Hospitality Assured Program Initiative Begins On Grand Bahama Island
On Tuesday, April 25th , the Ministry of Tourism's Hotel Licensing Department held its very first Hospitality Assured initiative for hoteliers on Grand Bahama Island.
The seminar, which was held at the GB Chamber of Commerce, was chaired by Renamae Symonette, Manager, Hotel Licensing, MOT, and featured several panelists who touched on topics such as the state of hotels on the island, visitor feedback, customer service, and most importantly, how to become a member of the Hospitality Assured program based in the Caribbean.
The panelists included Senator Tanisha Tynes, Chairman- Nassau& Paradise Island Hotels Licensing Board; Betty Bethel, Director, MOT, GBI; Geneva Cooper, Sr. Director/Chief Officer, Hotel Licensing Department, MOT, and Ian Ferguson, Director, Training & Education Department, MOT.
Betty Bethel, Director, Ministry of Tourism, GBI, noted that the seminar "Is a training opportunity, an opportunity to renew and bring things into perspective in terms of where our industry is today and what we need to do to progress as a destination".
Betty Bethel, Director, MOT, GBI
With over seven hotels represented at the seminar, it was imperative to identify the issues and successes of the hotel business for Grand Bahama Island.
As a result, it was commonly understood that improved customer service would be one of the largest components in upgrading Grand Bahama Island's hotel product along with having cleaner hotels, less expensive airfare, authentic Bahamian experiences, and upscale properties and experiences for visitors to engage in.
Ian Ferguson, Director, Training and Education, MOT, said that this initiative "Is a wonderful experience of competitiveness. We want any property in The Bahamas to be able to stand alongside any property anywhere around the world where people have the same kind or better experience in The Bahamas".
Ian Ferguson, Director, Training & Education Department, MOT
Ferguson went on to say that "The truth is, that we can build magnificent facilities just like anyone else but we have something that is so much more powerful than many other nations because we really do have a story to tell".
For Grand Bahamian hoteliers, the training initiative occurred at a time when the island is still in the process of rebuilding, post Hurricane Matthew. Consequently, the initiative proved to be very beneficial for many properties as the cost for the Hospitality Assured Certification submission fee was waived for all hotels on Grand Bahama Island.
Currently, The Bahamas is one of 18 countries that participate in the initiative which originated in the UK and promotes excellence in business and service for organizations that impact both the visitor and their destination experience.
The Ministry of Tourism hopes to continue to host the Hospitality Assured Program initiative at least once a year to aid local hoteliers in bettering their properties for guests that visit Grand Bahama Island.
Rename Symonette- Manager, Hotel Licensing Department, MOT