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Focus on sport and ecotourism
The Government is seeking to strategically position T&T by developing opportunities in the niche areas of sport and ecotourism says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Vidiah Ramkhelawan, who also announced plans for establishment of a T&T Tourism Regulatory and Licensing Authority.
Ramkhelawan, who addressed the T&T Hospitality and Tourism Institute’s graduation ceremony at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port-of-Spain, said: “At the Ministry, our aim is to build a sustainable and profitable tourism sector, committed to high standards and quality, guided by industry best practice and fuelled by timely local research and data.”
Ramkhelawan said tourism not only holds great potential for economic development, but is also “making a continually growing impact internationally” with the World Trade Organisation’s report describing it as a “dynamic engine of economic development and job creation throughout the world. In 2017, Travel & Tourism directly contributed US$2.6 trillion and nearly 119 million jobs worldwide.”
Cuauhtemoc Novello, vice-President of sales at American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, said good customer service attracts repeat
guests to any establishment, whether it is a restaurant, bar or hotel.
“When we embrace tourism, we have to ensure that we embrace the language of service. We as tourism, hospitality, culinary arts professionals . . . its our duty to have that language of service embedded in our DNA. The language of service is the most important element of tourism, hospitality, culinary arts.”
He urged graduates to “put themselves in the shoes of other people” who would have spent a lot of money on their vacation. When something happens to them, the first thing that must be done is to “put yourself in the shoes of your guest,” since that is the beginning of the language of service, he advised.
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