Monday, November 08, 2010

Tourism Training

“Offer better value for money to counteract APD increase to the Caribbean”
Philippa Jacks

St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourist Office is ramping up training of locals who work in tourism to ensure the destination can offer value for money.

Barbara Mercury, head of the tourist board in the UK, said that if the air passenger duty (APD) increase makes the Caribbean a more expensive destination for travellers, the region must respond by ensuring the product offered is of the very best quality.

"If people feel they get what they're paying for, they will pay. It has to be value for money," she said. "Training must be intensified if we want people to come to the destination".

The Ministry of Tourism already had a programme of training for tourism workers, including hotel staff and taxi drivers, in place, but it is now being more heavily emphasised.

The new international airport currently being constructed on the island is the largest infrastructure project the island has ever seen. Mercury explained that the airport is vital to the country’s economy not only because it will bring more tourists, but because it will enable to country to export its fresh produce. It is due for completion by Spring 2012.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourist Office launched an agent training course two months ago, and have already had 365 agents complete it.