Published On: Monday, 18 June 2018

Take the Time to Notice Your Difference Makers

Take the Time to Notice Your Difference Makers

TOURISM - In tourism we talk a lot about what differentiates us from other locations in the world. Our Iconic products, the authenticity of our story and shared history, the activities which provide opportunities to expand personal horizons, and of course, our culinary offerings which bring the bounty of our land to our plate and glass.

I was, however, reminded early this month that none of this matters without the most important ingredient — our people. Those individuals who, day in and day out, deliver the tourism products and services to our guests and weary travellers. They are the difference maker between a visitor that leaves satisfied, fulfilled, or even grateful, and those that leave disappointed.

Many of our communities celebrate their tourism and hospitality employees for exemplary service in the face of often difficult challenges. We applaud this type of initiative and encourage other communities and areas to see how they might do the same.

At the Kelowna Hotel Motel Association (KHMA) Heart of Hospitality Awards this past week, I listened to the stories of front line staff members going above and beyond guest expectations.  From replacing a young lady’s converse sneakers after she walked into construction cement; another taking a guest shopping for important and urgently needed medical supplies after their car had broken down; to another employee that had the foresight to recognize a potentially tragic and fatal situation before it happened and in so doing ultimately changed the course of someone’s life, and by extension, that of many of the lives of their friends and family.

Hotels, restaurants, attractions, and transportation companies all fall short when the positive and proactive interaction with staff is lacking. Take the time to notice your difference makers in your business or organization!  Thank and encourage them to continue to care, notice, and help whenever and wherever they are able to.

You will be rewarded with having visitors that will remember, return, and talk about their experiences in new and meaningful ways and you will have team members that understand and appreciate their critical role in delivering exceptional tourism experiences.

Glenn Mandziuk is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Region. He can be reached at