GB Tourism Office Hosts First Virtual BahamaHost Recertification Session

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, September 2, 2020 — For over 40 years, the BahamaHost Program of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) has sought to equip tourism professionals with the product knowledge, leadership capabilities and customer service skills necessary for success in the tourism sector. The BMOTA Grand Bahama office continued this mission, despite social restrictions caused by COVID-19, by hosting its first virtual BahamaHost recertification session for 14 participants.

The local Industry Training Department used the video-conferencing app Zoom to host the daily BahamaHost lectures. Over the course of the program, facilitators engaged participants in sessions about Bahamian history, the development of the nation’s tourism product, delivering excellent service to every kind of customer, factors impacting national and global tourism as well as preparedness for entering a post-COVID environment.

“This was a new way of delivering the program, so it was very different for our participants but they adapted and overall, I believe they were excited to sit the session,” Session Facilitator and Senior Executive for Industry Training and Education on Grand Bahama, Gina Turner said. “I am happy that our Industry Training team pressed forward with this initiative. Considering this downtime we’re in, it would have been easy to just let some things fall by the wayside and do nothing, but it was important for us to host this session and continue to invest in the workers on the frontlines of our tourism sector.”

Turner noted that BahamaHost is not merely a class on the history and civics of The Bahamas. It is a course on service excellence, an opportunity for participants to network with fellow tourism service providers and an avenue to refresh, retool, and upskill for better success in business.

Participants in the first virtual recertification session included local public service drivers, tour guides, vendors, and BMOTA team members from New Providence, Bimini and Exuma.

“This session was made possible with the support of Sophie Carey from the National Insurance Board, Charmaine Fernander from the Road Traffic Department, and Grand Bahama’s entire training team,” Karenda S. Swain, BMOTA manager for Grand Bahama Development, said. “It is our intention, especially under what we know to be the "new norm," that we continue to provide training for all within the industry.”

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