Hotel and restaurants workers across Barbados are being encouraged to respond to the present global financial slowdown with excellence.
This was the theme of a productivity and wellness seminar held in their honour at Solidarity House, the home of the Barbados Workers Union, to launch the 24th annual Hotel and Restaurant Workers Week.
Delivering the feature address was president and CEO of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), David M. Rice, who commended the workers for their efforts and noted that while the current environment was challenging for all, they should continue to strive toward delivering the highest quality of service possible.
Rice also urged his fellow industry leaders to use the opportunity to retool and re-strategize and find ways of doing things better to improve the experience for visitors. “In order for us to respond, however, to the present global financial slowdown with excellence, we must first envision our ideal position and act appropriately despite the odds against us,” said Rice.
He added that a critical part of the vision was to make Barbados a globally competitive, year-round premier destination and to achieve this there needed to be a change of mindsets, strategies and the way business was done across the entire industry.
One of the primary strategies he recommended was that of taking key decision making beyond the boardrooms of tourism industry to increase ownership and participation in operational strategies by employees at all levels.
”Every industry worker should be afforded the opportunity to contribute to the future plans of the industry. It is important that such approaches are encouraged right across the sector if we are to become a premier regional destination for tourism and investment”.
Meantime, the BTA is putting plans in place toward increasing the spread of its visitor arrivals from the USA.
Traditionally business has largely originated from states located across the north east of the US, including Washington D.C., the New York Tri-state area and surrounding districts, as well as Midwest and south east.
However, significant growth potential still exists within the west coast of the US where potential visitors can access the island through a variety of connecting gateways, including Miami on American Airlines; New York with American Airlines or JetBlue come October 1; Atlanta with Delta Airlines; or via Charlotte or Philadelphia on US Airways.
Representatives of the BTA on the west coast in Southern and Northern California, Washington and Colorado have been stepping up their efforts in promoting Barbados through numerous activities, including rigorous targets for sales calls each week for each officer to travel agencies, as well as continued participation in strategically chosen consumer shows travel and direct mail to niche markets.
Partnerships have been established with members of the recently launched Barbados Elite Club, which trains travel specialists on Barbados and these persons are committing to be present at consumer shows with packages to sell and direct mail to their clients.
Co-op advertising with these agents has resulted in placements in newsletters that have been mailed and emailed nationally to VIP and celebrity clients, entertainment and sports industry professionals, as well as placed on websites.