The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Education Foundation (EF), alongside its local partner, the Antigua & Barbuda Hotel & Tourism Association (ABHTA), celebrated a return to interactive island training last week as the CHTA-EF’s new regional Caribbean Safe Supercharged Service! workshop piloted at Dutchman’s Bay, Antigua.
His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda, focused on the value of each participant: “Each of you is key to providing the unique memory-bank our visitors build while in Antigua & Barbuda. Based on my years of experience in the sector, personal referrals to others directly or virtually are our nation’s best advertisements.
“It is my hope that each of you who experienced this week’s workshop now understand your vital role as important national influencers.
“You have explored the many new entrepreneurial ventures emerging within our green & blue economies and the value of incorporating those small, local businesses, into your creative offerings to our visitors. It is a reality that a unique and community-based experience will deeply enhance their overall experience of our island nation.
“It is now incumbent upon each of us to demonstrate value in every interaction with customers and guests, so that we can positively impact our Antigua and Barbuda brand.
“Your enthusiasm to supercharge your abilities and deliver better than before is vital to all of us, as our nation embraces the transition period from severely limited tourism opportunities to emerging niche markets which you will all assist us to build and benefit from.”
All participants welcomed the need to build-out tourism experiences beyond the visitors’ accommodations, and to encompass the rich diversity of natural offerings that have been born out of, or enhanced during, the coronavirus shut-down.
Sir Rodney commended the ABHTA for its resolve, saying: “ABHTA continues to actively support the institutions which provide quality educational and learning opportunities to its members and their teams, even in challenging times. This is no easy task. Extensive education and training are required to manage the change process so that stakeholders can be inspired to embrace the change, and knowledge gaps [are] identified and addressed”.
Participant Wayne Walker, Watersports Supervisor, Jumby Bay, created the motto of the week: ‘Spread the tourism love all over Antigua & Barbuda’.
The Governor General joined Patrice Simon, executive director of the Antigua & Barbuda Hotel & Tourism Association in acknowledging that ‘The relationship between our twin island nation and CHTA Education Foundation, a forward-thinking organization, has been long and strong. In fact, since the commencement of this alliance some 30 years ago, the CHTA Education Foundation has delivered over 100 scholarships to our nationals to study at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI) and at several overseas institutions of excellence’.
Karolin Troubetzkoy, chairwoman of the CHTA Education Foundation, joined the participants by video to celebrate their successful completion of the workshop, offer hearty congratulations, and thank them for being the first in the region.
“These workshops have been energetic, focused and interactive days of learning, providing managers, employees and entrepreneurs with the tools to assist your interface with all customers using COVID-19 safe service techniques, while delivering considerate, flexible, service solutions, ensuring delighted customers!” she stated, while also reminding participants to, “Remain energized and sparkle in your care of everyone.”
Neil Forrester, treasurer and trustee of the CHTA-EF, was present daily to assist in the certificate ceremonies.
Vernon Jeffers, executive director of ABHTA, encouraged participants not to lose their love of hospitality, their love of creating special romantic moments for visitors, and to always remember Antigua and Barbuda is the heart of the Caribbean, with space for love.
A diverse spread of businesses now boasts supercharged managers and team members, ready to sparkle as they care for everyone.