ST. MAARTEN – Hundreds of Caribbean tourism professionals are honing their skills in cutting-edge customer service training sessions presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF).
The Foundation provides people throughout the region with an awareness of the industry’s varied career options, as well as technical and professional development opportunities for those already in the tourism sector.
Following its successful training sessions in St. Lucia and St. Maarten, CHTAEF’s next round of training is being held in Grenada and Tobago this week.
CHTAEF Chairperson Karolin Troubetzkoy said the workshops recognized the natural hospitality of Caribbean people and how it could be enhanced to meet the changing needs of today’s traveler. The sessions also presented participants with new skills to master as they strive to surpass guest expectations.
With support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA), CHTAEF assembled over 160 St. Lucian hospitality workers last month to help polish their skills in a series of guest service training sessions, conducted by Louise John and Suzanne Shillingford-Brooks of Talkabout & Earth Solutions.
Dubbed ‘Heartfelt Guest Care to Welcome the World’, the training – launched by CHTAEF in partnership with Virgin Holidays – gave hospitality team members, supervisors, managers and owners the knowledge and the skills needed to best serve a new and diverse generation of customers.
In St. Maarten, with the support of Interval International, individual training workshops were created for professionals working at the front office, the engineering and housekeeping departments, and supervisors.
At the end of the successful training of close to 90 professionals, Troubetzkoy endorsed the need for continuing educational programs for tourism professionals.
“Our industry is flourishing but there will always be competing forces out there, so it is very important for us to ensure our hospitality workforce is well educated and prepared to ensure the Caribbean region retains its position at the top of the world’s most desirable vacation destinations,” reminded Troubetzkoy.
She highlighted the importance of sponsors such as Virgin Holidays and Interval International for opening doors not only for many young people but also for hospitality workers already in the industry, who are seeking to further their education and improve their qualifications.
CHTAEF’s partnership with Interval International has introduced sessions to Aruba and St. Maarten, while Virgin Holidays supported training in Barbados and St. Lucia.
Additional training sessions are now being held in Grenada and slated for later in the week in Tobago.