LONG BEACH - Eleven
Russian hotel and hospitality management entrepreneurs will spend
the next two weeks in training at The University of Southern Mississippi's
Gulf Park campus. The program, sponsored by the Southern Miss Tourism
Management department and two local Rotary Clubs, will provide advice
on American hotel and hospitality practices and techniques from
their industry counterparts.
On campus from Feb. 28 through March 11, the delegates
will participate in educational sessions regarding management strategies,
planning and analysis, customer service management and other topics
regarding American tourism and hospitality. They will travel to
local businesses throughout the Gulf Coast with a Russian facilitator
and professional interpreter who will assist in the understanding
of the coast's industry practices.
"We are extremely excited about sharing with
the Russian hoteliers how the hospitality and hotel industry operates
in the United States, particularly in the South where 'Southern
Hospitality' is a way of life," said Ernie Wilson, director
of the program and assistant professor of Tourism Management at
"The training program and the industry visits
we have designed for them cover a broad spectrum of hotel management
topics and how hotels interface and depend upon other segments of
the overall tourism and travel industry."
Southern Miss and the Rotary Club of Gulfport-Orange
Grove and the Rotary Club of Gulfport have partnered together to
educate and instruct the Russian Hospitality Industry delegation.
Sheila Currie, International Committee chairman of
the Rotary Club of Gulfport, believes that the Productivity Enhancement
Program provides an opportunity for Rotary to build a bridge of
cultural and economic understanding between Russia and the United
"More than 400 Rotary Clubs in 45 states have
participated in the PEP program. What I find intriguing are 94 percent
of PEP graduates surveyed indicated Rotary's principles and values
have had a strong impact on their thoughts and actions," Currie
The program has been organized through the Productivity
Enhancement Program, the flagship program of the nonprofit Center
for Citizen Initiatives. They provide intensive U.S.- based business
management training for Russian entrepreneurs.
For more information on the program, please contact
Ernie Wilson at (228) 214-3240.