Tourism Minister Alexandra Otway–Noel was recently told by cruise executives that there is need for tour guides in Grenada to receive training in different languages and that the destination should conduct self-improvement.
These were among the recommendations to Minister Otway–Noel who led Grenada’s delegation to Columbia for the 20th Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference and Trade Show. Other members of the delegation included the Grenada Board of Tourism’s Acting Head of Marketing – Mrs. Christine Noel-Horsford; Head of Product Development & Customer Services – Mrs. Nikoyan Roberts; Mr. Ian Evans, Deputy Ports Manager, Grenada Ports Authority; Mr. Andrew Bierzyinski, Best of Grenada Ltd.; and Mr. Lawrence Duncan, Director, George F. Huggins & Co. Ltd.
A news release from the Grenada Board of Tourism said that while attending one of the premium cruise industry events of the year, Mrs. Otway–Noel met with several cruise executives representing global lines such as MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Holland America, and TUI.
“It was reported that the German visitors (TUI) love Grenada’s cultural offerings, especially the steel-pan music which welcomes them at the Cruise Terminals on arrival. The shore excursion staff on-board the cruise ships also expressed their delight in receiving excellent feedback from guests on organised tours in Grenada. Both Holland America and Royal Caribbean cruise officials stated that this destination’s tour delivery is satisfactory, and Princess Cruises rated Grenada as good,” said the release.
Most of the cruise executives, according to the release said that there is a major need for self-improvement, including more training in different languages for all tour guides. TUI even recommended the use of German CDs to narrate tours for its non-English speaking guests. Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises stressed that passenger comfort on tours required much stricter safety measures and regular taxi tour vehicle fleet upgrades to ensure better cruise visitor comfort.
Minister Otway–Noel outlined improvement initiatives, including the continued training of service providers and ongoing public education on the benefits of the industry to Grenada’s citizens. She also stressed the nation’s continued commitment to seek higher levels of outstanding service to all cruise visitors, especially as this sector of the economy provides strong economic benefits to so many persons, including Grenadians who are currently employed with cruise lines.
One of the high level Meetings organised by the FCCA, was a breakfast session chaired by the Minister for Tourism and International Transport of Barbados, Honourable Mr. Richard Sealy. Minister Sealy’s technical team’s presentation on a Cruise Alliance for the Southern Caribbean showcased a concept which has been addressed before — how can the growth of cruise tourism in this area of the region be leveraged more effectively for destinations in the South.
The benefits of collaborative partnerships between destinations like Grenada, Barbados, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the ABC islands, were explored thoroughly, especially in light of the new cruise infrastructure being developed by Barbados. The Sugar Point Cruise Terminal is a joint venture between the Barbados Port Authority, Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd., and SMI Infrastructure Solutions Inc. at a cost of US$300 M. This new regional cruise facility is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.
The 20th Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference and Trade Show ended with an impressive display of Cartagena’s rich cultural history. Cruise executives of various ranks, and at all levels of the cruise hierarchy, held meetings with Caribbean tourism professionals during the week, and continued their net-working while also sampling historical, sight-seeing tours of this vibrant South American city on the last day of the Event.
A destination prize give-away Incentive Program which was provided by the Flamboyant Hotel was won by Ms. Deslyn Simon from the Discover Dominica Authority.