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Aquila, Destinations Together in Trinidad for service training, tour analysis

From left, Tourism Trinidad's Allyson Aguilera with Tom Anderson, Tourism Trinidad's Shakila Medina with Beth Hatt and Tourism Trinidad's Dahlia Mohammed with Larry Stauffer
Tourism Trinidad and the Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence and Destinations Together joined forces to enhance the cruise visitor experience via training and a tours assessment.

From mid-April to the end of May, Aquila, led by Beth Kelly Hatt, and Destinations Together's Tom Anderson and Larry Stauffer will be providing training for tourism professionals aimed at improving customer service skills and enhancing the quality of service delivery. They'll also conduct tour product analysis and development and online certification courses for tour guides.

Much needed engagement

'This engagement is much needed, especially as we are seeing one of our busiest cruise seasons and are expecting it to be even busier in the next year,' Tourism Trinidad CEO Carla Cupid said. 'Especially of note is the number of new cruise lines choosing Port of Spain as one of their stops. This bodes well for the downstream revenue-generating opportunities.'

Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell said: 'This industry has the potential to be sustainable and to evolve, so this engagement with Aquilla is a step in the right direction. Along with their product analysis, the training and certification will put us one step ahead of our competitors.'

Long-term vision

Mitchell added that this first engagement will assess service delivery during the cruise season and the tourism products available to passengers. The assessment will form the basis for future training. It is part of the 'long-term vision to improve the sector's service delivery and prepare stakeholders for future cruise seasons,' when more calls are projected.

Trinidad's cruise season typically runs from November through April. As of Feb. 27, the 2022/23 season numbered 30,029 passengers on 23 calls. Each visit is served by an average of 15 to 20 tour guides and 34 visitor ambassadors.

Aquila, working for the first time with Trinidad, has trained thousands of tourism professionals in more than 30 countries, is the official training partner of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association and is endorsed by all its member lines. Destinations Together is a platform for information, education and collaboration among Caribbean tour operators.