Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has called on Jamaicans to embrace a culture of delivering excellent customer service, noting that it is the driving force behind successful businesses and industries globally.
Mr. Bartlett was giving the Opening Address at the Jamaica Customer Service Association’s (JaCSA) Virtual Service Excellence Conference today (October 5, 2022). The Minister spoke on the topic: “A Culture of Care: Catalyst to Jamaica’s Global Tourism Achievements.”
In underscoring the importance of good customer service to the growth of any business, Mr. Bartlett stressed that “the only way for any business or industry to thrive is by meeting and exceeding customer expectations through service excellence. However, I will take it a step further. The only way for a nation and its people to advance is through a society-wide commitment to a culture of service excellence.”
He added that: “Excellence and only excellence will drive every facet of society, economy, industry, education, healthcare and tourism.”
The Tourism Minister also emphasised that service excellence was critical to the steady recovery of the island’s tourism sector and economy overall. “Our commitment to service excellence has enabled our tourism sector to bounce back much faster than initially predicted. So, by extension it has also helped to drive the recovery of the national economy,” he said.
Minister Bartlett stressed that “although our tourism product is recognized as among the finest in the world, it is our ability to consistently deliver excellent service and a quality product that sets us apart from the competition. It is the reason for our enviable 42% repeat visitor rate.”
In the same breath he challenged stakeholders to go above and beyond regarding good customer service, adding that this is how they will realize the true capacity of their businesses. He said “if service excellence is the primary driver of tourism’s profitability and growth; if it is the key differentiator in business then our service processes must exceed visitor expectations. This is the only way for the industry to realize its full potential and for stakeholders to reap its benefits.”
Mr. Bartlett also stressed that “if service excellence is the bedrock of our tourism sector, and tourism is the engine of the national economy, then we must pull out all the stops to ensure that we create a culture of care that ensures our beautiful island retains its position as a globally competitive destination of choice.”
In reminding the Conference that “tourism is everyone’s business,” Minister Bartlett expressed that “while the partnership between Government and industry stakeholders is central to sustained growth, we need the buy-in from all Jamaicans if we are to ensure that the quality, standards and integrity of our tourism product are maintained,” adding that “this buy-in is crucial, because, ultimately, when tourism wins then we all win.”
The Conference, in its 19th staging this year, is expected to attract an audience of over 1,500 persons in Jamaica, the Diaspora and throughout the Caribbean. In 2008, JaCSA was instrumental in having Former Governor General, Professor Kenneth Hall declare the first full week of October annually as National Customer Service Week (NCSW). This year JaCSA is celebrating NCSW from October 2-8, under the theme “Celebrating Service Excellence: Reigniting a Culture of Care.”