Jamaica’s Hotel Mockingbird Hill boasts that it offers guests a unique environmentally-friendly setting on 6½ acres of lush organic tropical gardens and trees. This 10-room, eco-chic hideaway can now also boast of providing the highest standard of service quality, and it has the certification to prove it.
Hotel Mockingbird Hill has earned Hospitality Assured (HA) certification, a symbol of service and business excellence in the tourism and hospitality industry, promoted in the region by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).
The property, which recently received special commendation in the CTO Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award contest, now has the Hospitality Assured framework in place, which helps to continuously raise its service quality standards, focus on customers’ needs in all aspects of the business, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and improve overall business performance.
The Hospitality Assured Certification for the Caribbean seeks to encourage tourism and hospitality businesses in the region, to put in place a service quality framework that meets the requirements for the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model.
“The training programme leading up to the award did not teach us what to do, but helped us to realize through the very passionate discussions what the issues were that held us back or had a negative impact on our performance,” said Barbara Walker, co-owner of Hotel Mockingbird Hill.
In raising the bar, she said, the programme forced them to break down the process of achieving their goals into smaller achievable steps. “If our review process led us to the conclusion that some procedures needed modification, these were arrived at through group discussion and consensus,” Ms. Walker said. “It is a long and ongoing process and it helps when one has a team that enjoys good relations amongst themselves and can openly engage in the dialogue to evaluate guests comments, engage in a positive and critical analysis and come up with ideas for improvements.”
Hospitality Assured is a certification programme promoting service and business excellence in tourism and hospitality companies. It is owned by the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom, and managed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in the region.
“I am heartened that businesses like Hotel Mocking Bird Hill are realizing the tremendous benefits to be derived from Hospitality Assured certification. We look forward to many more Caribbean tourism businesses taking advantage of the programme to help improve service quality and increase customer loyalty,” said the CTO’s director of human resources, Bonita Morgan, who oversees the HA programme in the Caribbean.
Caribbean supporting institutions include the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, which collects and distributes benchmarking data on the programme, as well as the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), which is the region’s assessment body for the programme.