Débora Abu-Raya, National Destination Manager, Cape Verde explains how training is benefiting Sal…
Last month, to mark the launch of the new Insider Guide to Sal, Cape Verde, the Travel Foundation delivered the first of several planned workshops with tour operator resort teams.
The training explained the concept of sustainability, and how it can be communicated to customers in a fun, non-obtrusive way.
Using this method we believe that customer satisfaction levels will not only increase but also the benefits of tourism to the economic, social and environmental make-up of the island will have a much wider impact, whilst the possible negative impacts are better managed.
When high season begins, reps are “taken by the wave” so it is difficult to get more involved with the destination and meet customer demands for information about the local community.
The first batch of reps to receive the training were from tour operator Thomas Cook. They were intrigued but not quite sure what to expect, but they soon warmed up and left empowered, knowing that they could do more, and aiming to do so.
The training covered practical ways of improving walking tours, increasing their knowledge about Sal so as to pass more and better information to customers. Reps will also start promoting the Insider Guide to Sal, encouraging visitors to explore the island a little more.
What I tried to show them was that small steps, when taken in the right way, may bring huge benefits to a destination and they, as a holiday rep, can leave in six months knowing that they made a difference to the destination and its community and that will last a long time after they leave.
So, when it comes to sustainability in tourism there are many people who think it’s just a waste of time or an illusion at first sight, and for us who are bringing the message sometimes it demands a lot of energy and really positive vibes! But then when we finally get the opportunity to implement actions and see changes happening, it’s just amazing and suddenly you get filled with double the energy to continue.
Débora Abu-Raya, Overseas team