MoTC Quality & Service Standard confab opens
Thursday, May 31, 2012
A two-day conference on Capacity Building and Refresher on
Quality and Services Standard organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture
(MoTC) opened Wednesday at the Senegambia Beach Hotel in Kololi.
The conference, among other things, aims at honing the skills of the top-level management cadre and frontline staff of the tourism industry on the industry trends, which have a direct bearing on quality and overall service standards.
In his keynote address, Dr Njogu L Bah, the secretary
general and head of the Civil Services described the event as the first ever
capacity building initiative and refresher seminar, which among other things,
sought to address very critical variables in the hospitality industry including
quality and consistency of service in the industry, which is an ongoing concern
for the tourism sector.
He said: “This high-level refresher programme underscores
the growing need to mainstream quality in tourism and a sign of the high-level
of commitment to tackle service standard issues in the hospitality industry.”
He further stated that the programme further underscores the increasing linkage and symbiotic relationship between quality service delivery and the overall efforts to reposition destination Gambia as an internationally recognised haven, leisure hotspot and trendy destination for tourists of all categories especially those in the top end bracket and other segments in the leisure category.
He continued: “Since the hospitality industry is undergoing
a very dynamic transformation, certain trends have gradually been entrenched at
the global level and this among others include acceleration of technological
innovations which no doubt revolutionizes the day-to-day running of businesses
in the tourism industry; globalisation and the concomitant effects and leisure
and travel, and the emergence of the new discerning tourist, whose yearning for
quality and trendy experiences in sustainable settings has pushed the limit of
innovation in the industry.
Therefore, the ability to succeed and the future
performance of tourism and related activities will depend largely upon the
skills set, qualities and knowledge that managers will be able to bring their
business in confronting and addressing these challenges.”
On her part, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, the minister of Tourism
and Culture expressed delight at hosting the first ever high-level quality
enhancement capacity building seminar of such nature. She noted that the
seminar is designed to address and tackle the myriad of challenges confronting
the sector in the critical area of quality service delivery and related areas.
She also said the seminar is indeed timely and opportune especially now the
tourism industry is undergoing innovative reforms that cut across every facet
of the industry including product development, destination marketing, institutional
reengineering and upgrading of service standards.
“However, consistent quality service delivery is the critical link in our effort to craft a destination that is not only attractive and trendy, but also very rewarding in terms of real Gambian experiences and services both at the level of the various exquisite properties at the resort level and also in country, where the various eco-lodges and camps are located,” she added.
To remain competitive as a destination, Minister Jobe-Njie said stakeholders in the industry have to provide services and experiences that will not only exceed guest expectations but ensure total guest satisfaction in terms of the range, quality and sophistication of service, which must be delivered in style and with a smile. “This is the spirit of the Smiling Coast and dovetails with the new brand identity,” she enthused.
She further noted that various necessary and appropriate measures are being put in place to ensure that service standards are adjusted and enhanced to suit the changing and emerging trends of the hospitality industry so that all efforts in projecting the good image of the destination, through varied and complex mix of marketing and promotional campaign will not go in vain.
She then enjoined the participants to make good use of the opportunities provided by the seminar to be able to acquire skills that could be replicated in their work environment.
Benjamin Roberts, the director general of the Gambia Tourism
Board (GTB), thanked the stakeholders in the industry for the warm welcome
accorded him during his various consultative engagements for the past four
weeks as the new DG of GTB.
He described the seminar as pertinent and very important to the success of the tourism sector, and assured the Ministry of GTB’s commitment to move the industry forward.
Momodou Joof, acting permanent secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Culture chaired the occasion.
Author: Yunus S Saliu & Bintou KB Janneh