RUNAWAY BAY, St Ann, Jamaica – The national Tourism Service Excellence Program (TSEP), which rewards industry workers at all levels for outstanding customer service, is back on the agenda of the Ministry of Tourism.
Former Director General of the ministry, Carole Guntley, has been appointed by Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett to spearhead the drive to introduce a revamped TSEP.
In making the announcement, Minister Bartlett expressed regret that the program, which he launched at the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel in 2008, had been discontinued with the last sets of awards being presented in 2012.
While giving the keynote address at the Bahia Principle Jamaica Resort’s annual staff awards on Tuesday July 19, 2016, Minister Bartlett underscored the importance of recognizing excellence in the industry and cited that TSEP was created to do just that.
“We have re-engaged Carole Guntley to lead the team that will bring back the Tourism Service Excellence Program so that we can show off the best of the workers in the tourist industry and reward you for the good jobs that you have been doing,” he said.
Noting that steps have been taken to ensure the program is sustained with the awards ceremony added to the ministry’s calendar of events, Minister Bartlett disclosed that “this year we will have our first of those Tourism Service Excellence awards and we will have that in November.”
The training element of the program is being reintroduced and will be promoted in a more aggressive manner to encourage greater participation. Steps will also be taken to improve systems to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and innovation.
Minister Bartlett noted that, “people come to Jamaica and return at a rate better than any other destination in the Caribbean,” with 42 percent of visitors who come here being repeat visitors. He stressed that they return “time and time again because of you the workers and the quality service that you have been giving them.”
Congratulating the Bahia Principe workers on their awards for service excellence, Minister Bartlett expressed pride that “you the workers are central to the economic development and growth of this wonderful country of ours, and because you are so critical we have to take special pride in you and to make sure that we take care of the workers of Jamaica.”