Pitons Management Area, Soufriere - On Tuesday, August 15, the PMA Office launched Part One of a Tour Guide Training Workshop at the Conference Room, Leisure Inn, Soufriere. The activity forms part of the agency’s contribution to sustaining livelihoods within the PMA.
According to Augustine Dominique, Manager at the PMA Office, “The training workshop was organized in response to requests by owners and managers of some of the lesser known sites within the PMA for assistance with enhancing the services provided by their tour guides”. The sessions are designed to improve participants’ knowledge and skill in Tour Guiding, and ultimately enhance their Customer Service skills as they engage in marketing the PMA’s rich natural, cultural and historical assets.
Ms. Deepa Girdari, Senior Tourism Officer at the Department of Tourism applauds the initiative. She noted that “Saint Lucia is best known as a destination with warm and friendly people, and since tour guiding occurs within an industry that requires good people skills; tour guides are seen as ambassadors who leave a lasting impression on first contact with visitors. It is important to ensure that the quality of service which forms part of the overall visitor experience is of the highest standard; as this plays a crucial role in enhancing the tourism value chain and increasing the quality of the overall tourism product”.
Part 1 of the training exercise ended on Wednesday, August 16. The 12 participants were drawn from sites such as Tèt Paul Nature Trail, Superman Falls, Sapphire Falls and Mud Baths; and Aupoyé Park. Facilitators and trainers included Dr. Winston Phulgence of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Ms. Deepa Girdiri of The Department of Tourism, Mr. Chris Sealys and Mr. Nerius Mitchell of The Department of Agriculture, and Ms. Judith Ephraim of The Renewable Energy Division - Department of Sustainable Development.
Participants demonstrated a keen interest in the workshop activities and presentations. All have indicated their eagerness to continue with Part 2 of the Workshop which will be presented in early September 2017.