21 semi-finalists will vie for the Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA) in March when the awards ceremony will be held. The announcement and presentation of the qualifiers was conducted on Wednesday February 28, 2018 at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Kingston, by the award’s implementing agency, the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo).
The 10 Individual and 11 Organization qualifiers were selected from 126 nominees and cover the regions of Ocho Rios, Negril, Kingston, the South Coast and Montego Bay. Ranging from various categories within the industry, including accommodation, ground transportation, attractions and the craft industry, the semi-finalists were selected by a panel of judges through a series of evaluations and interviews.
Minister of Tourism, Honourable Edmund Bartlett, in a video presentation, underscored the importance of creating a unique and responsive brand, which he posited, is achieved through excellent service.
“Service excellence is everything in today’s global tourism environment. The way a product or service is delivered to a visitor can make or break a destination. This is why I am passionate about building a service excellence culture within the tourism sector and its value chain. I want to see Jamaica positioned as a globally competitive destination that provides quality service way beyond our visitors’ expectations.” He said.
He went further to say that the TSEA serves as a mechanism to develop the country’s tourism offerings. “To maintain the high service quality for which Jamaica is renowned, we sought to incentivize the sector through the introduction of the TSEA. Events such as these, which recognize and reward shining examples of tourism excellence, are important to the industry. They raise the bars in terms of enhancing the visitor experience and reinforce the value of our tourism workers and the sector.”
Speaking at the announcement, Dr. Andrew Spencer, Executive Director of TPDCo highlighted the importance of developing the human capital, as this will ensure that the tourism sector realizes its full potential.
“People represent the strongest link in this tourism chain. We want to continue to lift the standard of our already creative people; therefore we often create programmes that place emphasis on our people. For example, our recently concluded District Constables programme which incorporated TPDCo’s flagship Team Jamaica training programme was designed to improve security, particularly in the resort areas. This (training) was important to achieve the goal of training a group of District Constables who could have a firm hand, and a smiling face, which is crucial in the tourism space.” He said.
Dr. Spencer added that these programmes, particularly the Team Jamaica training, will allow tourism workers to share their skills and talents with visitors who are often times keen on learning about Jamaica’s culture and heritage, thereby concretizing the view that the Jamaican experience is well rounded, made possible by those who continue to operate at a high standard.
The semi-finalists for the individual category are Kevin Spence, Beaches Negril, Judy Henry Richards, Beaches Resort-Ocho Rios, Shanique Cunningham, Sandals Royal-Montego Bay, Janette Kaloo, Sunset Resorts and Villas-South Coast, Lennox Williams, Golden Eye Hotel-Ocho Rios, Winston Jones, Hyatt Ziva Hyatt Zilara-Montego Bay, Hopeton Powell, Olde Craft Market-Ocho Rios, Michelle Sterling, Amstar DMC- Montego Bay, Romaine Meggo, Sandals Negril and Mikhailla Robinson, Jamaica Pegasus Hotel- Kingston.
The semi – finalists for the organization category are Chukka Caribbean Adventures-Montego Bay, The Judy House-Negril, Island Car Rentals-Kingston, Sandals Royal Plantation- Ocho Rios, Beaches Negril Resort, Courtleigh Hotel and Suites-Kingston, Hyatt Ziva Hyatt Zilara Resort-Montego Bay, Sandals Negril Resort, Dunn’s River Falls and Park-Ocho Rios, Beaches Ocho Rios and Sandals South Coast.
The TSEA recognizes both individuals and entities within the tourism sector that consistently provide exemplary customer service. This year’s staging of the TSEA will be held on Saturday March 17, 2018 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.