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SVGTA to offer free training to stakeholders

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Stakeholders in the tourism industry are being invited to upgrade and improve their skills, through free training to be offered by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA).{{more}}

This is according to the Authority’s Quality Development Manager Avanell DaSilva, who at a press conference on Tuesday, March 29th, said that they recognized the need for constant training of stakeholders in the tourism industry, which is earmarked to begin in May this year.

“We will be training the hotel employees, tour guides, we will be training tour guide operators, and we will be training those who are involved in short-term vehicle rental operations.

“Some of the areas that we will be looking at for training are customer service. we will be having tourism education and basic first aid, because we have recognized that it is important for us to have persons within our tourism industry to have basic understanding of it and how to apply it.”

DaSilva called on current stakeholders, as well as persons who wished to get involved in the tourism industry, to approach the Tourism Authority and get registered for these training sessions, which she said would prove useful as the Authority implements its code of practices and standards development.

According to DaSilva, the Authority will also be conducting inspections, which she indicated is more designed for the accommodation entities within the industry.

She said that plans are also underway for the introduction of a licensing system by the end of the year, which she said, would ensure that persons are certified, when they undergo the various training and inspections required.

“The idea behind these standards is really to help our services and stakeholders to improve; to raise the bar and standardize the services they offer within our tourism industry.

“As we all know, we are competing against markets internationally and regionally. We want to make sure that we have a product that is up to par and even surpass where possible.”

DaSilva revealed that the development of the Authority’s service standard began late 2009 which included a number of stakeholders and input from a regional body, and was approved by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bureau of Standards.

“It’s been a process that has taken a while, but we are happy that we are here at this point where we can actually get the implementation phase up and going.