Black Meetings and Tourism

September/October 2010

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CTO TO UNDERTAKE HOSPITALITY ASSURED PROJECT TO IMPROVE SERVICE QUALITY STANDARDS ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN The European Union/PRO INVEST to Provide 895,000 Euros TowardsProject Implementation Caribbean travel and tourism industry service providers looking to improve and increase their business performance through high quality service standards, can look forward to a service quality management system promoted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and funded by the European Union/PRO INVEST Programme. Eighty Caribbean travel and tourism enterprises, in eight CTO member countries, are being sought to participate in a pilot certification project designed to promote a culture of service excellence and strengthen the business performance and overall competitive- ness of tourism enterprises in the region. The primary tool will be the “Hospitality Assured” program, a quality standard cre- ated by the UK-based Institute of Hospitality for customer-fac- ing businesses. “This project will go a long way towards improving service quality levels across the Caribbean, leading to greater cus- tomer confidence and satisfaction and loyalty,” said Bonita Morgan, the CTO’s director of human resources who will over- see the 15-month project. She further stated that “the outputs of this project will determine if CTO will continue to introduce Hospitality Assured as the best tool to enhance service quality levels across the entire region.” “We at the European Union recognize that the tourism sec- tor is a very important pillar in Caribbean economies and we are pleased to support this program which is aimed at helping the sector remain competitive and sustainable,” said Hubert Perr, the EU’s Head of Operations to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. The CTO will partner with the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) and will work with eight national hotel and tourism associations in Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to execute the project, as well as gov- ernmental national tourism entities. SAINT LUCIAON SHOW AT NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL The small island nation of Saint Lucia created a big impact at one of the largest celebrations of Caribbean culture in Europe recently. Saint Lucia’s Tourism Team in the UK are pictured (from left) Amanda Wild, Jackie Bookal, Katie Gorrill and Hilda Caprice as they enjoy carnival celebrations in London. Saint Lucia’s High Commissioner to London Eldridge Stephens hosted the official launch of Notting Hill Carnival 2010 in an event receiving coverage from both print and elec- tronic media in the UK. This complements the positive reviews from a successful UK press visit to the island during July’s Carnival season. The Tourist Board is now preparing for talks with Emporia Brands Ltd., the UK rum distributor for St. Lucia Distillers, to maximize Saint Lucia’s presence at Notting Hill’s Carnival in 2011. This year, Emporia sponsored a steel pan band and pro- moted the prestigious Chairman’s Reserve and Toz Rum prod- ucts in London. For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, its legendary product offerings and resort vacation packages, visit StLuciaNow.comor call a travel professional. Black Meetings & Tourism September/October 2010: 23 The small eastern Caribbean island had a strong cultural presence during the two-day Notting Hill Carnival festival which drew millions on Sunday, August 29 and Monday, August 30 to one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, accord- ing to the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB). Using the huge drawing power of the Notting Hill event the Saint Lucia Tourist Board promoted its own summer carnival, which came to a successful conclusion in Castries in July. The SLTB’s UK office, which successfully connected with Saint Lucian associations and friends of Saint Lucia in London to participate in the celebrations, also teamed with Xtreme Carnival - the British arm of the Royalites Xtreme Carnival Band. The six-section, 170-plus member band included SLTB officials, adorned in full costume, reveling in the “Exotic” section.

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