ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Wednesday March 30, 2016 – As Caribbean tourism rebounds, tourism practitioners within the region are making their next strategic move by focusing on enhancing the quality of their product, and developing a strong culture of service excellence.
The Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley and other well-known Caribbean tourism officials will meet in Antigua and Barbuda to address the theme ‘Making Excellence a Habit: Service Loyalty and Profitability in Caribbean Tourism’ at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s 8th annual Tourism Human Resources Conference, taking place May 11 – 13, 2016.
Collaborators, the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, are voicing their support for the three day tourism gathering being held in Antigua for the first time.
“We are committed to ensuring the well-rounded development of the tourism sector,” Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism Asot Michael said.
“In today’s digital age of hi-speed internet, blogs and social media, ready access to information means travellers are more aware of their options when it comes to selecting and booking a flight, hotel, cruise, tour or otherwise. They comparison shop, view reviews and rely heavily on shared feedback from past travellers before confirming bookings.
“For our destinations to be successful, we must do more, to attract and meet the demands of the discerning traveller. While glitz attracts, more often than not, it is the quality of service that guests receive, that remains of paramount importance to serious tourism industry stakeholders aiming to deliver exceptional tourism experiences, increase revenues, and secure repeat visitors.”
The Caribbean Tourism Organization, the industry’s leading body for Caribbean tourism development, has set out an intensive conference programme geared towards the pursuit of excellence in the region’s growing tourism & hospitality sector.
“Visitors to the Caribbean, in their own quest for value for money and great experiences, have growing expectations of our businesses, and those businesses which provide excellent customer service in a constant and consistent manner are more likely to succeed. It is imperative, therefore, that we pursue a culture of excellence for our survival, growth, competitiveness and overall success; our customers demand it, our businesses require it and our success depends on it,” said Hugh Riley, CTO’s Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer.
International and regionally acclaimed speakers, industry leaders and experts will cover topics such as, ‘Driving Leadership and Organizational Excellence’, ‘Making Excellence a Habit’ and ‘Using Metrics effectively to Propel Business Performance’.
Tourism Master Classes led by John Burchell, Director of Hospitality Assured, and Andre Bello Commercial Manager, Virgin Atlantic, will show senior management and technical staff how they can improve their product, generate, and retain loyal customers. Detailed discussions will allow participants to gain hours of valuable insight in the areas of: ‘Seeking Excellence through Continuous Improvement – A Formula for Business Success’ and, ‘Increasing Customer & Brand Loyalty’.
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister will present the feature address at the conference opening, while Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and Shirlene Nibbs, Tourism Consultant to the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism and Managing Director of consultancy firm Nibbs & Associates, will join in leading panel discussions at the event.
Tourism practitioners, from both the public and private sectors, human resource professionals, tourism educators/trainers and consultants as well as tourism and hospitality students of tertiary institutions are expected to register for the conference where they will develop skills to meet the changing environment, and learn strategies and best practices from real Caribbean tourism industry experts, on areas and issues affecting the tourism and hospitality sectors.