Nineteen finalists are set to contend for the award of national champions in the Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA) come March 30th. The announcement of the 2018 finalists was conducted today at the TSEA finalists’ announcement in Kingston.The finalists, ten of which represent organizations and nine, the individual category, were selected from the 6 resort areas of Jamaica. 107 nominations were received this year from the major sub-sectors of the tourism industry, from which 50 semi-finalists were shortlisted and further narrowed to decide the final 19 contenders for the major awards and prizes.Minister of Tourism, Honourable Edmund Bartlett, at the announcement, highlighted the need to showcase those who continue to provide top-notch service for guests. This, he believes will further enhance the already flourishing sector, and will provide even more opportunities for budding and seasoned tourism professionals.
“Service excellence in tourism is important. Statistics show that 60% of the value of the experience in any destination is service. This service is not an obligation, it is what we do, and whoever does it the best, gets the most. Currently tourism employs some 120,000 persons and has contributed more than 50% of foreign exchange to the country.” He said.
Minister Bartlett also underscored the importance of rewarding tourism entities and individuals for their contribution to the tourism sector and the impact they continue to have on visitors to the island, which has resulted in an impressive 42% in repeat business; this represents the highest percentage in the region.
“The biggest trend in tourism is adding value, which begins with high quality service. This means that we have to maintain a cutting edge advantage in visitor experience and service. For us in the tourism sector, this means giving service that goes beyond the visitors’ expectations, and you have all managed to do just that. This awards programme forms part of efforts to celebrate service. We begin by recognizing service, then we celebrate service and finally, we showcase the service.”
The finalists for the 2018 TSEA are Beaches Negril, The Tryall Golf & Country Club, Ultimate Freedom Bed & Breakfast, The Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience, Half Moon Hotel, Deja Resort, Miss T’s Kitchen, Jamaica Inn, VIP Attractions and El Sol Vida from the organization category and from the individual category, Shenade Quarrie of Sandals Negril, Yanike Brown of Beaches Negril, Coleen Powell- Gordon of Jakes Treasure Beach, Kingsley George Blake of Round Hill Hotel, Conroy Thompson of Half Moon Hotel, Paul Norman of Dolphin Cove Jamaica, Nardia Angus of Golden Eye, Duane Phillips of Knutsford Court Hotel and Caroline Bonner of VIP Attractions.
At the awards ceremony later this month, two finalists from the organization and individual categories will be named National Champions for the 2018 Tourism Service Excellence Awards. The initiative, which is in its sixth iteration was created by the Ministry of Tourism, and is implemented annually by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo). The awards seek to recognize and reward tourism entities and individuals that have consistently provided exemplary service within the tourism industry.