The Ritz Carlton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay was the venue selected to host the first annual “Tourism Service Excellence Awards” on Friday April 24, 2009 to recognize and applaud the work of organizations and individuals during 2008. With the air and ambiance of a Hollywood Academy Awards ceremony, the glamour and anticipation of the evening’s event was just as memorable.
Officially launched in July 2008, under the auspices of The Ministry of Tourism and its agencies Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) with cooperation from the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA), the Tourism Service Excellence Awards was created to recognize organizations and individuals who display exceptional commitment, leadership and innovation in customer service and care.
“We created the Tourism Service Excellence Awards to reward individuals and organizations providing the highest quality customer service, and in the process, foster a better understanding of the importance of customer care and service to the success of our tourism industry, which is a driving force of Jamaica’s economy and one of our country’s largest earners of foreign exchange,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism. “We believe that developing a program to recognize consistent excellence and ‘high touch service’ is one way of measuring the further development of the industry and an important factor in ensuring that brand Jamaica stays ahead of the competition.”
In recognizing the 13 individuals and 9 organizations that were finalists in the competition, Chairman of the Board and Director of Tourism, Mr. John Lynch quoted English author Douglas Adams who said “to give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”
Mr. Lynch went on to say, “Today’s visitors require that we provide anticipatory service and fulfill their needs sometimes even before they themselves realize they have those needs. Visitors are able to tell the world, at the click of a button, what they think of your product and service and the cost of poor service quality can be measured in every function of an organization and may affect the bottom-line up to 40%.”
The individual champions in the category of resort areas are:
Nancy McLean O.D., Hotel Manager Jamaica Pegasus, Kingston
Dean Moriah, Entertainment Manager, Superclubs Breezes, Montego Bay
Francis ‘Mackey’ McKenzie, Water sports Manager, Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa
Fiona Hartley, Room Attendant, Beaches Boscobel Resort and Golf Club, Ocho Rios
Wolde Kristos, Owner/Operator, Reliable Adventures Jamaica Tours, The South Coast
The resort area champions in the category of organizations are:
Island Car Rentals, Kingston
Outameni Experience, Montego Bay
Beaches Boscobel, Ocho Rios
GeeJam, Port Antonio
Jakes, The South Coast
The National Champion, Organization:
Island Car Rentals, operating since 1973 in Kingston has the island’s largest fleet of over 700 vehicles, with offices at both of Jamaica’s national airports. Island Car Rentals was recognized for consistently providing excellent service to its clients in 2006, when the company received an award for “Consistency in Operating Standards” from the TPDCo.
The National Champion, Individual:
Fiona Hartley, room attendant at the Beaches Boscobel Resort and Golf Club where she’s provided guests with excellent service since 2002. Over the years, Ms. Hartley has received numerous awards for her individual efforts including: The Most Creative Team Member 2006, Employee of the Year 2004, Outstanding Departmental Trainer and Departmental Star.