Customer satisfaction to be focus of discussion at Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) State of the Industry Conference in Martinique

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – It’s the Experience, Stupid! That’s the topic of a special general session on customer satisfaction at the upcoming State of the Industry Conference (#SOTIC2013) in Martinique.

The former secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, will lead a panel which will discuss the delivery of total customer satisfaction as a means of ensuring that visitors to the Caribbean get their money’s worth.

In his presentation, Mr. Vanderpool-Wallace will focus on harnessing visitor satisfaction through service delivery. He will illustrate how to anticipate, manage and exceed visitors expectations at every level of the tourism industry, using those principles to shape memorable experiences for visitors, therefore, influencing them to spread positive messages about the Caribbean.

“It is so much easier today and getting easier every day to share one’s impression of a destination, hotel or other travel experiences via social media. These ubiquitous digital impressions are so powerful that they have been described as permanently archived word of mouth,” said Mr. Vanderpool-Wallace, a former tourism minister of the Bahamas. “Instead of focussing only on ‘managing social media,’ people who understand the power of those impressions begin to focus far more on delivering a better experience for their customers and on addressing and correcting any negative experiences before the customer departs. Those who do not adapt to this posture suffer the consequences far more than ever before. Some say that at a destination level this is difficult to address. It may be difficult, but it is not impossible.”

The panel will also include Maureen Allen of Sectus Technologies and Commissioner of Tourism Karine Roy-Camille of Martinique.

The conference has its theme, “Perfecting the Experience. Delivering Authenticity”, reflecting the seriousness with which the CTO views total customer satisfaction, said Hugh Riley, the organization’s secretary general. To this end, the CTO has launched a Total Visitor Satisfaction (TVSTM) programme to measure and rate the quality of the experience that member countries offer to visitors.

“It is the quality of the experience that will determine if our guests develop such an emotional attachment that they become influencers and repeat visitors. The whole Caribbean will enhance its competitive advantage by providing unique and memorable experiences to our visitors. By introducing a programme that enhances and measures the entire visitor experience, from hotels to food to infrastructure, we can improve the product, share best practices, lift service standards, attract more tourists, and continue to thrive for years to come,” Mr. Riley said.

The State of the Industry Conference (#SOTIC2013) will be held in Martinique from 15-18 October, and is being organized by the CTO in collaboration with the Martinique Tourism Bureau.

For more information on SOTIC, including how you can be part of this historic event, visit

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