Antigua Cruise Port last week launched its Certified Cruise Port Ambassador program in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Investment, in preparation for the country’s cruising comeback.
Fifty participants from various sectors of the tourism industry – including taxi drivers, tour operators, retailers, St. John’s Development Corporation and Antigua Cruise Port staff – were led through 10 hours of intensive training to complete the free course over two days.
The event was held at the Heritage Quay Hotel.
The group was previously guided through a certification program facilitated by the Ministry of Tourism on effective COVID-19 protocols.
Andre Norton – Health, Safety, and Environment Supervisor at Antigua Cruise Port – facilitated the session on International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) Awareness.
Claudine Pohl of Lemoneight Inc. hosted a “Building Consumer Confidence in the Cruise Industry” session to support the participants’ customer service goals.
The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda is scheduled to wrap up the event with a thorough review of the history of Antigua & Barbuda with a focus on the St. John’s ports to help reacquaint the participants with details about the country’s history that would interest visitors.
The Hon. Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism & Investment, expressed his ministry’s support of the event. “We were very pleased to support this initiative. This kind of training strengthens and empowers industry partners by helping us to restart in a manner that will make us, the wider community, and our guests much safer. We applaud the Antigua Cruise Port team for spearheading this initiative to manage the uncertainty of this next phase of reopening by leading with confidence.”
Minister Fernandez added that, “It was also very heart-warming to see participants from various sectors working together toward our common goal.”
Dona Regis-Prosper, General Manager of Antigua Cruise Port, described the goal of the training program. “We developed this program because we know how important it is for us to continue to distinguish Antigua & Barbuda from other ports and other countries, particularly during this very competitive period when many destinations in the hemisphere are restarting. Each of the courses in this program focused on an area that we can all learn more about to impress our visitors and improve our tourism product.”
She continued, “This is the first time that we have done anything like this, and it was truly excellent to see and feel the excitement of the participants as we went through each session of the program. It was also especially nice to be together in one room again for the training – masks and all!”
The next Certified Cruise Port Ambassador training session will be held in October 2021. Anyone who is interested in participating in the event can register at the Antigua Cruise Port website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place in the next session.