Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has underscored the importance of building a culture of service excellence within the tourism sector to further position Jamaica as a globally competitive destination.
“Our goal is to create a differentiation in service that establishes a competitive advantage for Jamaica, so we remain top of mind for visitors when they are planning their next vacation,” he said.
The Minister contended that to secure the sector’s continued growth and long-term success, “we must ensure that all aspects of the product are right… that every tourism worker and entity provides exceptional service and delivers on what we promise when we market destination Jamaica”.
Mr. Bartlett said the new tourism approach towards this thrust requires a highly skilled, efficient and competent employee base, capable of delivering the highest standard of personalised, first-class customer service.
He was addressing participants, via video link, at a recent ceremony to announce the semi-finalists for the Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA) at the Courtyard by Marriott Kingston Hotel.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett said recognising and rewarding service excellence is integral to developing tourism’s offerings, and lauded the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) for spearheading the Tourism Service Excellence Programme (TSEP) and hosting the awards.
The programme selects, showcases and awards the industry’s best in service excellence; evaluates the service provided; and serves as a mechanism to encourage tourism entities to improve customer service delivery.
The 21 semi-finalists will vie for the awards on March 17 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, where the winners for both the Individual and Organisation categories will be announced and awarded.
The 10 Individual and 11 Organisation qualifiers were selected from 126 nominees, covering the regions of Ocho Rios, Negril, Kingston, the south coast and Montego Bay.
The semi-finalists, who represent various categories within the industry, including accommodation, ground transportation, attractions and the craft industry, were selected by a panel of judges following a series of evaluations and interviews.
“Jamaica has proven itself as a world-class destination by its ability to deliver on the brand promise through these very individuals and organisations that we recognise annually at the TSEA,” Mr. Bartlett stated
He added that, “events like the TSEA, which recognise and reward shining examples of tourism excellence, are important to the industry, as they keep us on our toes, raise the bar in terms of enhancing visitor experiences and reinforce the value of our tourism workers and the sector”.