University of Santo Tomas Honored as First Academic Certified Guest Service Property


TheAmerican Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has honored The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (UST) in the Philippines as the first academic institution in the world to be recognized as a Certified Guest Service Property. The designation is awarded to organizations that have made a commitment to train their people with AHLEI’s Guest Service Gold® program and certify individuals as Certified Guest Service Professionals (CGSP®).

The university’s College of Tourism and Hospitality Management (CTHM) certified faculty members, staff, and students who work in the university’s on-site hotel. UST has committed to offering the training and certification five times a year to ensure that all hospitality graduates earn the certification. Earning the Certified Guest Service Property designation is one of many steps UST is taking to ensure that the school is globally competitive.

The award ceremony was held in the Rector’s Hall in UST’s main building on March 24. Special guests at the event included Ms. Aliza Totayo, Commercial Attaché of the International Trade Administration of the Embassy of the United States of America; and Francinne San Juan and Machi Borja, respectively, General Manager and Director of Asia World Hospitality, AHLEI’s global partner in the Philippines.

Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., Ph.D., Rector (UST) mentioned in his acceptance speech that “The university likewise continues to strengthen degree programs in order to facilitate academic mobility for both faculty members and students. This will help develop their competencies by exposing them to best practices in the world.” He also acknowledged the thorough and sincere efforts of all the college personnel whose assistance made the achievement possible.

The University of Santo Tomas is one of several academic institutions in the Philippines working with AHLEI to enhance their hospitality programs through professional certification. In the summer of 2016, the school was one of three to host a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE®) workshop and exam session to provide faculty members with the opportunity to earn the only professional certification for post-secondary hospitality instructors. Earning the Certified Guest Service Property designation is further evidence of the school’s commitment to excellence.

“It is our great pleasure and honor to see UST, the oldest university in Asia, conferred with the Certified Guest Service Property designation as this historic institution continues to demonstrate its thirst for eminence in education for its students and outstanding reach in pedagogy for its faculty,” said Ed Kastli, AHLEI’s vice president, international sales. “Congratulations on yet another first!”

Pictured (from left): Machi Borja; Francinne San Juan’ Very Rev. Father Herminio V Dagohoy,O.P., Ph.D.; and Aliza Totayo.

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI)

Established in 1953 as the nonprofit education and training arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), AHLEI’s mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to educate, develop, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.