Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, has underscored the importance of training and improved standards for taxi drivers in their roles as ambassadors for Barbados.

Speaking last Friday at the Passenger Transport Service Operator Training Certificate Presentation Ceremony in the Liberal Arts Auditorium at the Barbados Community College, Mr. Sealy said the training programme was designed to help taxi drivers understand the important role that they played in the tourism sector and to improve the delivery of transportation services.

He added: ???It is the Ministry???s way of saying that we want to ensure that you are aware and are prepared to be consistent in delivering world class services that should become the norm in our society.

We can never underestimate the importance of the value of the service that we offer in the tourism sector. You are among the first persons that our guests to this country interact with???you are among the last that they interact with and you are among them for a large part of the time that they are here.???

Mr. Sealy told the audience: ???If they are going to take a tour around the island…the Minister of Tourism does not do that???the General Manager at the Hilton or other hotels don???t do that???none of the officials at the Ministry don???t do that…the President of the BHTA do not do that. It is the practitioners that are in this room and, the truth is, you are the real ambassadors on the frontline for the sector and I sincerely hope that this training has prepared you to understand that role.???

The Tourism Minister noted that with stepped-up competitiveness in the tourism industry, the sustainability of the industry was directly linked to the level of service the island was prepared to offer in every sphere of the sector.

???It is only by upholding high standards that we can ensure that the experiences will motivate the visitors to return to this island,??? he said.

A total of 73 taxi drivers were successful in completing this session of training.

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