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SL ready to host 3rd International Housekeepers’ Summit next month

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 6 June 2018 00:00


  • Over 300 hospitality housekeeping professionals from over 15 countries to participate 
  • Asian Housekeeping Awards to recognise best housekeeper in the region for outstanding performance and contribution
  • IHS 2018 includes interactive sessions of housekeeping on a digital platform, education and training, outsourcing and sustainability, quality and linen care 
  • Summit to have Buyer-Seller meet to enable business interactions with all delegates

By Charumini de Silva

Sri Lanka is all set to host the third International Housekeepers’ Summit (IHS) in Colombo from 4 to 5 July, themed ‘Rekindling Foundations of Housekeeping, Linen Care and Customer Services’.

The two-day summit organised by Virtual Info Systems Ltd., India and presented by Asian Housekeepers Association (AHA) is endorsed by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Ministry and will be held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, with over 300 hospitality housekeeping professionals from over 15 countries participating at the event.

Delivering the welcome address, Shangri-La Hotel Vice President and General Manager Timothy Wright pointed that the IHS 2018 is a great opportunity to meet experts and fellow professionals and learn the new trends of technology available in this industry. 

“Having worked in hospitality for longer than I wish to disclose, housekeeping professionals should be recognised for the immense contribution to the business, as they manage one of the larger departments in the hotel. They maintain and take care of expensive assets – the carpets, flooring, laundry equipment, finishing, and they also take care of our guests,” he added.

He also said that Colombo as a destination has garnered a growing interest from various stakeholders to hold regional and international conferences.

“The third IHS coming to Sri Lanka indicates the growing interest and expectation of Colombo as a destination. With the IHS summit being held for the first time in Sri Lanka is a great testament that Colombo has now become a popular a destination for MICE tourism,” Wright pointed out.

He expressed confidence in creating an interesting and meaningful conference and showcasing their Sri Lankan hospitality at Shangri-La hotel during the two-day conference.

Tourism Development Minister’s Senior Advisor Felix Rodrigo said housekeepers play a vital role in the hotel operations, but unfortunately their contribution is not recognised. Thereby, he said events such as IHS will give due recognition to housekeeping department to serve the traveller of the future.

The AHA Representative and Maldives Housekeeper’s Forum General Secretary Hari Krishnan pointed out that IHS is the only platform that has taken up the task to redefine housekeeping in the corporate strategy and the movement is fast growing. 

“During the first Summit in 2016, we formed the AHA with five countries and today it has grown to 11 countries taking forward the mission. While the executive housekeepers move up the ladder to become general managers, it is necessary to connect, understand and strengthen relations with all the departments in a hotel,” he said.

Krishnan noted that HIS 2018 will have highly interactive sessions including housekeeping on a digital platform, education and training, outsourcing and sustainability, quality and linen care among all other topics related to housekeeping. 

Alongside the Summit, they have also planned Asian Housekeeping Awards to give recognition to one housekeeper in entire Asia for outstanding performance and contribution to housekeeping. The winner holds the title of Best Housekeeper of Asia for one year. During this period, the winner will work towards the better in the field of housekeeping. 

During the gala award night, IHS will also have a fashion show – Uniforms a Corporate Fashion Statement – showcasing the designer’s collection of hotel uniforms. The hotel school students walk the ramp wearing the latest designs. The summit will include a Buyer-Seller meet to enable business interactions with all the delegates.

Outlining the current developments in the hospitality industry Virtual Info Systems Ltd. Managing Director Jayaprakash Nair said rooms today are a major revenue earner for the hotel unlike the F&B previously. 

“Rooms are housekeepers’ forte and now with 100% occupancy, maintaining the facility is a challenge. As housekeepers, they are on call 24/7 and form the interface between the guest and the hotel, yet the significance of their contribution hardly gets highlighted,” he stated.With the prime motive to prepare the housekeepers to brace this changing scenario and providing them with the right knowhow, technology, traits and product information, he said the IHS 2018 has put together well-thought sessions enabling the housekeepers to not only improve efficiency, but add to the revenue graph of the hotel and above all move up in the corporate ladder. 

“It is not common for housekeepers to rise up to the General Manager level in Asia, but well, it is possible to become one now. We are already seeing housekeepers in India taking up jobs of general managers and even moving into the facility service industry as general managers now,” Nair pointed out. 

He highlighted the fact that a mass awareness is needed to give and get importance to the work housekeepers do and contribute. ‘“I am sure with such a dedicated team of the AHA, soon housekeepers in the hospitality industry and the students in the hotel management institutes will look upon housekeeping a much sought-after profession,” he added.

The AHA is a conglomerate of housekeeping associations from 11 countries and the summit aims at redefining housekeeping in the corporate strategy. The Association members include i-Professional Housekeepers’ Association, India; Maldives Housekeepers’ Forum; Sri Lanka Housekeepers’ Association; Professional Housekeepers’ Group, UAE; Doha Housekeepers Group; Kuwait Housekeepers Hub; Saudi Arabia Housekeepers Association; Malaysian Association of Housekeepers; Vietnam Executive Housekeeper Association and Indonesian Housekeepers Association. These associations form the Asian Housekeepers Association headquartered at Mumbai, India.  

Pix by Lasantha Kumara



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