As Grand Bahama prepares for an unprecedented boost in the island’s tourism industry, executives at the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), are keen on ensuring the readiness of local Bahamians for upcoming opportunities within the sector.
On Wednesday, May 8 various business owners and prospective entrepreneurs gained knowledge from Melanie Colpitts, Lead Coach and Trainer of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence. Over the last decade, Aquila has offered training programmes to help Cruise Destinations and Tour Operators around the world achieve excellence in their ports, tours, guides, and businesses.
Colpitts provided attendees with a wealth of knowledge that included statistics and research that allowed business owners to gain a better understanding of their target market, by not only focusing on cruise passengers but also providing knowledge on how to attract and keep overnight guests.
Business owners were given the tools that will help them become proactive in their preparations. Colpitts stated that business owners should focus on;
“Creating entertaining and educational experiences, exceeding expectations, seeking partnerships and alliances, creating authentic, experiential and thematic experiences and providing competitive pricing with good value.”
In efforts to not only give knowledge, President of the GBPA Ian Rolle wanted attendees to know that these workshops are also engineered to help shift mindsets by empowering licensees to create strategies for business enhancement and diversification.
“Today is more than just training, it’s about cultivating and positioning new ideas needed to take the next step! It’s about creating a strategy that will make us number one in this region, through quality offerings and authentic guest experiences.”
Attendees were grateful for the knowledge gained and excited to start the various ideas shared during the training. Alex Thompson of Signature Choices expressed, “One nugget, in particular, that was a valuable take away, was the importance of identifying your niche market and offering expanded services to those specific customers to leave a lasting impression which would encourage them to not only share their experience with others but ultimately refer my product/services to others.”
D’Angelo Carey of Productive Bar learned the importance of providing an experience unique to The Bahamas, more specifically a Grand Bahamian experience.
“The most powerful take home I got was that the guest wants authenticity and to be able to own a unique experience. Then being able to take that home and be that person to speak on that experience and captivate others creates value within themselves” cited Carey.
Veronique Martin proprietor of Nicky’s Golden Comb at Renu shared that she felt the unexpected connections made during the training process were exciting.
Martin said, “Knowledge is truly powerful and networking is by far, the most powerful! The opportunity to sit with a small group of professionals that represent such a huge part of our economic sector and future economic potential, for me, was the catalyst to diversifying what I do and can do. The contacts that I thought were gone, were all waiting for me.”
GBPA and the Invest Grand Bahama’s team has stated that this workshop was the first of many more workshops to come and therefore Gregory LaRoda, President of the Chamber of Commerce shared insight on the persons who could strongly benefit from this upcoming training;
“This seminar is crucial for young and budding entrepreneurs and people in business who need help with structure, imaging, and marketing for their businesses.”
Over the years, Grand Bahamians have come to realize that we no longer live in a world where the saying, “If you build it, they will come” is true. We understand that “success happens when preparation meets an opportunity.” The GBPA is committed to preparing Grand Bahamians for those successful opportunities.