NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (January 24, 2023) — Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Hospitality Assured (HA) flagship quality assurance program the certification status, which was introduced in Nevis in 2014 through the Department of Tourism, continues to attract the attention of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, speaking about the importance of the program to Nevis’ tourism industry, noted that there are currently some adjustments that need to be made before any tourism establishment can obtain Hospitality Assured certification.
“Hospitality Assured UK has made some changes to the program which will also be adopted across the region. Business advisors and associates who play a key role in the certification process will receive additional training in the first quarter of 2023 to ensure a seamless role from the updated HA.
“I would like to emphasize the value of the program and encourage those already certified to recertify, and those who are new I encourage them to get involved,” he said.
Hospitality Assured is the quality standard created and licensed by the UK Hospitality Institute specifically for customer-led, service-oriented hospitality businesses. However, the CTO holds the license to manage the program in the region.
The Hospitality Assured process allows and encourages businesses to look at their operations through the eyes of the customer at every level of the organization, identify what is great in customer service and what can be improved.
Mr. Hanley explained that in order to obtain HA status, tourism-related establishments on Nevis must follow specific guidelines.
“Through a nine-step framework, HA seeks to foster a culture of quality, superior service and continuous improvement in the Caribbean, which are guided by international standards and certification, to strengthen the business performance and overall competitiveness of tourism enterprises in a region…
“The standard has been tested by the CARICOM Regional Standards and Quality Organization and the University of the West Indies,” he said.
Hanley added that once a travel establishment receives HA certification, it signals to customers that excellent service is guaranteed by the establishment.
According to Mr Hanley, accreditation can also help to continuously improve quality standards; improving overall business performance and competitiveness; increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, which would build a reputation that generates repeat and new business; improving leadership and management skills; improving staff morale and motivating employees; reducing staff turnover and identifying such as a quality employer; increasing market share and proving establishment among the best in the industry; improving marketability, generating public relations and developing service ideas, values and principles that support a culture of excellence.
He described the certification as an exceptional honor given to a select group of hotels that have gone through a rigorous process and adhered to very high standards to qualify.
The program was launched on Nevis in May 2014 with business advisor Hugh Wint. Under his leadership, Vanessa Webb and Amelia Chiverton from the Department of Tourism have achieved certification status as Official Hospitality Assured Business Advisers. Ms. Tessa Howell is Hospitality Assured’s third business advisor in Nevis and Mr. Hanley is Hospitality Assured’s only CTO certified appraiser in Nevis.
To date, three hotels, Oualie Beach Resort, Nisbet Plantation Beach Club and Nelson Spring Condos have received HA status. Certification can be renewed after two years.