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Jun 30, 1999

Taxi drivers get tourism training

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Today, Belizean taxi drivers got out from behind the wheel to get some tips on how to make more money for themselves and contribute to the tourism industry. The program is part of the Belize Tourism Board’s “tourism means business” campaign. Janelle Chanona reports.

Fedencio Vasquez, Taxi Driver

“Whenever you have any tourists and you give good service they always come back to you whenever they meet you.”

That’s the exact idea the Belize Tourism Board had in mind when it teamed up with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association to present a series of seminars aimed at improving the service given to tourists. Today’s seminar focused on the taxi drivers of Belize, a sector of the tourism industry many Belizeans feel need a lot of work.

Jerry Gordon, Florida Caribbean Cruise Association

“Well this is day two of our seminar and so far everybody has been wonderful and the response has been fantastic. The levels of service that they give directly impact cruise passengers and all types of passengers.”

The bulk of the information comes in the form of tips on how to increase general knowledge of Belize and deal with passengers in a friendly manner. In one taxi driver’s opinion, that’s just where the problem lies.

Rollin Blair, Taxi Driver

“The friendliness… I guess a lot people have clean cars, but the knowledge of the country itself, a little history, I think is lacking in Belize.”

Unfortunately, attendance was also severely lacking despite the efforts of the Belize tourism industry. It is hoped that the few who did take the time to attend will pass on the information. Professionalism in service has become a priority given that the Belize Tourism Industry predicts a 28 percent increase in the number of tourists coming to Belize this year. Janelle Chanona reporting for News Five.

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