(NIA) CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Mr. Carl Williams described an initiative by the Ministry of Tourism for small hotels on Nevis as timely especially as those types of establishments usually operated with very little marketing and or public relation strategies.
Mr. Williams was at the time delivering remarks on behalf of Minister of Tourism Hon. Mark Brantley, at the start of the five-day workshop from November 4, held at the Mount Nevis Hotel. The short course was sponsored by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Caribbean technological Consultancy Services in collaboration with the Nevis Island Administration’s Ministry of Tourism through the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU).
“This workshop is indeed timely because research has shown that small hotels have been operating over the years with little marketing and or public relation strategies and because of this limitation, they have not been able to take advantage of many opportunities available to them, to lure tourists into their hotels.
“This inevitably will result in their sales revenue being relatively low and could adversely impact their ability to stay competitive in this highly diverse and consistently changing industry,” he said.
Mr. Williams added that one of the greatest challenges that had been identified was the competition small hotels faced from the larger ones for the same clientele. However, both attracted different ordinances.
“While small hotels rely more strongly on offers and recommendations from repeat guests, the larger hotel audience tends to be loyal to hotel brands and that is one of the reasons why this workshop is so important to us because, as you are aware, most of our hotels here are of 100 rooms or less,’ he said.
However, the Assistant Secretary was hopeful that at the end of the workshop the participants would understand and appreciate the fundamental differences between the large and small hotels and would find ways to embrace those differences as the NIA tried to reposition Nevis as a viable tourist destination.
Meantime, in an overview of the workshop, SEDU Business Development Officer Mrs Catherine Forbes explained that participants would be exposed to a number of topics – benefits and importance of marketing; developing a marketing strategy; main sources of marketing portals and costs and benefits; brand development and new trends in brand management; marketing through social media; gaining market share through marketing; the difference between sales and marketing and developing a marketing action plan. The workshop would be facilitated by Ms. Tessa Howell.
“The workshop is intended to be very interactive and of a practical nature. It is hoped that at the end of those five days, you the participants would be able to use some of the tools and skills gathered to better market and promote your products and services, thus assisting you to stay competitive in the highly diverse and constantly changing tourism industry,” she said.
In closing remarks Workshop coordinator Ms. Elmeader Brookes noted that the efforts of the main funding agency should be highlighted since it was because of such training opportunities that the organisation honoured its commitment to capacity building.
“The organisation recognises the importance of small hotels within the tourism industry which in itself contributes significantly to the economies of our Caribbean island and Nevis is no exception. So let’s show appreciation for the work of the Caribbean Development Bank/Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services Network,” she said.