To recognize individuals and organizations that consistently make significant contributions to Jamaica’s thriving tourism sector, Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett officially launched the Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA) on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.
TSEA, which was conceptualized by Minister Bartlett in 2008, is geared at recognizing and rewarding both individuals and organizations that exemplify service excellence in the local tourism sector. The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO), an agency of the Tourism Ministry, leads the programme.
Minister Bartlett said the awards programme came about as a way to give back to those who play an integral role in Jamaica’s successful tourism sector. “We had to create an arena to showcase, to reward, in a less tangible but a more meaningful way and to respond to the need for you (tourism workers) to feel respected and honoured. Because it is the crew that has enabled this ship of tourism, and it is the crew we want to celebrate, to extol in all its values and virtues and exemplify as the symbol of excellence in our space,” he noted.
Minister Bartlett said once excellent service is provided and efforts are made to reward the major players in the industry, they will continue to perform at a high standard and Jamaica will maintain a remarkable tourism product. “Visitors will then view Jamaica as the place of promise and hope, which will inspire more people to visit the country,” the Tourism Minister said.
“It is about giving our workers a stronger sense of themselves, to make them understand that material response is not enough, but by giving them relevance, meaning and fulfilment to what they are doing this will inspire them to go the extra mile, which will make us an extraordinary people and destination,” he added.
The launch of TSEA comes at a time when the tourism sector is experiencing record-breaking arrivals. According to Minister Bartlett, between January and October 2017, the country has seen a 9.5% growth in total visitor arrivals and 10.8% increase in revenues, which has earned the country US$2.343 billion in revenues, over the corresponding period last year.