Commission agents get training | 09 August 2019
A group of 15 tourism commission agents yesterday took part in a one-day training organised by the tourism department to enhance their knowledge and skills so as toensure that visitors get the best possible service during their stay in Seychelles.
The commission agents were subsequently presented with their certification by the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune during a brief ceremony at the National House.
The certificate obtained will allow unlicensed tourism commission agents to apply for a licence with the Seychelles Licensing Authority (SLA).
In her address yesterday, PS Lafortune noted that the training also addresses various deficiencies in relation to commission agents such as complaints of substandard services.
Ran by consultant Terry Lablache, the training was aimed at improving the commission agents’ customer service, to ensure they abide by the guidelines set by the department of tourism and to help them build brand awareness.
All the agents also signed a code of conduct which seeks to guide their behaviour and interactions with visitors.
Genevieve Contoret, a tourism commission agent for over two years already, stated that the training would be very helpful as she continues to improve her business.
As a commission agent, Genevieve sells services in the likes of boat charters, tours, leisure fishing and airport transfers.
“There were things I did not know and things that were not clear but now I have a clear understanding of how to go about with my work, how to help the tourism industry, how to get the clients’ attention and how to sell Seychelles,” she noted.
Fifty-seven-year-old Charles Abel, previously a taxi driver of 15 years, said that the training came at an opportune time for him since he has been seeking to launch into the commission agent business.
“Having been a taxi driver for all these years, I have prior knowledge in regards to the subjects discussed today but that was a while ago and I needed to refresh,” he said.
“Some of these guys are new while some of them have been in the business for 25 years. But whether you are new or a 25-year veteran taxi driver now becoming a commission agent, you still have plenty to learn,” Mr Lablache highlighted.
“Seychellois people are friendly people in general but there are certain things we need to polish our skills on and these include answering questions, asking questions, tackling guest complaints and also different aspects of selling,” Mr Lablache noted.
Aside from sale techniques and effective customer service, the agents were educated by officers from the Seychelles Ports Authority, on the procedures for getting on the port and the manner in which they should behave while on the port.
This is because commission agents often sell tours and other services to tourists at the port when cruise ships come in.