Caribbean Development Bank Barbados
ST. MICHAEL (CDB) — For many countries in the Caribbean, a successful tourism industry is critical to social and economic growth and development.
However, an increasingly competitive global tourism market has meant that Caribbean countries must find ways to differentiate themselves, in order to continue to attract visitors.
One way to do this is to improve the level of service delivery that is provided by tourism-related micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs). The international Hospitality Assured Certification (HAC), which was developed specifically for tourism and tourism-related businesses, promotes a culture of service and business excellence. Businesses which have attained the HAC have signaled their commitment to service delivery, business excellence and continuous improvement.
The HAC process is supported by trained business advisors, who provide technical assistance to MSMEs seeking to become certified. As such, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), has partnered with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), to host a workshop for Business Advisors from the region. The workshop seeks to equip 16 participants with the necessary skills to advise on HAC processes for Caribbean MSMEs.
The workshop is taking place from September 5-9, at the CTO offices in Barbados. Speaking at the opening ceremony on September 5, Bonita Morgan, Director, Resource Mobilization and Development at the CTO, reminded participants that they are a critical part of the HAC process.
“You are the ones who help us to promote the programme, but also, you provide the technical assistance to the businesses to help them to meet the criteria to be able to strengthen their businesses and their processes and structures, to engage their employees and do the things that are really geared towards making the business experience a wonderful one, and so, you are a critical component of this process,” said Ms. Morgan.
CDB has provided funding in the amount of USD61,000 towards the workshop, through the Bank’s Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) Network.
“The CTCS network is the Bank’s principal technical assistance programme, which seeks to enhance the managerial and operational capacities of micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries. This workshop is in keeping with interventions in that regard, where training is conducted to build the capacity of resource persons who are then required to provide technical assistance to MSMEs in their countries,” said Michel Thomas, Operations Officer (CTCS), CDB.
Workshop participants are from 10 Caribbean countries: Anguilla, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Monserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Turks and Caicos Islands.