November 16, 2010
Resource training a priority!
When choosing a travel destination, one draws up a list of criteria based on one’s values, desires, experiences to date and personality. Almost everyone then pours over comments heard or read about the destination one has in mind, paying particularly close attention to comments gleaned from friends and family. All of which makes perfect sense for it is the gathering of knowledge about a destination that ultimately impacts one’s final holiday travel decision.
The Saint Lawrence Cruise Association (SLCA) understood early on the importance of focusing on quality attractions for cruiseshippers, the object being to create a snowball effect and enhance overall destination appeal. A young organization representing nine ports of call, SLCA knows just how important it is to offer members tools designed to help them perform and, in the process, boost benefits for all stakeholders involved.
In a few short weeks, SLCA will be offering member ports of call tools designed to hone the professional skills of the individuals who work in Québec’s cruiseshipping sector. Destined for use by port of call managers, these tools are easily tailored to the specifics of each individual community. The goal is to achieve certain standards across the board in terms of the services provided cruise ship passengers, from greeting operations to ground excursions.
These tools focus primarily on skills development and evaluation, as well as resource integration. In addition to being tangible and easy to use, they have been drawn up based on objectives prioritized by SLCA members.
SLCA has developed these tools in cooperation with Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en tourisme (CQRHT), the mission of which is to develop tourism sector human resources while raising the overall level of professionalism in the industry. It is important to point up that this project would not have been possible without contributions from the Québec Ministry of Tourism and Economic Development Canada.
With this set of tools soon available to them, port of call managers will enjoy the wherewithal to enhance operating efficiency quickly and seamlessly. Prior to the introduction of these tools, several ports of call were using CQRHT services to train guides and greeting personnel in how to provide visitors with memorable port of call experiences.
Comments by cruise ship passengers speak for themselves. Asked to comment upon their experiences as they prepared to depart from Sept-Îles, Baie-Comeau and Gaspé, passengers were unanimous in comments respecting greeting services. Time and again, passengers pointed up the warm, personalized greeting they received from port personnel and the quality of contacts made with the people of the region. Impressions such as these remain engraved in visitor memories and are almost certainly conveyed to friends and family. And who knows, individuals who hear about us in this manner may be inspired to come and discover for themselves the singular attributes of our Saint Lawrence ports of call!