PHILIPSBURG—“As our country moves forward with the sustainable redevelopment of our tourism industry, the enhancement of our human resources is essential to meet our needs as we head into the future.”
This was the statement of Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunications (TEATT) the Honourable Stuart Johnson following this week’s announcement of the start of the Aquila, Florida Caribbean Cruise Associations Customer Service Training Workshop which started on Monday May 27th to May 31st at the Simpson Bay Beach Resort & Marina from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
“This training is tailored for frontline personnel in the tourism and hospitality industry to elevate the level and standard of service that we provide to our visitors,” said Interim Director of STB, Ms May-Ling Chun. She said it is essential to understand their role in welcoming visitors to the destination. The intention going forward is to have all frontline workers participate in future training sessions to equip them better to serve our guests as well as locals effectively, and to make this a sustainable program”, said Chun.
When Johnson met at Sea Trade with the Aquila Foundation earlier this year, he expressed his passion for education and the desire to take advantage of the opportunity to retrain those working in the hospitality industry to ensure that they have a greater understanding of the expectations in an improved customer service standard for the island.
“The program is part of the main priorities of the Government as part of the St. Maarten United Christian Democratic Coalitions Governing Programme 2018 – 2022. This is a critical part of our goal of ensuring that with these new hotels coming online, our people here in St. Maarten are the first and best candidates for the jobs that will become available,” said Johnson.
Aquila is the exclusive training partner of the FCCA (Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association), as well as a Platinum Member of the Association. Aquila has been sought after as a speaker on a variety of cruise related topics and has been featured
on panels or as keynote speakers with conferences including FCCA, CLIA, AAPA (American Association of Port Authorities), Cruise Europe, and many more.
Also part of this training is the history and culture of St. Martin “St. Maarten Pride with One Voice”, presented by Mrs Josianne Fleming Artsen, Founder/ Manager of the St. Maarten Service Academy.
“The St. Maarten Pride with One voice” is a certified course designed to establish a culture of pride. It provides general information about the St. Martin product that every resident should be able to communicate (in one voice) to the visitor.
It is designed to rejuvenate a new sense of national identity in each participant while motivating to deliver excellent service proudly”.
A total of 440 participants are expected to take part in the workshop over the days:
· Taxi Drivers
· Tour Operators
· Frontline (Hotels)
· Port Staff
· St. Maarten Tourism Bureau Staff (French and Dutch)
· Government Building Customer Service Desk Staff
· Immigration Staff
Upon successful completion of the workshop, all participants will be awarded a certificate of achievement.