SPA Therapist and Couples San Souci Win TSEP Awards

Photo: Glenis Rose Programme (TSEP) awards during the presentation ceremony at the Hyatt Ziva Resort in St. James on March 4. Spa Therapist at Sandals Royal Plantation, Simone Folkes (fifth left) won the national individual award, while Couples San Souci, represented by General Manager, Pierre Battaglia (fifth right), took the national organization award.

Story Highlights

  • Spa Therapist at Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Simone Folkes and Couples San Souci in St. Mary, copped the individual and organization titles respectively, at the 2017 Tourism Service Excellence Programme (TSEP) awards, held at the Hyatt Ziva Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on March 4.
  • Speaking to JIS News following the ceremony, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who launched the programme in 2008, said he is elated that the event is back on the tourism calendar to celebrate the white glove, high touch service which Jamaican tourism professionals consistently deliver.
  • Mr. Bartlett said the winners clearly demonstrated that tourism is made up of several moving parts which come together to form an experience for everyone.

Spa Therapist at Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Simone Folkes and Couples San Souci in St. Mary, copped the individual and organization titles respectively, at the 2017 Tourism Service Excellence Programme (TSEP) awards, held at the Hyatt Ziva Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on March 4.

Miss Folkes won from a field of nine finalists, while Couples San Souci emerged champion ahead of eight other tourism entities.

Speaking to JIS News following the ceremony, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who launched the programme in 2008, said he is elated that the event is back on the tourism calendar to celebrate the white glove, high touch service which Jamaican tourism professionals consistently deliver.

“There is nothing like celebrating, highlighting and rewarding service. I think that service is the essence of the experience that we provide to visitors and Jamaica has a record of repeat business primarily because our service levels are at a very high standard,” the Minister said.

“It is the people of Jamaica who have made this industry what it is and therefore we should not hesitate in extolling their virtues and rewarding them for the work they have done,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett said the winners clearly demonstrated that tourism is made up of several moving parts which come together to form an experience for everyone.

“The spa winner tells you (that) you don’t have to be working in the accommodation sub-sector to be considered a valued player. On the organizational side a hotel won…I am excited about this because what it has done is to identify the various moving parts,” the Minister noted.

Mr. Bartlett said plans for the staging of the event in 2018 is already being drafted and it should be a much bigger and better event.

Meanwhile, Miss Folkes told JIS News that she feels honoured to have been a nominee and that winning the national award is overwhelming.

Miss Folkes, who started out in the Housekeeping Department with Sandals four years ago before moving to the spa, said that “to be the resort area winner means so much to me.”

“The nominees were all exceptional and amazing and just to be a nominee means so much. Imagine to win for the resort area, I am blown away and I now know that I am capable of so much and I am ready to take on everything,” she said.

General Manager of the 150-suite Couples San Souci resort, Pierre Battaglia, told JIS News that the award serves as a morale booster for the team at the resort as they continue to offer quality service to clients.

“It makes me feel extremely happy, not for myself only but for the entire team of Couples San Souci. They are extremely happy to be recognized and to be the national champion,” he said.

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