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'Mystery Shoppers' to test tourist industry standards  Jul 31, 2008

In a bid to find out what quality of customer service the tourism industry is really offering, Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett will deploy snoops to several attractions over the next six weeks.

"Some of you are going to do a very special kind of work, a kind of undercover work for me, we call you the 'mystery shoppers,' and some of you will pretend to be buyers and even tourists too, and you'll go into the areas and come back and tell me how they treat you when you go as a customer.

This is very important because what that tells me is really what is going on in the industry," he told over 200 interns who will participate in the Spruce Up Jamaica Summer Intern Programme.

Launched last Thursday, the programme will end when the new school term starts in September, and will see 1,200 interms participating for six weeks in three-week rotations.

"When you go to the shops and to the craft markets you also can be able to come back and tell me how customers are really being treated. You don't know which of you, because we are going to just pick you out of the blue, give you a couple days training and send you out to do the work because you are mystery shoppers and "mystery cyaan be known by everybody quick-quick or else di mystery will be gone, dem wi demystify di mystery," he joked.

According to the minister, the plan was designed with a view to 'breaking that historic psychic position where tourism is seen only as an enclave industry only for a certain set of people".

"We are going to ensure that tourism becomes the people's industry, served by the people, created by the people and being managed by the people of Jamaica, very important to us. We cannot achieve that unless the young people are a part of the process. So this programme helps to fulfil part of that mandate of making you true partners in this industry," he said.

'Mystery Shoppers' to test tourist industry standards

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