General Manager of Couples San Souci Hotel, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Pierre Battaglia, and the Mystic Mountain Rain Forrest attraction, also situated in the parish, copped top honours at the 2011 Tourism Service Excellence Awards ceremony, held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, on Saturday (December 8).
Mr. Battaglia captured the overall individual category, edging out 11 other contenders, while Mystic Mountain Rain Forrest, topped the nominees vying for the award for organizations/entities, and were awarded multiple trophies, awards and other prizes.
The awards, which are presented annually under the Tourism Service Excellence Programme (TSEP), are organized by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo). They represent the highest accolades given in recognition of excellence in service delivery in the sector.
In his address, Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said while the presentations rewarded the recipients for excellence in service delivery, they are also intended to motivate and inspire others to aspire towards attaining achievements at the highest level, through hard work.
"As Jamaicans, this is what separates and differentiates us as the premier tourism destination in the Caribbean. The climate, the plant infrastructure, the hotels and the service provision, often, have similarities in most destinations. However, it is that genuine interaction and warmth of the Jamaican persona…delivered simultaneously, that is credited for distinguishing that moment of truth,” he stated.
The Minister contended that the successes recorded by Jamaica’s tourism industry, to date, have hinged on the stakeholders’ ability to improve on the “intangible element” of service excellence.
"The Tourism Service Excellence Awards is a part of the government’s efforts towards this greater goal,” Dr. McNeill declared.
Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Evelyn Smith, noted that all of this year’s finalists have demonstrated that service delivery is not a “one-off moment”, but rather “but moments so woven together into…their daily life and work or (that of) their organization(s), that they become one with excellence”.
Consequent on this, Mrs. Smith said Jamaica currently benefits from sustained levels of excellence in service delivery to which they and others have committed.