POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten – Two local businesses that were part of a pilot Hospitality Assured (HA) program sponsored by the European Union’s Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) program for SMEs, have become HA certified.
The two businesses Alicia’s Inn and Baker’s Suites will now benefit from improved ratings and other accolades from online Rating sites including recognition for improved customer loyalty amongst a host of other benefits.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication TEATT the honourable Stuart Johnson congratulated the two businesses on their prestigious achievement. He said, “Every hospitality business needs to offer quality service. It is essential for business growth and the future development of our tourism product.” Johnson said training enables businesses to reach their full potential in customer service.
“As a tourism-based economy, we have to ensure going forward that training is an essential ingredient of business development and evolvement. Doing this will allow business operators and their staff to keep ahead of the current competitive times in which we do business,” said Johnson.
As a vacation destination, businesses on St. Maarten must ensure that visitors have an excellent guest service experience. The HA program promotes a culture of quality and service excellence which are driven by international standards and certification that creates and maintains competitive tourism enterprises.
Interim Director of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau STB May-Ling Chun said, “Training helps staff to feel valued, and capable to handle a variety of situations. It creates effective and a pleasant work environment.”
Jeanina of Alicia’s Inn said, “Our journey and experience has been very fruitful. As an organisation, we have gained valuable knowledge on how to operate and identify excellence throughout the organisation. As a quality system, the Hospitality Assured program is challenging. However, the benefits we experienced in organisational and business growth is priceless.”
Anastacio Baker of Baker’s Suites said, “The journey on achieving this award was not a smooth one as the requirements, and the demand was very high. We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to be part of this program as the results could be seen daily in the manner in which our staff communicates with our guests and also amongst each other.” He said, “Baker’s Suites boutique hotel is family owned and operated, and every customer that enters our doors is treated like family, this is what this program highlighted.”
Baker said, “Receiving the news that we successfully completed and passed the program, was the perfect gift to kick off our 5th Anniversary.”
Marie-Line Andrew & Lisa Coffi (STB), Anastacio Baker & Alexia Best (Baker’s Suites)