JTB trains Sangster International Airport employees

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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ROSE HALL, St James - The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) recently embarked on an intensive drive aimed at sensitising immigration, customs and police personnel assigned to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay in raising the standard of customer service delivery.

A three-day workshop was held for the officers at the Montego Bay Convention Centre and the Iberostar Beach Resort, each for a full day. The workshops were convened by well-known psychologist Dr Leahcim Semaj, with special presentations shared with the participants by Odette Dyer, regional director of tourism at the JTB.

Approximately 160 immigration, customs and police officers participated in the workshops, inclusive of junior, supervisory and senior management staff, up to the rank of police inspectors. Employees from other key government agencies were also drafted in to benefit from the training exercises.

“We want to ensure that our key stakeholders and partners, such as immigration, customs and police personnel who are our first point of contacts with our returning residents and visitors, are kept abreast of all that is happening in the industry and some of the programmes that are to come on stream,” said Dyer.

She describes the workshops as knowledge sharing among both the participants, as well as the conveners, as all sought to raise the bar in customer service delivery. We wanted to also thank them for the services that they provide to our visitors over the years.

“We found it quite encouraging that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) had a very strong representation at the training — a contingent of about 75 personnel. This was very commendable, particularly at a time when there is so much taking place in St James, the leadership saw it necessary to have their personnel attended the workshops. Customs and immigration also had an impressive turnout,” Dyer added.

She confirmed that many of the participants have expressed their desire to see more training exercises of this type be held more regularly. “We are very encouraged by this, and it shows that there is a need for this kind of engagement,” she argued.

Dr Semaj said with the participants having been exposed to the level of transformational training he delivered, he was confident that many of them would have left more knowledgeable on how to treat an extensively huge travelling public, as they were the first and the last point of contact, stressing that “these are the two pillars of customer service”.

“The way the immigration, customs and police personnel treat our visitors sets the tone whether or not their experience is an enjoyable one,” he explained.

And, speaking on behalf of their colleagues, Jason Hamilton, among others, agreed that the workshops were timely and impactful, which they say reinforced the fact that they should always endeavour to keep raising the standard of service delivery, as in doing so, it impacts the travellers' future decisions.

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