Service not to be confused with friendliness!

Graduates of the Sandals Hospitality Training Programme.

As fifty-three young people became the latest to graduate through the Sandals Hospitality Training Program, St Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Senator Allen Chastanet has been challenging the local tourism industry to higher service levels. Speaking at a special graduation ceremony on Thursday, the Minister told several aspiring tourism employees that friendliness should not be confused with service.
“Friendliness it a great ingredient for the delivery of service,” Chastanet began. “But when I go to a restaurant and ask for the special of the day I don’t want to hear the waitress tell me I don’t know. Great food is just the beginning of a great restaurant. If the person serving the food is not knowledgeable and professional then it’s a waste of time having great food,” Chastanet adds.
The tourism minister also underscored a positive outlook for St.Lucia’s vital tourism industry and suggested that the island can benefit more from tourism than it is presently. Meanwhile Regional Training Manager for Sandals Resorts International in the Eastern Caribbean Ryan Matthew has disclosed that this latest batch now brings the number of young people graduated through the program to 300. Matthew says that the Hospitality Training Program offered the participants an intense twelve-week in food and beverage service, reception and front desk, watersports, spa and hospitality retail among other main areas.
“The tourism industry will only go forward if we ensure that bright young minds are trained in the various areas. It continues to be a very competitive industry offering
customers several
options to go with new destinations emerging all the time. So the development of one’s human resource capacity is very important,” adds Matthew.
The Sandals Regional Training Manager says that many students have gained employment with Sandals, other hotels and the cruise lines. Another group of young people are expected to commence yet another Sandals HTP very shortly.

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