Saba’s second Hospitality and Tourism Conference was an extended event with accredited customer-service training from June 25-27, followed by conference sessions on July 2 and 3.
The customer service trainings, which focused on elements such as attitudes for service and managing customer expectations, were all well received by stakeholders within the hospitality sector.
During a panel discussion, further collaboration between the islands was discussed and it was decided that follow-up was necessary to further develop possibilities for joint marketing efforts, increasing ease of accessibility to the islands, hotel and travel packages and developing local awareness of the tourism products of the sister islands St. Maarten, Saba and Statia.
Already, there has been further interest shown in more in-depth training, with the aim of continuing to develop Saba’s tourism sector. The Public Entity and Saba Tourist Bureau stated they will continue to work towards providing such training.
During the conference sessions, topics such as accessibility, inter-island cooperation and collaboration, possibilities for becoming a more sustainable destination and destination recovery after a disaster were discussed.
It is Saba’s Commissioner of Tourism Bruce Zagers’s hope that the Saba Tourism Conference can become an annual event. “An annual tourism conference is a tool that can be utilized to not only keep our stakeholders informed of relevant developments, but to also enhance their knowledge and skills. The conference also provides the opportunity for our stakeholders to network and strengthen relationships within the local tourism industry. In recent years, it has become evident that better communication is needed between all tourism partners, and our tourism conference is one way of accomplishing this,” said Zagers.
Speakers at the conference were co-founder of Green Destinations Hugo de Jong, Director of Social Media Strategy at Miles Partnership Theresa Overby, St. Maarten Director of Tourism May-Lin Chun, Saba Director of Tourism Glenn Holm, St. Eustatius Director of Tourism Charles Lindo, Tourism Corporation Bonaire Marketing Manager Malinda Hassell, Chief Executive Officer of Windward Islands Airways International Winair Michael Cleaver, principal partner of the BedfordBakerGroup and previous Bahamas Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace and Director of Training Professionals International Natasha Gittens.
The Daily Herald.