This week the BHTA launched a new tourism initiative, known as the Tourism Awareness and Information Tool. To me, this is long overdue and very much needed. This tool is an interactive orientation one, which is designed for use with new and existing employees within, and those that interact with the tourism industry.
According to the president of the BHTA, Patricia Affonso-Dass, this tool will also be used in conjunction with the S.T.E.P programme as well as the national host programme. All of these initiatives are aimed at driving greater understanding and involvement of and in the tourism industry.
The Tourism Awareness and Information Tool is a very well put together presentation, which answers many questions about the tourism industry. Every linkage between tourism and our society is covered in this presentation. The actual presentation is configured in a question and answer arrangement.
In some instances, participants are required to select from multiple-choice answers and in other instances, the answers are provided in both a written and photographic format. The tool is divided into nine sections; An Overview, Our History, Barbados Tourism Vision, Our Tourists/Guests, Unmatched Barbadian Experience, Warm Welcoming, Friendly People, Benefits to the Entire Nation, and What We Can Do.
My hope is that this does not sit on the shelves and catch dust; I believe that it must be used and it should be used in every area of our society no matter what your station in life is.
If ever we needed a reminder that tourism is the fabric that links all of our other businesses together, this is it. For the first time I believe that this is something that will demonstrate to the average man and woman, where the tourism dollars come from and where they go.
I believe that by becoming familiar with the information provided within the context of this Tourism Awareness and Information Tool, persons may have a much better understanding as to why we all have to give much better service and possibly overcome the confusion we have had for many years between service and servitude. The simple truth is that tourism is a highly competitive industry and one that is also very fragile.
In our case, our high dependency on earning foreign exchange through our tourism industry makes it more important that we get things right at every quarter. I extend huge congratulations to the BHTA, BTA, TDC and the Ministry of Tourism for making this tool, a reality. Special thanks also to May Hinds Consulting and Acute Vision for their work in putting it together.
To all of my colleagues who gave of their time and ideas in the various stages of putting this tool together, I am extremely proud to have been involved in this work and I hope that it will be used for the benefit of all of us.
* Tourism is our business, let’s play our part.