Board Member of Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) and taxi operator Kelly Williams has made a plea to his peers to take training opportunities offered to them seriously.
As part of Tourism Awareness Month, the DDA hosted a series of one-day training seminars for taxi operators, tour guides, craft and souvenir vendors, hoteliers and bartenders.
Apparently taxi operators did not take great interest in the seminars and this has not gone down well with Williams.
“I have to commend the vendors because you seem to outnumber the taxi drivers and as usual I lament the fact that the taxi drivers don’t take this thing very seriously,” he said at the closing ceremony of the series on Thursday. “Training is something that is supposed to make us better at what we do. We deal with people and at the end of the year information goes to DDA as to how we performed or how satisfied the customers were and everybody knows that when you give a good service and at the end of the service when you get paid, you feel happy.”
Williams pointed out that despite the training being provided, many service providers find themselves reverting to their old ways.
“When you go to the training sessions you should implement the things you are taught,” he noted. “Most of us when we leave, we forget and go back to the same old ways. That’s not why we are trained. When we go back to our stores, our taxis, we are supposed to implement all what we are taught, and no matter how much you know there is always more to learn.”
He noted further that the relationship between the vendors, taxi drivers, custom officers and others in the service industry should be improved.
“The training is not only for the customer, it is about how we deal with our other colleagues,” Williams pointed out. “I know most times the people who are supposed to get that training most times don’t come to the training. As taxi drivers we are supposed to work together with the vendors and the vendors are supposed to work with us.”
He indicated that negative attitudes and undermining of each other should cease if the tourism industry is to thrive.
“At the end of the day we should all be working in harmony and everybody should go home smiling knowing that they had a wonderful day,” he stated. “All of us should work for what we are worth. There was a time when we were in the top four today we are in the bottom two and this is what the training is supposed to do to help bring us back up.”
The training seminar sought to refresh tourism service providers in the key components of the tourism product and the delivery of quality service and aimed at enabling the key players in the tourism industry to achieve excellence in their respective fields.
Session topics included Tour Planning and Operations, Customer Service Management, Stall Décor, Marketing Techniques and Social Media Magic for Small Hotels.
Some 100 participants were awarded certificates of participation at the closing ceremony.