Today’s Editorial Sept 26: Basic training will help our image

There is a move afoot to teach taxi and tour operators about the country in which they’re doing business.

They’ll learn about customer service and what makes us what we are; what makes us Caymanian.

We welcome and encourage the training.

The free education is being given to prep taxi and tour operators before the start of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference slated for the Cayman Islands at the end of next month.

We applaud those in the tourism industry who see the need to teach the people who interact with our visitors about our country and customer service.

One of the most common complaints we hear from friends who travel here via cruise ships is that they don’t meet any Caymanians on their short stay here.

That’s a shame.

What’s even more of a shame, though, is when the taxi and tour operators don’t know enough about our culture, history and heritage to speak intelligently on the subject.

And good customer service is always a must.

It is a given that we must put our best face forward when FCCA delegates arrive on our shores.

But we believe Cayman should be putting its best face forward on a daily basis; not just when we have important movers and shakers coming to see us.

We hope that this training, which began yesterday, will become a constant programme. The Department of Tourism has said that the development of minimum service standards for the tourism industry is being developed.

It’s important for other people who interact with our visitors to be included in the training.

Cashiers at retail establishments need to be educated about the Cayman Islands and be able to correctly answer questions posed to them by visitors.

It was embarrassing to be downtown a few weeks ago to see a tourist ask a cashier where a certain store was and overhear the cashier say she didn’t know, she wasn’t from here.

We’re glad we heard the exchange and could answer the visitor’s question. The shop he was searching for was around the corner.

We hope that the taxi and tour operators embrace this free training from the Department of Tourism.

The image that our guests leave our country with is so important and many times formed from the initial meeting they have with a taxi or tour operator.

When they return to their homes, our visitors need to be telling stories of the wonderful interaction they had with our frontline people; not tales of woe at having been chauffeured by someone who didn’t know a whit about the Cayman Islands or customer service.

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