Acting Minister of Tourism, Kirk Humphrey; CEO of Sandals International, Gebhard Rainer; Gary Sadler, Senior Vice President of Sales, Unique Vacations; Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley; CEO Unique Vacations, Tammy Gonzalez and Ferry Zievinger, General Manager Sandals Barbados pose for a photograph yesterday morning.

PM pushing training

The importance of training and retraining is taking centre stage in this country, with a new initiative expected to get under way soon.

Word of this has come from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. She spoke about the new initiative dubbed the “Re Re Programme” as she delivered the feature address yesterday morning at the 2018 Sandals Global Sales Conference, taking place at Sandals Royal this weekend, maintaining that it cannot be business as usual as efforts are made to turn the local economy around.

While not going into deep detail on the programme, Prime Minister Mottley indicated that it will be instrumental in helping Barbados reach the “destination of excellence”. Shepromised to speak further on the initiative in a few days’ time.

“It’s about retooling and empowering; it’s about retraining and enfranchising; it’s about being able to cause our people to live the best life they can. And what did Gary [Sadler] say from the Chairman just now – that change is uncomfortable but necessary; and what helps us manage change is the retooling, is the empowerment; what helps us succeed and overcome the changes which we must make is the retraining and the enfranchising. So when we say that our route to excellence is the ‘Re Re Programme’, it is because we believe if we do these things, we are going to give you in this organisation a better product to share with the rest of the world, better returns at the corporate level and better returns at the individual level,” Mottley stated to the packed conference room which included sales representatives from the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and Russia.

She made the point after insisting that in respect of tourism, more has to be done to ensure that visitors to these shores fall in love with the experience and the country. She made the point while noting that Barbados has the highest number of repeat visitors in this part of the world, because “people like what see, what they taste and hold that experience as one they want to repeat over and over and over again” and she is adamant it is her desire to see that continue.

“We have determined that if Barbados is to survive [and] to transform, that we need to recognise that we have do things a little differently. We have all to up our game, because the day we sit on our laurels, is the day we accept that we have nothing left to learn and nothing left to share. So that the stretching that is necessary to move to the next level is not something that is going to be your preserve alone as salesmen, but I give you the commitment that it will be our commitment too as that product which you are seeking to sell to the rest of the world,” PM Mottley said.

The Prime Minister’s comments came as she maintained that the way of communicating with and presenting destination Barbados to persons has to keep evolving because people have choices. She is adamant then that if we do not demand attention by how we perform and present ourselves to the world, we will fail to secure the market share that is sought after. She made the point while noting that efforts are on to transform Barbados, given that the country as a result of the “lost decade” 2008 to now, has become the third most indebted country in the world.

“…We recognise that we can’t do it alone and that what we need is each and everyone who believes in what we are doing. And we believe that Sandals believes in what we are doing, and we believe that you as individuals in Sandals believe in what we are doing. If each of us now on our part live up to our end of the bargain to make your experience here, to make your communication of that experience, to make our story known to you, to make our story inspire you in your own countries as to what is possible, if we can do that we would not have enough space, like Sandals, to accommodate those who want to come,” she suggested.

With that in mind, she highlighted the importance of training, indicating that such is key to get the country where it needs to be. (JRT)

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