The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) began International Tourism Month with the presentation of its Quality Service Program, a key aspect of Executive Director Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort’s strategic plan for the agency.

Quality of service encompasses several elements that make a difference in the reputation of a destination, such as cleanliness, how guests are treated, ability to satisfy guests’ needs and solving unexpected situations.

“From day one as Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, I told myself that one of the main pillars of my work here would be enhancing the quality of our service through a program that would include all of our citizens in order to make a real difference in the experience lived by our guests, and today I can say with great pleasure that this program is ready for implementation,” said Rivera Rocafort. The Executive Director added, “Puerto Rico has great attributes: spectacular natural landscapes, impressive historical monuments and a rich cultural heritage, but there is no doubt that our best attribute is our people, who are widely known for their warmth and hospitality. Nonetheless, it is necessary to translate this attribute in a more effective manner and with our Quality Service Program we aim to provide our people better tools in order to take hospitality to the next level and encourage the arrival of more visitors.”

To develop the program, the PRTC team embarked on a comprehensive research process to help determine the areas in which to be implemented, as well as the strategies to be followed to achieve success in this important project. Based on the data collected through interviews, focus groups and research, PRTC’s Quality Service Program focuses on three main aspects: awareness, training, and recognition.

The awareness phase is aimed at strengthening service capabilities at both the internal and external levels. The first step will be to strengthen the capabilities of the agency’s team to enhance the quality of the services they provide to clients, partners and guests and at the same time, to serve as spokespeople of the program amongst citizens. Also, PRTC is working in a partnership with the Department of Education to provide a series of workshops during the 2015-2016 school year, in addition to a summer camp which educates students interested in working in the tourism industry about the importance of quality service.

To move the community and the industry toward the goal of enhancing local tourism’s quality service, PRTC developed a media campaign that includes press advertisements on radio, TV and social media which will highlight examples of how to be ambassadors of quality service to visitors.

The training phase includes initiatives to promote excellence in service and will begin with a series of workshops for employees and management teams of government agencies. It will continue with training opportunities for restaurant staff, hotel owners and operators to provide them the tools needed to reach a quality excellence level that will encourage new visits in the near future.

The third phase enhances the importance of recognition and will include the relaunching of PRTC’s Quality Awards with a new logo, new categories and regional awards. PRTC’s personnel will also be recognized in this phase. All these strategies will run under the “It’s Our Time to Shine!” slogan. “When we say It’s Our Time to Shine, we want all our people to get involved in the process of welcoming and providing great attention with the special warmth that characterizes the Puerto Rican people and our Island as a five-star destination in the Caribbean and the rest of the world,” concluded Rivera Rocafort.