BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Three Caribbean tourism businesses have scored “firsts” while enhancing their reputation for high standards of service quality by earning Hospitality Assured (HA) certification, a symbol of service and business excellence in the tourism and hospitality.
The well-known tourist attraction, Atlantis Submarines (Barbados) Inc. has become the first attraction in the Caribbean to receive HA certification, while Goddards Shipping & Tours, also of Barbados, is the first shipping agent and tour operator in the region to earn this distinction. Additionally, the Tryall Club in Montego Bay Jamaica has achieved similar certification, the first property in Jamaica to do so.
All three companies now have the Hospitality Assured framework in place, which helps them to continuously raise their service quality standards within their individual businesses, focus on their customers’ needs in all aspects of their business, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and improve overall business performance.
“I believe that the great benefit of Hospitality Assured for Atlantis Submarines Barbados has been the process of involving the entire team in a structured ten step analysis of our business from customer research to service delivery. Hospitality Assured has become an umbrella under which all of our continuous improvement plans can fall and it ensures that as the economy remains somewhat weak the internal focus remains strong on all the right things to get us through it,’ said Roseanne Myers, the general manager of Atlantis Submarines.
“Our entire team worked together to review our club’s procedures and while we already had systems in place, HA helped us within the business to keep better track, target with greater efficiency and fine tune our operational procedures,” added Gerald Giarla, managing director of Tryall Club. “The certification process was refreshing and rejuvenating and we are ready to embark on our 52nd season with a renewed sense of commitment and pride in serving our customers.”
Over the past several months, the management team and staff of these businesses maintained outstanding grades in rigorous reviews given by external assessors, including challenging, testing and ultimately strengthening internal systems in business planning, customer service, and training and development, leading to their certification.
The general manager of Goddards Shipping & Tours, Rovel Morris, described certification as “an extremely rewarding accomplishment” which was in keeping with the company’s vision “to be the region’s market leader in all areas of operations, recognized and sought after for exceptional service”.
“The Hospitality Assured Programme certification process allowed us to give tangible expression to the elements and conditions of service delivery that will allow us to achieve that vision consistently. It has been an invaluable tool in aligning our business processes and galvanizing the commitment of our team toward that end. We are a proud recipient of the certification and would recommend the process without hesitation,” he said.
Hospitality Assured is a certification programme promoting service and business excellence in tourism and hospitality companies. It is owned by the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom, and managed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in the region. Caribbean supporting institutions include the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, which collects and distributes benchmarking data on the programme, as well as the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), which is the region’s assessment body for the programme. Funding support for the pilot phase of the programme was provided by the European Union/PRO€INVEST programme and the Organization of American States. The pilot phase is now over and funding is being sort to continue to unroll the programme across the region.
In the near future, will be directly engaging with Caribbean countries outside the original eight pilot countries to incentivize tourism/hospitality businesses to join HA and get the benefits to be derived from participation.