Four employees of the BVI Tourist Board (BVITB) are now certified under the Hospitality Assured (HA) Programme.
The HA programme was created by the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom, and effectively aims to improve the tourism and hospitality sector’s service quality through the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.
Under the programme, two were certified as advisors and two as assessors.
The newly-certified assessors are Annette Dalmida-Scatliffe and Clive McCoy.
They became certified as HA Assessors on March 16, this year. Their roles are to provide an independent, unbiased evaluation of a business.
The certified advisors from the tourist board are Managing Consultant for Small Properties, Trefor Grant; and Standards Manager, Vionie Pickering.
They were certified as HA Advisors back in 2016. Their role is to facilitate and coach businesses to recognize its own strengths and areas of improvements.
A release from the BVITB said since their initial certification in 2016, Grant and Pickering have been actively encouraging businesses in the industry – specifically the smaller indigenous properties – to raise their operational and physical standards as part of the Board’s Standard Inspection and Training Programme.
Raising the standards
Commenting on the achievement, Director of Tourism Sharon Flax Brutus said the move to certify board employees was to raise the level of operations and service delivery of properties; especially the smaller ones.
She said it was a fitting investment.
“The training of these officers is in fulfilment of our objective to develop our staff, promote career growth, and create a more dynamic and sustainable organisation through succession planning.”
Flax-Brutus further noted that the next step in the process is to build awareness of the programme and its benefits.
She said the BVITB will be publicizing the programme and providing hospitality businesses with pertinent information to encourage them to be a part of same.
Additionally, some benefits of the certification include instilling confidence in travel agents and tour operators, raising business marketability, among other things.
Other BVITB programmes aimed at enhancing the visitor experience include the Standards Training and Inspections programme and the Guest Services Experience Training.
The former was piloted with select small properties with the aim of achieving minimum service standards as well as physical improvements to properties that can enhance the guest experience.
The Guest Service Experience Training is being done in collaboration with the Disney Institute under the One BVI Tourism Awareness Programme.
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