19 compete for Tourism Service Excellence Awards

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NINETEEN finalists are set to contend for the award of national champions in the Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA) on March 30.

The announcement of the 2018 finalists was made on Tuesday in Kingston.

The finalists, 10 of which represent organisations while nine are in the individual category, were selected from the six resort areas of Jamaica, a release from the Tourism Product Development Company Limited has said.

According to the release, 107 nominations were received from the major sub-sectors of the tourism industry, from which 50 semi-finalists were shortlisted and further narrowed to decide the final 19 contenders for the major awards and prizes.

On Tuesday, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett highlighted the need to showcase those who continue to provide top-notch service for guests. This, he said, will further enhance the already flourishing sector and will provide even more opportunities for budding and seasoned tourism professionals.

“Service excellence in tourism is important. Statistics show that 60 per cent of the value of the experience in any destination is service. This service is not an obligation, it is what we do; and whoever does it the best, gets the most.

“Currently, tourism employs some 120,000 persons and has contributed more than 50 per cent of foreign exchange to the country,” he said.

The minister also underscored the importance of rewarding tourism entities and individuals for their contribution to the tourism sector and the impact they continue to have on visitors to the island, which has resulted in an impressive repeat business of 42 per cent, which the release said represents the highest percentage in the region.

“The biggest trend in tourism is adding value, which begins with high-quality service. This means that we have to maintain a cutting-edge advantage in visitor experience and service. For us in the tourism sector, this means giving service that goes beyond the visitors’ expectations, and you have all managed to do just that,” Bartlett is quoted as saying. “This awards programme forms part of efforts to celebrate service. We begin by recognising service, then we celebrate service, and finally, we showcase the service.”

The finalists for the 2018 TSEA are Beaches Negril, The Tryall Golf & Country Club, Ultimate Freedom Bed & Breakfast, The Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience, Half Moon Hotel, Deja Resort, Miss T’s Kitchen, Jamaica Inn, VIP Attractions, and El Sol Vida from the organisation category, and from the individual category, Shenade Quarrie of Sandals Negril, Yanike Brown of Beaches Negril, Coleen Powell-Gordon of Jakes Treasure Beach, Kingsley George Blake of Round Hill Hotel, Conroy Thompson of Half Moon Hotel, Paul Norman of Dolphin Cove Jamaica, Nardia Angus of Golden Eye, Duane Phillips of Knutsford Court Hotel, and Caroline Bonner of VIP Attractions.

At the awards ceremony later this month, the release said two finalists from the organisation and individual categories will be named national champions for the 2018 Tourism Service Excellence Awards.

The release said the initiative, which is in its sixth iteration, was created by the Ministry of Tourism and is implemented annually by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited.

The awards seek to recognise and reward tourism entities and individuals that have consistently provided exemplary service within the tourism industry, the release said.

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