Mandatory tourism training in the offing

Acting Tourism Minister Rafael Boasman

POND ISLAND–A mandatory tourism awareness training will soon become part of the industry. The training will initially target the country’s ambassadors – taxi drivers and tour operators, but will expand to encompass everyone directly in contact with stay-over and cruise tourists, the country’s main economic generator.

  The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) has been in contact with Aquila Centre for cruise excellence about conducting the customer service and destination information course. University of St. Martin (USM) will also be involved in delivering the culture, history and heritage components of the course.

  Aquila is a Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) certified company. Those taking the course, once launched, will receive recognised certificates and a badges and/or stickers identifying them as trained professionals. Some US $10,000 is available for the initial setup of the course.

  Advisor with the TEATT Minister’s Office Julian Lake met with an Aquila representative about starting the training programme. Acting Tourism Minister Rafael Boasman said on Wednesday the meeting had taken place at the Seatrade Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, earlier this month. A meeting will soon be held with USM.

  “I am optimistic a lot can be done to improve the tourism product,” Boasman said. He urged all tourism front-liners to get on board with the course.

  Prior to attending Seatrade, Boasman was at a session of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Havana, Cuba. There, among other topics, he sought cooperation from regional governments in the battle against human smuggling. Too many lives are lost at sea via smuggling, he said, adding, “Cooperation is needed to combat this.”

  While in Havana, Boasman also hosted a luncheon for Caribbean leaders at the residence of Dutch Ambassador to Cuba Alexandria Valkenburg. The goal of the luncheon was to get the leaders’ support in St. Maarten’s bid to become an associate member of the Caribbean Community Caricom. 

Source: The Daily Herald