Tourism too important to go down the tube – Bonita Morgan

Bonita Morgan, tourism workshop facilitator

23 service providers in the tourism industry are now better trained to provide quality customer service after participating in a three day Customer Service Training Programme organized by the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.

The programme was facilitated by Bonita Morgan from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

It targeted service providers from various areas within the tourism sector, Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority, customs, immigration, tourism unit, police, and the hotel industry.

Both the DDA and the CTO recognised the need to strengthen the customer service aspect of the region’s human resource.  With growing competition from similar destinations, it is felt that the delivery of excellent service is one way in which the Caribbean and more importantly Dominica, can increase its share of the markets which it targets.

According to CEO of Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority(DASPA), Benoit Bardouille “if we improve the quality of service that we offer, our products will be able to sell.”

Training facilitator Bonita Morgan urged participants to remember that they are tourism ambassadors for Dominica. She said “tourism is too important to let it go down the tubes, put your best foot forward.”

Tourism workshop participants

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29 Comments

  1. Jackie Brown
    November 21, 2012

    I went on a Caribbean cruise and Dominica was one of the Island on my internary. On the interact TV they were showing all the Island and talking about how they are and what to expect, they describe Roseau as a Ragid town. The government need to do something about all the run-down houses in Roseau. If the owners are not doing anything with them the government should take it away from them.

  2. river
    November 19, 2012

    discover dominica authority I will say is a waste of time tell me truthfully what their job entails Piper just travel and get perdium( big money) They dont even know who who to invite in a tourism workshop

  3. tourismisit
    November 19, 2012

    i was a participant at this workshop and it was good.Mrs.Morgan,the facilitator is very learned and experienced in her field.the information imparted to us over the three day period was invaluable and will go a long way in shaping our individual attititudes and lives and consequently impact the tourism industry and our various institutions in particular..hats up to the dda.job well done!! was happy to be a part of it indeed!!

  4. teacher
    November 18, 2012

    i encourages anything that will better an individual and our country. but lets be honest with ourselves. tourism is failing and it is failing everywhere. economy is tight and people is traveling less. truth! now when tourism fails completely, what next?
    where will dominica stand. during the off tourists season not one bout in our country. i hope that crap change so that these trained persons wont just sit at home for months and months doing nothing.

  5. Park Warden
    November 18, 2012

    Shame on the Discover Dominica Authority(DDA). I’m surprised and disappointed that Park Wardens were not invited to participate in the Customer Service Training. Park Wardens are the frontline tourism personnel who interact and process hundreds of tourists visiting the ecotourism sites daily. Just recently, Wardens have been tasked with implementing the controversial Premium Site initiative at the Trafalgar Falls. The marginalization continues……. the crisis in tourism is not surprising.

  6. Anonymous
    November 18, 2012

    Customer service in my country is terrible,manners maketh man what has happened to Dominica, how do we expect to attract people, too many stalls by the roadside,Roseau was voted recently as a very quaint ciy for the French buildings, these should be up kept, the house in Roseau by the famous author in Roseau, that building should be converted into a museum

  7. Snake
    November 18, 2012

    Nothing to shout…just another certifying process but sadly…i am looking having seen the Figures up in Tourism whilst our sis islands are gaining more ships and even more international flights..

    why do we pretend so much in Dominica…

  8. zamm zeglenden
    November 18, 2012

    Good job guys! But to be honest, with such a government who has no idea as wo what there are really doing, where will tourism go? The problem with tourism in Dominica, is that those who are ministers and so forth have no idea as to what they are doing. when one look around, hardly can one see, europeans, americans and other nationals walkin the streets and stayin over in Dominica.

    Another issue is that the place is not kept in a nice and welcoming way. So they problem is a top down problem not the other way around.
    Cruiseship use to come around at high speeed, look now its a shame to see whats going on……
    dem fellas to bright, and the sad thing is, Dominicans a goood people and loving people who gave them the mandate to make the place better, and in the end is worries and pressure. Dominicans are goood and lovely people all around. They must rise up and say: we deserve better than dat!
    Put the Government and the minister of tourism- who by the way is a trained atorney and was not tranied in the tourism industry- to the test and call on them to deliver the gooods. High time Dominicans, High time!Remember, Dominica is not red, blue or green, Dominica is for Dominicans and not for party… So stop all the playin and get to workkkkkk….Dont let the tourism industry die like the banana industry……….. God is watching ya all and the people watching as well!

