Over the past 2 years, the SLHTA has made consistent attempts to address matters related to safety and security in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. One such intervention has been the establishment of a high level safety and security committee on which the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security and Ministry of Tourism, as well as representatives of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force sit.
One outcome of the safety and security committee has been the need to expose police officers to a greater awareness of the Tourism industry and higher level competencies in customer service.
On Tuesday 24th September 2013 at the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, the SLHTA commenced the first in a series of Customer Service Training workshops designed to equip police officers with much needed skills and attributes. A second batch of officers also received training from Bay Gardens Resorts. Some 120 officers of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force have been assigned to participate in this training which is expected to cover the following skills sets:
- Excellence in Customer Service
- Public Sector Customer Service
- Customer Service Face to Face
- Customer Service via the Telephone
- Dealing with Difficult Customers and Situations
- Handling Complaints Expertly
- Customer Service Management
The training is being facilitated in response to a request from the RSLPF for assistance to strengthen the human relations competencies of officers. At a brief opening ceremony, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Vernon Francois indicated that “It is particularly important for us to continue doing this sort of training and retraining of our police officers and it is something that has always been on our agenda but again because of fiscal issues has been a bit difficult”.
Mr. Noorani Azeez, Executive Vice President in his remarks informed the gathering by lamenting, “Crime affects everyone on this island and as such, initiatives to strengthen the skill sets of officers directly involved in stemming criminal activity benefits all residents and visitors by raising business and consumer confidence. The SLHTA is not prepared to shirk its corporate social responsibility and has, through the support of its member hotels, committed to a first leg of customer service training for over one hundred and twenty officers of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. This is but the first of a series of collaborative endeavors proposed by the SLHTA’s Safety and Security Committee to strengthen technical and attitudinal skill sets critical to creating a safer and more secure environment in which to live and work.”
The Association wishes to extend its gratitude to the Management and staff of Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort and Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa for hosting the workshops, preparing the training curriculum and facilitating the training.