Service delivery in T&T to be transformed with launch of TDC’s STAR initiative
In a move to increase Trinidad and Tobago’s share of the lucrative global tourism market and further national development goals, the Tourism Development Company (TDC) launched the Service. Training. Attitude and Respect (STAR) programme on October 27, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain.
Signalling the start of service delivery transformation in Trinidad and Tobago, the STAR programme is geared at fostering a culture of service excellence through specialised training opportunities for service providers at all levels of the tourism sector.
The launch, which attracted a wide cross-section of opinion leaders from key sectors, aimed to engage stakeholders, officials and the business community on the importance of quality customer service and the STAR programme’s relevance to the development of a competitive tourism industry in Trinidad and Tobago.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Minister Dr Rupert Griffith said Government’s top priority for tourism is to maximise its contribution to economic growth.
“Marketing and promotion has become even more difficult in the face of a serious challenge in the delivery of customer service. In a rapidly globalising and accelerated competitive world, more and more countries are fighting for a smaller piece of the same tourism cake. Therefore it is incumbent upon us to show our guests that we value their business,” Griffith said.
The STAR programme, will encourage national awareness on the importance of quality service excellence to Trinidad and Tobago’s economic development, and also engage public understanding and support for the programme.
Administrator of the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Division of Tourism and Transportation, Ethel Berkley-Sylvester, also spoke at the function and lauded the programme as an excellent effort towards addressing the issue of quality service delivery in Trinidad and Tobago.
“The STAR programme will address gaps in the area of service delivery and targets all employees in the hospitality sector, from management to general staff,” said TDC President and Director of Tourism Ernest Littles, who delivered welcome remarks.
“We will also target secondary and tertiary level educational institutions which offer hospitality training, so as to continually reinforce standards of excellence and enhance the natural warmth and graciousness of the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.
Littles said delivering enhanced service that is of an international standard will improve Trinidad and Tobago’s global and regional competitiveness, while helping to drive tourism’s contribution to GDP to targeted levels of US$3.8 billion, representing 12.5 per cent of the national economy, by 2015.
Designed to position Trinidad and Tobago as the country that provides the warmest welcome and highest level of international quality service in the Caribbean, the STAR programme, during its initial three-year implementation phase, will lay the necessary infrastructure to support consistent service delivery that meets or exceeds international benchmarks for quality and sustainability. A collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism, THA and TDC, the STAR programme will be rolled-out by the TDC.