The Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Government of South Africa has last week delivered a refresher ‘Assessor Training’ for its Standards and Quality Officers. The training was held from the 20th to 24th May and facilitated by Ms. Sibusisiwe Sibiya who is the Specialist: Quality Assurance and Mr Darryl Erasmus, the Chief Quality Assurance officer both from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. (TGCSA) The aim of the training was to refine the skills and techniques of the local assessors and to supplement their knowledge and experience to carry out grading assessments fairly, objectively and consistently.
Speaking at the opening of the training workshop, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs. Anne Lafortune warmly welcomed the facilitators and thanked them and the government of South Africa for the willingness to assist the Department in further developing the skills of its assessors. PS Lafortune stressed that assessors constitute a vital component of hotel grading systems as they have an instrumental role to play and confirmed the Department’s commitment to ensure that all of its assessors are trained and well equipped to discharge their responsibilities effectively.
The representative of the TGCSA, Mr. Erasmus expressed his enthusiasm in being able to share South Africa’s expertise and experience with Seychelles. He explained that hotel grading to South Africa is seen as a developmental process, which can assist its graded properties to continually improve on their standards and remain competitive to guard the country’s quality label. The role of the assessor was further stressed as being the mouthpiece of a hotel classification system as they are in the best position to provide guidance on where improvements can be made and information on the latest trends which will benefit the establishment and the industry as a whole.
During the five day training, the participants benefitted from a range of topics including Introduction to local & international grading systems, review of the Seychelles grading criteria, Quality aspects in Tourism, Trends & Designs, Table Setting & Cutlery, Linen & Upholstery. The training also comprised of a practical component where assessors conducted mock assessments at one of our large hotels and an island resort. At the end of the training workshop, assessors will sit for an examination.
Seychelles looks forward to seeing the implementation of the hotel classification programme as we strive to ensure the sustainable development and growth of our tourism sector by meeting our guest expectations and improving the experience we offer them. It is the only way to address the concern of value for money!