Deandra Ebanks, a George Town resident and college graduate with a hospitality management degree, is the newest member of the Red Sail Sports’ Destination Management Company team.
In her new position as a group sales coordinator, Ms Ebanks is working with travel planners and group leaders to make sure corporate groups visiting the Cayman Islands are well taken care of during their stay. Her first charge was a group of 40 staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman from 13 October until 19 October, Red Sail wrote in a news release.
“Every day has been different; it’s definitely a learning process, but everything has been going very well so far,” Ms Ebanks said.
“It’s rewarding to know that you have helped someone when you see a big smile on their face. I’m looking forward to having many happy and satisfied customers.”
As a destination management company, Red Sail Sports provides ground services based on local knowledge of Grand Cayman, resources and solid relationships with its tourism partners. Those services include transportation arrangements, restaurant bookings and events, shopping shuttles, catamaran excursions, diving and water sports, group beach activities, Cayman cultural tours and welcome amenities.
The incentive travel industry is competitive worldwide and the key to attracting large groups to Cayman is to offer them the best the island has available, then step up to make sure their visit goes flawlessly, Red Sail said.
Ms Ebanks, born and raised in Grand Cayman, added that she was excited about being a part of that.
“Of course, it helps that as a Caymanian I know my island, but what’s great about Red Sail is that it’s such a diverse company,” she said. “We are here to convey the same end product – being knowledgeable about the island and delivering quality service. I’m learning a lot from my co-workers, as well as [hoping] to teach them a thing or two. We work together and help each other.”
Operations Manager Rod McDowall said that the company was looking forward to a busy high season for incentive travel in 2013.
“As an employer, I always prefer to employ Caymanians who are interested in the tourism industry, not only because they don’t require work permits, but because they bring some real Cayman contact to everyone they meet,” he said. “Understanding Cayman’s workforce is truly international in flavour, hiring Deandra, who chose the hospitality industry as a career and is very qualified for the job, is a big plus for Red Sail Sports. We will all benefit.”
Deandra Ebanks attended Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Florida where she earned an associate of science in international hotel management in 2010 and a bachelor of science in hospitality management in 2011.
“I think that working in the hospitality industry is a great way to be an ambassador for the Cayman Islands,” she said. “As well as being a people-oriented industry, hospitality is creative – you are always trying to make the experience more enjoyable for the customers. This is an industry where you can meet people from all over and learn different cultures. I think the hospitality industry has a lot going for it and hope to see other young people take an interest.”