The Territory’s Livery Operators have been encouraged to continue providing memorable authentic BVI experiences to visitors in order to keep them returning, and with new friends. The sentiments were expressed by Premier and Minster of Tourism, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE as he delivered remarks during the opening ceremony for the Taxi Academy training workshop on August 18.
“Each of you has a direct impact on the type of welcome and experience our guests, and even our residents receive, because you are often among the first line of contact when they enter the Territory,” Premier Smith remarked.
Premier Smith noted that with global competition, it is crucial for local businesses to sell more than sun, sea and sand.
“We must sell a service. We must sell a niche. We must remind people through a tangible experience of why the BVI is the best destination to enjoy life,” Premier Smith stated.
Also delivering remarks at the opening ceremony were Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool and Director of the Taxi and Livery Commission, Mr. Dameon Percival.
The two day workshop is hosted by the BVI Tourist Board and the BVI Livery Commission, in collaboration with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and the BVI Ports Authority. Topics to be covered include: 10 Principles of Delivering Quality Customer Service, Selling the Experience, Road Safety, Cultural Barriers and Technology in the Transportation for Hire Industry.
Facilitators include the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, the BVI Ports Authority and LIME.
The Taxi Academy was created to improve the customer service experience offered by the Territory’s taxi drivers. It is made up of five training modules per year, and is designed specifically for Livery operators to improve their customer service skills, as well as leadership and management skills.
On completion of the Taxi Academy, taxi drivers will be Caribbean Tourism Certified (CTO) which is an internationally recognised certification that will enable taxi drivers to renew their taxi licenses. Additionally, they will be awarded a Taxi Professional Certificate, which is valid for two years from the date of issue; and a badge and a pin to be worn by the participant.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to improving the Virgin Islands Tourism product and services as it works to position the Territory as a leader in the Caribbean tourism industry.