There is a quote that often pulls at my heartstrings, and it goes “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Martin Luther King Jnr said this while delivering one his thought provoking speeches at the New Covenant Baptist Church in Chicago in 1967.
1967 was 50 years ago, half a century, which goes to show that emphasis has always been placed on excellence, and there is no bias in excellence; in whatever capacity we serve, we are expected to do well. In our own tourism sector, this concept of delivering high standard and excellent service is of paramount importance, as it can make or break the tourism sector.
Our Tourism Minister, Honourable Edmund Bartlett also believes that service is crucial to the success of the sector. He highlighted in a recent presentation that “60% of the value of the experience in any destination is service. This service is not an obligation, it is what we do, and whoever does it the best, gets the most.”
There are individuals and organizations that agree with the above statement, hence the reason they continue to improve their offerings, and they have managed to benefit from being high achievers. These same persons and organizations are now contenders for the Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA). From the 107 nominations we received this year, these 19 nominees managed to stand out because they take pride in how their product and service is perceived.
They are the same ones that continue to help the sector achieve its many goals, and we owe the 2018 record breaking 4.3 million visits to them, the US 3.3 billion dollars we earned and the 50% of foreign exchange that we contribute to the economy is largely due to their work; and for those up and coming tourism professionals, these are the persons that will serve as an inspiration to help them achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams.
Sometimes we may believe that our hard work goes unnoticed, but ask some of these finalists, and they will tell you that they have no clue who submitted an application for them. When we continue to excel, others will marvel at the ways in which we execute our duties. We congratulate all our finalists for their hard work, and dedication to a sector that will treat us well, if we take care of it.
These contenders will vie for many prestigious awards and prizes come Saturday March 30th, and even if, on that night, your favourite nominee’s name is not echoed across the Montego Bay Convention Centre as a National Champion, just know that for that person to have come so far means they are doing something right.
Watch and listen out for our TSEA commercials on Jamaica’s major radio and television stations, as well as our social media pages @tpdcoja (Instagram and Facebook) and join us in the countdown, to find out “who will it be?
For those who are not aware of this wonderful TSEA initiative, it was created by the Ministry of Tourism in 2008 to recognize and reward tourism entities and individuals who consistently deliver an exemplary standard of service.