    • Cesare Bonventre
      November 26, 2012

      Bureaucrats, governments, have never been the solution in history to any of mans problems

      In fact, all good works in history have always been done in opposition to bureaucrats.

      Things for mankind will never ever improve in any way until he decides to handle things himself.

      Signatures, singing in circles, marching, complaining, never have and never will work.

      The solution lies among individuals and their local community to get things accomplished.

  9. sandw
    November 18, 2012

    Why is nobody asking tourists “What did you enjoy most/dislike most about Dominica”, Then publishing the findings, forming an action group, and then actually taking action. I mean, really taking action, not just talking about action that needs to be taken.

    Secondly – Everyone should be buying into the tourism mentality if in contact with tourists for any reason at all.

    Is it so hard to ask “how are you enjoying our beautiful island?” or say “enjoy your stay”, or give service with a smile.

    In fact – how about “Service with a Smile” and voluntary helpfulness to ALL customers, whether tourist or resident. Or is that too radical a suggestion?

    I worked abroad for many years in the service industry, and it is surprising how being courteous, helpful and friendly actually makes your own day much better, never mind that of the customer.

  10. Tourism PRO
    November 17, 2012

    Twenty Three(23) service providers in the tourism industry are now better trained to provide quality customer service after participating in a three day Customer Service Training Programme organized by the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation….PLEASE use these newly aquired skills that all 23 of you have earned. PLEASE

    • Cesare Bonventre
      November 18, 2012

      Many have worked hard in an attempt to bring International Running events to Dominica’s Waitukubuli National Trail – yet the government refuses all efforts to help them out!

      Why does the government refuse to help out or get involved? After all, International Running, or Ultra Running is likely the perfect demographic for Dominica tourism! This demographic not only brings in plenty of money; they always want to help the culture by building libraries and schools, etc.!

      Why does the government of Dominica, from the PM down to the DDA, refuse to assist in any way those International Running organizations such as TCC Adventures?

      • Anonymous
        November 20, 2012

        Stop asking logical questions! You are speaking of an illogical set of people who on top of that have no interest at all about real development.

        As long as these “people” are in office if you want your project to have a good chance of seeing the light of day you must provide an avenue for skimming.

      • Cesare Bonventre
        November 26, 2012

        I had previously written to ask why the Dominica government refused to work with those firms in the international Ultra Running & Trail Running industry.

        According to a Nov 20 comment by Anonymous, the only way to enhance tourism in Dominica is by the use of “graft”.

        I assume you mean to say that the only way to effect any change in Dominica regarding tourism is by “paying off government officials”?

        If I am correct in my understanding of your good comment, can I inquire to whom in government office “specifically” should be bribed in order to improve tourism in Dominica?

  11. ROSEAU VALLEY
    November 17, 2012

    This is a very instructive message. However, it may be misdirected. The facilitator of the programme should ensure that this message is taken to the Minister of Tourism and the highly paid policy-making officials within the government. In fact, the Hon. Minister and his staff should have been at the seminar.

    The Gov’t should have known since the days of the $1- a- year minister of tourism that tourism is too important to let it go down the tubes, especially as the Hon. $1 Minister considered agriculture as a “has been” industry.

    Indeed, whereas the competition from similar destinations may be growing, much more must be done beyond the delivery of excellent service to increase Dominica’s share of the target market. In addition to our focus on the quality of service when the tourist get to Dominica, we must put greater effort into getting the tourist here via more active promotion of the destination and improving access to the destination.

    Respectfully
    Roseau Valley

    • Cesare Bonventre
      November 26, 2012

      Many have worked hard in an attempt to bring International Running events to Dominica’s Waitukubuli National Trail – yet the government refuses all efforts to help them out!

      International Running, or Ultra Running is likely the perfect demographic for Dominica tourism! This demographic not only brings in plenty of money; they always want to help the culture by building libraries and schools, etc.!

      Everyone from the PM down to the DDA, refuses to assist in any way those International Running organizations such as TCC Adventures. Why is this?

