Hospitality Assured Certification Still Important to Nevis Tourism Industry
CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS, January 24, 2023 (NIA) — The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) flagship quality assurance programme Hospitality Assured (HA) certification status which was implemented in Nevis in 2014, through the Ministry of Tourism continues to draw the attention of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, speaking of the programme’s importance to the tourism industry in Nevis, noted that at the moment some adjustments have to be made before any tourism establishment can become Hospitality Assured certified.
“The Hospitality Assured UK has made some changes to the programme which will also be adopted by the region. Business advisors and accessors, who play a key role in the certification process, will receive further training in the first quarter of 2023 to ensure a seamless roll out of the updated HA.
“I would like to emphasise the value of the programme and to encourage those previously certified to get re-certified, and to those who are new, I am encouraging them to come on board,” he said.
Hospitality Assured is the quality standard created and licensed by the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom specifically for customer-led, service-orientated, hospitality businesses. However, CTO owns the licence to operate the programme in the region.
The Hospitality Assured process enables and encourages businesses to look at their operation through the eyes of the customer at every level of the organisation, and identify what is great about their customer service and what can be improved.
Mr. Hanley explained that in order to achieve HA status, tourism-related establishments on Nevis are required to follow specific guidelines.
“Through a nine-step framework, HA seeks to promote a culture of quality, service excellence and continuous improvement in the Caribbean, which are driven by international standards and certification, in order to strengthen the business performance and overall competitiveness of tourism enterprises in the region…
“The standard is benchmarked by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality and the University of the West Indies,” he said.
Hanley added that once a tourism enterprise gained HA certification, it signalled to customers that service of excellence was guaranteed by the establishment.
According to Mr. Hanley, the accreditation could also help to improve quality standards on a continuous basis; improve overall business performance and competitiveness; increase customer satisfaction and loyalty which would build a reputation generating repeat and new business; improve leadership and management skills; improve staff morale and motivate employees; reduce staff turnover and identify one as a quality employer; increase market share and prove the establishment among the best in the industry; enhance marketability, generate public relations and develop service ideas, values and principles that support a culture of excellence.
He described the certification as a distinguished honour bestowed on a select group of hotels which had undergone a rigorous process and adhered to very high standards in order to qualify.
The programme was launched on Nevis in May 2014 with business advisor Hugh Wint. Under his direction, Vanessa Webbe and Amelia Chiverton of the Ministry of Tourism attained certification status as official Hospitality Assured business advisors. Ms. Tessa Howell is Nevis’ third Hospitality Assured business advisor and Mr. Hanley is the only CTO certified Hospitality Assured assessor in Nevis.
To date, three hotels, the Oualie Beach Resort, Nisbet Plantation Beach Club and the Nelson Spring Condos have attained HA status. Certification becomes renewable after two years.