D’Aguilar: Visitor Satisfaction, Key Element in Repeat Tourism Business
By Matt Maura
Jun 12, 2019 - 3:38:11 PM
(BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)
Nassau, The Bahamas – Visitor satisfaction is what will ultimately determine whether a visitor, choosing a Bahamas vacation, can be converted into a repeat customer, Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar said in his 2019-2020 Budget Contribution in the House of Assembly, June 6.
As a result, the unwavering adherence to quality and consistency in service standards and professionalism in every sector category is the “secret sauce” that will ultimately deliver repeat business to the country’s sixteen tourism destinations.
“It is very expensive to bring new business to The Bahamas given the high cost of a new customer acquisition, which requires considerable investments in media advertising and tourism promotion,” Minister D’Aguilar said.
“And so, our objective must therefore always be to attract repeat customers. If we want to remain competitive, we must attract and maintain repeat business, and this requires a culture of service excellence in visitor facilitation, hosting and experience delivery.
Minister D’Aguilar said the quality of the visitor experience is not solely a Ministry of Tourism responsibility.
“It is the visitor’s multiple contacts with the taxi driver, the conch vendor, the hotel concierge, the roadside fruit vendor, the hotel housekeeping staff, the front desk staff, the straw vendor, bus driver, the tour guide, the immigration officer, the wedding coordinator, flight attendant, public service worker and so on that establishes their connection with the destination.
“A bad day for any of these front-line workers has the impact of making someone’s dream vacation a nightmare. This composite of all of the minor contacts and connections the visitor makes with Bahamians in all aspects of life, and their perceptions of the quality of those connections is what really matters. This determines the level of satisfaction with the experience and whether they will return to the destination.”
Mr. D’Aguilar said the tourism sector has created employment opportunities and a good standard of living for many Bahamians. He said the value of economic stability from this sector must never be taken for granted.
“Our front-line workers are seeing increased revenues and are able to do more for their families because of it; and the impact on our GDP, and the growth we’ve experienced, has been due in no short measure as a result of hard work on the part of all those involved in tourism.”
The Bahamas, Minister D’Aguilar continued, is unique in that unlike competitors who promote one island -- officials at the Ministry of Tourism and its industry partners are tasked with promoting sixteen.
“Therefore, it cannot be over-emphasized that our tourism budgets alone could never be sufficient to influence the travel decisions of prospective visitors. The beauty of our islands, the richness of our cultural offering, the competitive pricing of our product and the pride of place, which our people must demonstrate in their actions, is ultimately what will close the deal and bring visitors coming back to our shores.”
Mr. D’Aguilar commended the efforts of the teams at the Ministry of Tourism, whom he said travel (sometimes with industry partners) to the corners of the world looking for new markets and new business and who must make convincing pronouncements about the beauty of the country, the friendliness of the Bahamian people, the quality of its offering and substantiate reasons why The Bahamas should be the destination of choice and, then, work with airline partners and others to solve any problems of air accessibility.
“More and more people are now interested in experiencing a Bahamas vacation, and by all indications are doing so but, and I emphasize the 'but,' only with a reasonable level of satisfaction about their experience.”
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