LEVELLING up the ante of hotel services in Davao Region, the regional office of Department of Tourism (DOT) launched on Monday, January 29, a five-day intensive course on Luxury 7-star Hotel Butler Service at Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.

The training, which will run until February 2, is just the beginning of this year's series of DOT-led training programs for the region's tourism stakeholders under the tourism department's Tourism Industry Skills Program (TISP).

"The training course is essential to properties seeking to create a seamless service," former DOT-Davao director Roberto Alabado III said.

There are a total of 25 participants for the training. These are from Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Marco Polo Davao, Park Inn by Radisson Davao, SedaAbreeza, Hof Gorei, Eden Nature Park, Island Buenavista and Hijo Resort.

Players from Visit Davao Summer Fest (VDSF) and Association of Human Resources Managers in the Hospitality Industry (AHRMHI) Davao Chapter joined.

DOT earlier granted Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao the privilege of having the hotel-resort's team undergo the certification program by Magnum Butlers Academy's Josephine Ive, a household name in the world of luxury service.

Recently, hotel manager Bryan Lasala welcomed participants to a pre-course orientation with Alabado.

Lasala, who had previously taken the course early in his professional career, further noted that the course equips one with the art of discretion, diplomacy and detail; the ability to take gentle care of guests from arrival to departure; displaying that essential empathy; engaging with guests and providing them an unforgettable experience for a lifetime.

MBA Australia is globally recognized for its expertise in training butlers to impeccable standards. The academy follows an exclusive accreditation system where students are assessed and granted 'lapel pins' for recognition - Black for passers with Credit (75 percent mark); Silver for passers with Merit (83 percent mark) and Gold for passers with Distinction (93 percent mark).

Gold pin-bearer Lasala, who passed with Distinction and is in fact the first certified butler of MBA standards in the Philippines, shared one has to be passionate enough to keep the same level of service standards over time.

Meanwhile, TISP was launched by DOT last September 2017 as a means to improve the quality of service among tourist destinations in the region.

With the new regional director Antonio Fernando Blanco on board, the program seeks to further address the needs of the private sector and focus on enhancing the competencies of the industry's frontliners.