ANTALYA - Turkish Daily News
Fantastic beaches alone cannot be the sole reason the southwestern province of Antalya is a top tourist destinations, not just in Turkey but worldwide. The formula for success? Good service with a smiling face, according to Servet Aksoy, a teacher at the Anadolu Otelicik ve Turizm Meslek School, a state tourism school founded in 1984.
�It is the people that make the difference. Hospitality and discipline are the key elements for a positive service culture that allows tourists to experience the Turkish Riviera as �heaven on earth.' We teach our students the concept of holidaymaking,� said Aksoy. �The guest has a right to be demanding. Our duty is to fulfill those demands. That is the attitude we are trying to convey to our students.�
The school is also connected to the training hotel Uygulama Hotel, which was founded a year later, in 1985. The interior of the hotel is functional; the rooms are simple but clean. �What is special is the atmosphere,� said Markus, a guest visiting from Berlin, who chose the hotel mainly because of the low prices. �The best thing is, however, that people here laugh a lot. I like that.�
The guests at Uygulama are usually group travelers or students. Almost every weekend there is a wedding or other festivities around the hotel swimming pool. These big events are great lessons for the students � and an additional source of income for the hotel.
The student staff is not yet very experienced, but they are well trained. They have already undergone lessons and workshops at the school before starting work at the hotel. �The only new experience is that they are dealing with real guests here,� explained Remzi Akın, who is responsible for the kitchen and restaurant.
At the restaurant's front desk sits Fatma. The 17-year-old hotel apprentice from Afyon welcomes her guests with a timid smile. �I preferred working in the kitchen,� she confessed, but said she sticks to the rules: �Each of us has to pass through every section of the hotel.�
The students are supposed to understand the hotel system as a whole before concentrating on a specific field. �Most graduates work at one of the many five-star hotels in Antalya,� explained Aksoy. Some also work for travel agencies. �The current trend however is for catering services and airlines.�
Fatma has her own dream: �I want to open my own restaurant.� Ideally, it will be a small place, with an excellent kitchen that also encourages guests to explore the area. To serve her guests from abroad, she is working hard in her English classes.
�Foreign languages have become more important than in the 1980s,� said Habibe Bedelci, deputy manager at Uygulam. �Back then our guests used to be mainly from Turkey. Now the majority are coming from Germany, Britain and, since a few years ago, from Russia.�
During the peak season, the restaurant often gets busy. �That is a great challenge for our students,� said Akın, who sometimes has to moderate the excitement of his young staff. �Of course they are not supposed to run. Fast and attentive service � that's the objective.� The number of broken glasses are recorded on a daily list. �It's a good average loss,� reassured Akın. �Three to four glasses a day. Our staff are very careful.�
Anadolu Otelicik ve Turizm Meslek Lisesi
Varlık Mh. 100
Yıl Bulvarı, next to the Archaeological Museum