Panama Association of Hotels Hires FreemanGroup

Leading hospitality quality specialists sign landmark contract with APATEL

Richardson, TX, June 28, 2007 --( The hospitality training company, FreemanGroup has announced that their Costa Rica office will implement a comprehensive training and performance management program for the Panama Association of Hotels, APATEL. The program will involve training initiatives that will aid in the development of the human resource in the hotel sector of Panama.

Earlier this year the non-profit organization APATEL signed a contract with the local government agency in Panama, the National Institute of Vocational Training and Training for Human Development, INADEH, which will provide all the necessary funding to carry out the project. In order to execute the contract, APATEL solicited the expertise of the service training company FreemanGroup.

"Panama is investing in ongoing education for the entire hotel sector in order to obtain an immediate competitive advantage over other countries,” said Seidy Elizondo, executive director of FreemanGroup’s Central American operations. “The goal is to provide the hotel sector in Panama with the skills and knowledge needed to train current and future employees to ensure high quality customer service for years to come.”

The program will be carried out in three phases, the first of which will provide support and improvement to the hotel sector. FreemanGroup consultants will begin working with area hoteliers in order to measure the current customer service quality throughout the region.

The second phase, which will be conducted over a period of nine months, will carry out specific and detailed training programs benefiting all personnel in the tourism industry. Beginning with the implementation of Standards of Performance Manuals, a set of service standards for every job category within the industry will be selected. Then, the personnel will receive 25 Foundations™ workshops, consisting of 20 participants each, of which five will be assigned specifically by INADEH. Once the Foundations™ workshops are complete all personnel from 100 hotels will engage in operational skills training for a period of 60 weeks.

The final aspect of the second phase will involve two instructional techniques seminars of 10 participants each (eight corresponding with all the programs hotels, and two corresponding with INADEH). This seminar will give participants the capability to become self-sufficient with a quality service-training process and be able to initiate a viable in-house resource.

The third phase will consist of FreemanGroup consultants conducting follow-up inspections to measure service performance results and to keep training relevant to issues uncovered in the process. APATEL will use these results as a foundation to build upon, as it has scheduled a second series of training to commence in 2008, which will include 100 additional hotels in Panama.

The Asociación Panameña de Hoteles (APATEL) or the Panamanian Hotel Association was created in 1964 by a group of visionaries in the in the hotel industry who foresaw the growing need to establishing a non-profit organization comprised of businessmen/women engaged in Panama’s tourism development.

The Instituto Nacional de Formación Profesional y Capacitación para el Desarrollo Humano (INADEH) or the National Institute of Vocational Training for Human Development was established with the main objective of implementing policies, strategies and programs on vocational, labor and business management training for the public and the private sector, as well as administrating and allocating public funds to that end.

About FreemanGroup
FreemanGroup offers an entirely integrated consulting service, a comprehensive range of service solutions and exceptional quality support to the hospitality and travel industry worldwide. The firm's clients include major hotels and resorts, restaurants, casinos, destinations and ports of entry worldwide. FreemanGroup services are comprised of hospitality employee training, quality inspections/mystery shopping, standards of performance, job description templates, human resources solutions, creation and customization of service standards for any function and executive search. Founded in 1985 by Bill Freeman, FreemanGroup is based in Richardson, Texas. The firm also has offices in New York, London, San Juan, Florida, Costa Rica and Vancouver. For more information, contact Ms. Pat Moore, Director of Business Development at 904-273-9904 (FL), 972-479-1345 or visit


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