“I am excited that TSEP is back because it means so much to me to recognize the true drivers of our tourism product. We must honor service and reward service. So, I’ve taken a conscious decision that of the five pillars of tourism growth that we have identified the fifth and most important is the renewal of human capital. Consequently, we have built out a whole strategy to advance and enhance the human capital within the industry,” expressed Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
Nine of the island’s top tourism workers and 10 leading organizations are now competing for coveted awards for excellent service delivery under the Tourism Service Excellence Program (TSEP), administered by the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCo). The 2016 Tourism Service Excellence Awards for overall champions in both the ‘individual’ and ‘organization’ categories will be presented on March 4, 2017, during a grand ceremony at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Montego Bay.
The proud semi-finalists in the competition were announced yesterday, February 21, 2017, during a special presentation ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The individuals and organizations were selected from some 150 nominees, for their demonstration of excellent customer service as well as their contribution to a positive visitor experience.
Nominations were accepted from the accommodation sub-sector, attractions, places of interest and ground transportation as well as tour operators, craft markets, customs officers, immigration officers, red cap porters and airport staff, to name a few.
In lauding the semi-finalists, Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett shared his excitement about the return of the TSEP awards, which he introduced in 2008.
In the individual category, the persons representing Kingston are Wilfred ‘Ricky Chaplin’ Chambers, Tour Guide at the Bob Marley Museum and Marie Oswald, Craft Entrepreneur at the Kingston Craft Market. Representing the tourism capital, Montego Bay are Winsome Wynter of Jamaica Customs and Curley Colliston Roberts, Tour Guide at the Rose Hall Great House. Simone Ffolkes, Massage Therapist and Jason Cammock, Wedding Captain – both of Sandals Royal Plantation, will represent the Ocho Rios region. Arthur Thaxter, lifeguard at the Trident Hotel is the representative for Portland while Glenville Edwards, Diving Instructor at Negril Adventure Divers and Jheanelle Forrest-Munroe, Receptionist at the Rockhouse Hotel, will represent the Negril region.
In the organization category, the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and Leisure for Pleasure Holidays & Tours Ltd. are the Kingston representatives. VIP Attractions is the Montego Bay representative while The Boardwalk Village and Sunset at the Palms Resort will be representing the Negril region. Couples San Souci and Franklyn D. Resort and Spa are the companies representing Ocho Rios. The Trident Hotel will represent the Portland region while Appleton Estate and Jake’s Holdings Ltd. are the companies representing the South Coast.
The TSEP awards are the country’s highest accolade to be given to persons and organizations in the tourism sector for service excellence. The initiative is funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund and is aimed at recognizing and rewarding both individuals and organizations that exemplify service excellence in the Jamaican tourism sector.
“Our goal is to encourage each and every player in the tourism sector to deliver a positive and unforgettable service experience to all visitors by embracing the highest standards of service excellence. At the same time, we are positioning Jamaica as the world’s destination of choice in terms of excellent customer service,” said the Minister.