WITH support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA) and the Caribbean Hotel Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF), 180 Saint Lucian hospitality workers polished their skills in a series of guest service training sessions.
Dubbed ‘Heartfelt Guest Care to Welcome the World’, the training this month gave hospitality team members, supervisors, managers, and owners the knowledge and skills needed to best serve a new and diverse generation of customers.
Launched by CHTAEF in partnership with Virgin Holidays, the programme equips hospitality professionals across the Caribbean with guest care and diversity training to enable them to better understand and cope with the needs of the rapidly changing demographics of modern customers.
The training was created to demonstrate and enhance the benefits of diversity and inclusion within the tourism industry by generating in all 180 participants, from 14 hotels, an appreciation of the broad diversity of today’s travelers and how to warmly welcome them all.
The St Lucia series of workshops was sponsored by CHTAEF with additional support provided by the Saint Lucia Tourism Enhancement Fund. The Fund provided an additional US$8,000 to deliver four more days of the workshops, ensuring many more SLHTA members could receive the training.
The sold-out workshops were held in both the north and south of the island from September 16 to 20, 2019 and concluded with a certificate ceremony for participants on Wednesday, September 25 at Bel Jou Hotel attended by Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee, representatives from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, the TEF, SLHTA, Virgin Holidays and CHTAEF.
CHTAEF Chairman, Karolin Troubetzkoy, was delighted with the programme’s success and said the main value of the workshops was its recognition of the natural hospitality of Caribbean people and how it could be enhanced to recognize and serve the rapidly changing types of people making up the ranks of visitors to the region.
In his remarks to attendees, John Mathurin, TEF Trustee and SLHTA First Vice President, emphasized that “initiatives like these are central to the TEF’s continued mandate of ensuring the professional development of St Lucia’s tourism industry workers, thus making this programme an invaluable opportunity we feel fortunate to be able to have offered to our membership”.
In his congratulatory remarks to the workshop’s participants, St Lucia’s Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee underscored the importance of the attendees’ role in the island’s tourism industry. “You are ambassadors of our island, our culture, our attractions, the best places to eat and best places to go. Your role is irreplaceable and important to the advancement of our destination and I stand with nothing but thanks, respect and admiration for our hospitality workers”, he concluded.