Chairman of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Mrs. Maxine Henry-Wilson, is encouraging workers in the industry to keep the Jamaica brand alive by maintaining excellence in service.
Delivering the keynote address at the official launch of a three-week tourism summer internship programme for high school and university students on August 8, at the Tourism Centre, in Montego Bay, Mrs. Henry-Wilson said similar to the nation’s athletes who are competing against the best in the world and winning, Jamaica will remain a choice destination.
"You have to do better than your competitors, that is what (Usain) Bolt had to do. What you think is excellent can only be excellent when compared to what the rest of the world is accepting. The tourist industry has to be measured against global standards, and you as operators in the tourist industry, have to operate according to global standards," she said.
"Everybody loves brand Jamaica, but if we don’t make brand Jamaica continually globally competitive, it won’t be anything. Jamaica can only be the place of choice for visitors if it is the place of choice for Jamaicans. If it is not livable, if you don’t feel that there is a future, we are going to have an enclave industry, something we are trying to break down. You can be a part of the experience of the visitor," Mrs. Henry-Wilson added.
She pointed out that when visitors speak positively of their experience in Jamaica, it is a great marketing tool.
Mrs. Henry-Wilson encouraged the students to do well at their training institutions, and urged them to build on social skills, as that would determine much of their relevance in an industry that requires service at the highest level.
Bringing greetings, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, said it is important to expose young people in "nation building" activities, such as the tourist industry.
Chairman of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Montego Bay Chapter, Omar Robinson, said persons can excel in the industry if they have the right attitude for the job, and passion to give service.
Intern, Alecia Slowly, told JIS News that the programme should increase her self-confidence and ability to work with other people.
The training programme is in its 5th year, and some 600 interns have been placed in tourism related entities so far this year.