By Yannicka Brown Thursday, February 9 2012
“Oye you reach? Come nah. We happy like pappy yuh here and we go buss ah lime.”
Translation: “Welcome ….We are so thrilled you are here and we will definitely entertain you.”
While it isn’t necessary to walk around with a Trini-Creole dictionary (but if you need to, Cote ci Cote la is a humorous dictionary with all of the local flavour) it is necessary to do your research and we at the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) are here to help you with that.
And for the local tourists (you know yuhself) you are entitled to the same level of treatment as any other consumer on any level. We are all entitled to fair and equitable service.
Very often, in the Carnival rush, some tourism operators provide vikey vike (slipshod) accommodations and you, the consumer, are at the receiving end. One way to prevent this is by choosing TTTIC certified accommodation providers. TTTIC refers to the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Industry Certification programme. Just because you plan to “wine” down low for Carnival does not mean your standards must take a nosedive too.
TTTIC tourism operators observe a set of consumer rights fittingly known as CLASS.
C — Cleanliness, comfort and communication.
The Cleanliness aspect is self-explanatory. But for the accommodation provider who thinks a chemical stain on a sheet could still pass although it looks like a stain, know that will never cut it!
L — Legal Requirements. All operators shall conduct their businesses lawfully, in full compliance with all legal requirements pertaining to their operations; obtain all relevant permits and licences from the appropriate authorities; obtain building approvals from Town and Country Planning; and ensure that adequate public liability and home owner’s insurance (where applicable) are in place.
A — Accurate, atmosphere and attitude. The accommodation should be what was described. The pool should be a pool, not a well-dressed gutter. A scenic, nature-based accommodation option should not be a house in a residential area hidden behind a mango tree with an unpaved “country road” for a driveway!
If air conditioning is offered, the provider should not point to a fan and say ‘that does condition de air real good.’ Likewise, if your provider promises you would be within walking distance of all the fetes, one should not be hearing the merry noise of bullfrogs and crickets and finding out the nearest fete is over 50 miles away.
Atmosphere and ambience is also part of the package. Choose wisely. If you are interested in nature, then Port-of-Spain is not the place to go. If you want nightlife, then Paria is not the place for you. Attitude is also a deal breaker. Very often, especially around Carnival, some tourism operators forget they are providing a service, not doing you a favour. Sweetly remind them of your rights and offer to drop us a line detailing your experience.
S — Service. Some people say quality is subjective but, as a traveller, there are some basic elements that craft a good service experience. At an accommodation provider it could be a pleasant room attendant and attentive front desk staff who meet your needs or even seek to exceed them. Don’t accept shoddy service.
S — Safety is always a top priority whether you are local or foreign. You want to know that the accommodation provider’s premises have been properly inspected by the fire services, and that there is someone on staff and on duty who is trained in first aid and fire safety. You want to be assured proper emergency exits are in place and accessible and should you need to muster in an emergency, you know where to go and there are procedures for handling emergency situations and occurrences.
Don’t be caught out and be forced into choosing the hole in the wall! Ask for the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Industry Certificate when choosing your place to stay and enjoy your Carnival!
Yannicka Brown- Yannicka.firstname.lastname@example.org
662-8827 (Ext 167)
662-8827 (Exts 169/165)