$2.2m regional tourism project
Tourism-related businesses in Barbados will benefit from a $2.2 million regional project aimed to improving the quality of service to clients.
Businesses are yet to be listed, but a total of 80 enterprises in Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will get help in the Hospitality Assured Certification For The Caribbean project.
The 15-month programme is open to hotels and restaurants, sites and attractions, dive operations and other tourism service providers, who simply have to enlist.
The programme, funded by the European Union and its PROINVEST agency, was officially launched at the Collymore Rock, St Michael headquarters of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), which is the overseeing agency.
The CTO’s director of human relations Bonita Morgan told reporters many people had complained that while there were “pockets of excellent service within the region”, more often than not the level of service was of a mediocre standard.
It was also said that often the suppliers of the services felt it was all right to provide a mediocre level of service, she reported.
“We want to change that thinking and to change to culture within the organisations to recognise that . . . to really be competitive in this very competitive business of tourism that we are in the business of service quality has to be one of the key areas that we pay attention to,” she added.
CTO secretary general Hugh Riley said tourism planners and promoters sometimes seemed to confuse value with discounts and deals.
Head of operations of the European Union’s delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Hubert Perr, described the programme as timely, given that the global economic crisis had hurt regional tourism as seen in the “drastically lower” earnings.
It was the EU’s desire to see tourist arrivals return to the levels of two years ago, as the industry regains its prominence regionally, he said.