  12. Foreigner
    November 17, 2012

    I don’t think the training about customer service for the tourism industry is filtering down.
    I have overheard several street vendors in Roseau complaining that tourists walk past them without buying. One was selling bootleg CDs/DVDs. What does he expect? If a tourist does buy any they will probably be confiscated by customs when they return to their own country and they can buy the genuine article in their own country cheaper than the bootleg versions here.
    Food vendors seem to think tourists should want to buy their bakes, fried chicken or stew and dumplings. These tourists have just come from countries where the temperature is a good 30 degrees lower than here. They will be feeling hot and perspiring. What they want is local juices with lots of ice, and peeled, sliced fruit (supplied with wet-wipe napkins to clean up afterwards) not greasy, fattening comfort food.
    And what is the point of the hordes of stalls all selling the same mass produced tat that the tourists have already seen (probably more attractively presented and cheaper) in St Lucia, St Martin, etc etc etc..
    If the vendors would bother to think what the tourists would like to buy the tourists would love to buy it.

    • non-resident
      November 18, 2012

      you made very good point…I fully agree with all what you said plus I would add that hygiene standards in most places are medieval, so its perfectly make sense why the vast majority of the tourists pass by and never get back to Dominica, because literally nothing to do/buy on this lovely island. Only tourist Dominica can attract are backpackers but those fellas never have any money and all they need is to put their tents somewhere in the bush…Real problem of Dominica tourism is complete inability of both officials and local vendors to realize 1) who is your target group 2) what your target group wants…in other words you try to sell to the tourist cr** you believe to be very attractive but reality is that tourist do not this cr**

    • sandw
      November 18, 2012

      Dear Foreigner – that is well put. There are a lot of original locally produced crafts in Dominica, but it is never seen on the market stalls. (or it is carefully hidden among the imported stuff). There is fresh juice and fruit available, but you have to know where to find it. Dominica does not make it easy for tourists!

      I have seen excellent products at craft fairs on the island, but how to find them when there is no craft fair – I have no idea – and I live here!

  13. anonymous2
    November 17, 2012

    Tourism isn’t selling well in this market. Time to turn to agriculture as number 1.

  14. Anonymous
    November 17, 2012

    So we making the effort now the industry is tight? To many people are too rude in general for no reason.

  15. Anonymous
    November 17, 2012

    Yes and big surprise it was held at the Fort Young 8-O

  16. Anonymous
    November 17, 2012

    I totally agree,however we also need to improve Dominica’s infrastructure. The Island is beautiful but getting arround is a task.

  17. Real Dominican
    November 16, 2012

    Did Taxi Operators get an opportunity to attend such an important program? After all, Taxi Operators are the most “IMPORTANT” persons in the Tourism Business. Just imagine who were in attendance: “It targeted service providers from various areas within the tourism sector, Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority, customs, immigration, tourism unit, police, and the hotel industry”. Nothing to do with the “Tourism Ambassadors; Taxi Drivers/Operators”.

  18. Real Dominican
    November 16, 2012

    Did Taxi Operators get an opportunity to attend such an important program? After all, Taxi Operators are the most “IMPORTANT” persons in the Tourism Business.

  19. November 16, 2012

    Ms. Morgan I agree with everything you said. However, my question is, how do you sell what you do not have? Can we voleau (steal)it? If we had the means to accomodate tourism, then your training would be tremendous. But in this busy and competitive world that we live in, where every small island around us is capable of boasting of their jet plane, except Dominica offcourse, your workshop really means nothing to us here. How do we stay in the game when we only have one connection flight from PR to Dominica and come spring of 2013, it might fly away from us, whereas our neighbours from Grenada come next week will have four daily flights and may increase it to five come spring 2013? Unless this reality is addressed in Dominica, all workshops, all peptalks, all tourism training is nothing more than talk, and more talk to be talked about on talking point.

    • November 18, 2012

      Hi, good afternoon from NYC. Now don’t be so negative because if everyone of us sit on our hands and do nothing then where does that leave us. I say thanks to Ms Morgan and I hope they put the new skills to use like, Good day can I help you or please came and visit again. Also the condition of the roads from Laplaine to Roseau is very bad and painful to drive on so please fix it. We must keep moving forward.

      • November 19, 2012

        You mis-understood me Tony. First thing I said was, I agreed with everything Ms. Morgan said. However, Tony my point is, even if you know how to build a house and have all the help in the world, unless you have money and materials needed, you will not get a house built. Saying you need money and materials is not being neative; it is being realistic.

  20. Jaime Lewis
    November 16, 2012

    Let’s hope for an increase in basic customer service skills. Very simple: Good morning; how may I help you? Did you find what you were looking for? Have a nice day; thank you for using our services.

    Those words will go a long way in making the interaction between staff and customers a more pleasant experience.

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