Union Internationale des Concierges dfHotels "Les Clefs dfOr"
Officially registered as U.I.C.H (Union Internationale des Concierge d'Hotel). Les Clefs d'Or is an international network of men and women with common interests and goals. They have their own mystique, a combination of their expertise sources of inside information, intelligence and communication. The Organization is non-political, non-religious and definitely not a trade union of any sort but is based on friendship between members to assist international travellers and tourist. The first such association saw the light of day on 6th Oct 1929 when 11 Concierges from the grand hotels of Paris realized that they could operate more effectively as a team than individually. If they could join forces, they felt, they could make their services more indispensable. The two oldest associations are the French and the Swedes. The Dutch chapter was founded in 1937 and other countries associations date from about the same time. Many were the result of the depression in the late twenties and early thirties. The associations were allied to help each other on unemployment, illness and adversities. There was however, no real sign of any intentional cooperation until after WW II.
On 25th April 1952, delegates from nine countries met in Cannes to hold the first congress and created L'Union Europeene des Portiers des Grands Hotel (UEPGH). Its creation was made possible by Ferdinand Gillet, the Chef Concierge then of Hotel Scribe in Paris, the industry knows him as the 'Father of Les Clefs d'Or'.
Today, it counts 45 member sections representing over 80 countries and over 4000 members.
Our motto is gService through Friendshiph
gLes Clefs dfOrh Golden Keys
"Les Clefs dfOr Japan"
Our association was approved as the 33rd section country of U.I.C.H. at the International Congress in Budapest-Hungary in November, 1997.
The activity of our association was started in 1980's which era is "Concierge" was not commonly prevailed. The profession began to receive more recognition though very slowly as the years gone by. Japanese people who traveled overseas and experienced the concierge services tend to appreciate and utilize its service also within Japan. The management of respective hotels, however, was reluctant to acknowledge the significance of a concierge or Les Clefs d'Or in the service industry. The counterarguement most commonly received from the management was that the honor is given to each individual staff, and they did not see the reason to support for such personal qualification. The stereotype image they had for a concierge was those mature dignified gentlemen in black tail coat, often seen in European hotels. The situation gradually and steadily changed as foreign companies capitalized and opened new hotels such as the Fourseasons, Westin, and Inter-Continental, etc. The hoteliers and staffs these hotels had much more international background, and knowledge of the concierge profession as well as Les Clefs d'Or.
In the first few years of 1990's, under the umbrella of Les Clefs d'Or Singapore, some pioneers were admitted to Les Clefs d'Or Singapore as Adherent Member, and they started to organize with the guidance of Jerry Soh and his team, as Les Clefs d'Or Singapore-Japan Branch. Many colleagues of Les Clefs d'Or extended their kind assistance to us in the process of development. Just to name a few, Tom Wolfe, the founder and the first president of Les Clefs d'Or U.S.A., and Chef Concierge of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, Andy Pongco, Chef Concierge of Hotel Inter-Continental Manila, present the 3rd Vice President of U.I.C.H..
In September 1995, "Key News Japan" started to be published on a monthly base. In December, Holly's book "Ultimate Service" was published translated in Japanese. The year of 1996, we have set up a new membership system for those who are interested in our profession & activities and support its motto "Service through Friendship". We have made a quote big step towards our first goal, to develop and expand the new human network, through members, together with our supporting preliminary members. Les Clefs d'Or Japan Branch increased enough number of members to organize the section in1997, so that we decided to apply for the new chapter-Les Clefs d'Or Japan at the next congress in Budapest after a lot of works with Jerry Soh.
Finally, In November 1997, our association was approved as the 33rd section country of U.I.C.H.. Currently, there are three categories of member's and Associative companies to be governed by Executive Committee of Les Clefs d'Or Japan,