The Ministry of Tourism successfully staged its prestigious inaugural Tourism Service Excellence Awards ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay St. James on April 25.
Several individuals and organisations were recognised and rewarded for their consistent delivery of high-quality customer service throughout the industry.
The Tourism Service Excellence Programme, which is the brainchild of Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett was launched in July of last year, and is intended to become the benchmark by which service excellence is judged.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (second left) Director General of the Minisry of Tourism Carrole Guntley(left) with National Championship winners Fiona Hartley (centre) and Island Car Rentals’ Michael Campbell (right) during the Inaugural Tourism Service Excellence Awards ceremony held at the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay St. James on Friday (April 24).
In his address at the awards ceremony, Minister Bartlett observed that the industry is growing swiftly and demands that direct and indirect employees, citizens as a whole, must focus on a high level of service that ensures that destination Jamaica stays ahead of the competition.
“Greater emphasis ought to be placed on enhancing our training facilities and building of the service ethic. With tourism’s all-important role as a key driver of our economy, it is imperative that we focus on and promote the concept of high-touch service, which gave birth to the Tourism Excellence Programme.
“As our industry grows and sets itself apart from the competition, we will be encouraging more programmes emphasising quality service and attention to details – from arrival to the time of departure – because we believe that every step of the travel experience is important and a happy client is a returning client. Jamaica today boasts a record in the region of 46 per cent return visitors annually,” Minister Bartlett stated.
He noted that while Jamaica has a tradition of being a pace-setter, the country must be rigorous about maintaining high standards, where everyone takes pride in what they do, always striving for excellence.
“We truly believe that recognising excellence in the industry on an annual basis is key to engendering and cultivating pride in the delivery of quality service. So this first inaugural event will become a calendar event for Jamaica and every year after this there will be a tourism oscar for service excellence. My hope is that your example will serve to inspire and motivate other individuals and organisations to strive towards raising the level of service available to every customer, not just in our industry but everywhere in Jamaica . Let us all make service excellence a good habit,” Minister Bartlett said.
Thirteen individuals competed for the prestigious National Champion, Individual Trophy, while nine organisations were up against each other for the National Champion , Organisation Trophy.