Shawn Tempro, a member of the Bridgetown Port Taxi Co-op Society Limited, receiving his certificate of completion from BTMI Chief Product Development Officer, Marsha Alleyne. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

Over 60 taxi operators who work from the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal have completed the “Grow Your Business With Social Media” workshop”, which was hosted by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI).

Chief Product Development Officer at the BTMI, Marsha Alleyne, noted that following a Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) report in 2019, which indicated that at least 44 per cent of cruise passengers to the island did not utilise organised tours, the BTMI sought to address the matter to assist taxi operators with opportunities for increased business that would overall increase visitor spend.

Several decisions and initiatives were taken to create the necessary avenues, including taking taxi operators to the Seatrade Cruise Global conference this year in Miami, where they got the opportunity to meet with cruise executives and discuss business opportunities.

Ms. Alleyne said following the conference, the BTMI then sought to provide “a second layer of defence in terms of development”, which involved the provision of comprehensive training programmes and a new business model being introduced to taxi operators.

Speaking about the training, which was conducted by Founder/Marketing Strategist, Joycelyn Alleyne of The Growth Studio, the Chief Product Development Officer said: “The training programme commenced yesterday with digital marketing and social media presence so as to help each of them, because they’re all entrepreneurs in their own right, to create their own brand within a social media setting.”

Ms. Alleyne pointed out that training would continue throughout the year, in areas such as Financial Management, Storytelling, Dressing For Success and Service Quality.

President of the Independent Seaport taxi union, Anthony Eastmond, said it was a very good training session for the taxi operators. 

Taxi Operator, Michelle Coward, receiving her certificate from BTMI Chief Product Development Officer, Marsha Alleyne. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

“The training was very successful for us as taxi operators.…  It helps us to utilise social media more on a wider range, so that our business can also go global so that we can also connect with those people that are searching for products and services in terms of transportation.”

Another participant of the course, Shawn Tempro, a member of the Bridgetown Port Taxi Co-op Society Limited, shared: “The training session was extremely refreshing.  In all my years, almost 18 years of working in the Bridgetown Port, this has been lacking and needed. We need information; we need people to put us in the right direction to advance our businesses as young entrepreneurs…and this is a step in the right direction.”

Michelle Coward, a taxi operator for 20 years, also shared her views on the training received.  “As an independent operator, it has opened my eyes to what is available out there at minimum costs. It has also given me a way to push my unique brand and let people know there’s more to us than just simply getting behind a wheel and driving a vehicle and it’s been very informative,” she said.

Mr. Tempro, along with Ms. Coward, both thanked the BTMI for hosting the workshop and stated that they were looking forward to the next set of training. 

The course, which was oversubscribed, will be conducted again next week Wednesday and Thursday for taxi operators who are members of the Independent Seaport Taxi Union and the Bridgetown Port Taxi Co-op Society Limited. 

For further information, members of those two taxi associations may telephone 535-3700. 

sheena.forde-caigg@barbados.gov.bb

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