, or perhaps they feel that one unhappy customer is irrelevant.
A waitress, who preferred anonymity, said that employees in the hospitality industry are generally overworked and underpaid and are, therefore, not eager to please the customer because they are annoyed by their work environment.
She said it could also be due to the fact that management in their industry is reluctant to spend money on training their employees on hospitality.
That said, CEDA must be acknowledged for assisting businesses that side of the country; the businesses have blossomed into service givers that Botswana should be proud of.
I was most impressed by the excellent service we received from the owner of Tiso Holdings and his North Gate Lodge staff at Nata, Umpengu Tours and Safari in Kasane, Water Lily Lodge in Kasane and, of course, Tati River Lodge in Francistown.
The hospitality industry in Gaborone can learn a lot from these people.