BTB holds SICCS Consultation

Friday, April 29th, 2016

On Wednesday, April 20th, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hosted a consultation on the Central American Quality and Sustainability Integrated System (SICCS) seal certification project. The SICCS is a new project being launched and supported by BTB in an effort to form a centralized brand that is aimed at improving the standards of the tourism product offered in the country. Held at the Sunbreeze Conference Room, the consultation saw the attendance of several island tourism stakeholders from hoteliers, to restaurateurs and even tour operators.SICCS central american integrated quality and sustainability integrated system-1
Opening up the consultation was Director of Quality Assurance and Industry Standards at BTB, Herbert Haylock, who introduced the concept behind SICCS. This program will provide certification based on various levels of commitment and adherence to standards focused on four areas: quality standards, procedures and policies, various aspects of operation (cleaning, complaints, customer service, etc.), sustainability of environment, and social responsibility. Attendants were given the opportunity to become familiar with the regional SICCS certification program and its main goal. With the increasing growth of the tourism industry across Central America, SICCS will ensure quality service and continued growth of the industry.
Haylock also presented key elements of tourism growth in a destination like Belize, especially in San Pedro, as it is the number one industry. “The content of the program is much more than just a seal. It’s a regional initiative that looks at expanding and improving the quality of any establishment. It is geared to effect a change in the capacity of management and offers certification under BTB which will improve a company’s standing and overall endorsement,” explained Haylock.
Guest speaker Paul Pitrach, gave a general lecture about the core objectives of the SICCS certification project. In order to prepare an establishment for the next generation, this trial project aims to evaluate an establishment as it pertains to sustainability, quality and the environment. With this concept, the competiveness of Belize’s regional tourism sector is expected to improve.SICCS central american integrated quality and sustainability integrated system-2
According to Pitrach, Belize is facing more developed competitors, like Mexico, and SICCS is designed to allow small countries to reach that competitive market. “The purpose of this project is to develop a useful platform that improves the competitiveness of the Central American touristic companies, while providing a comprehensive certification system. The perceived quality of any destination is achieved when an important part of its tourism offers successfully developed quality management strategies in their operations,” said Pitrach.
The consultation also encouraged the group to focus on their sales and consider altering their approach when it comes to engaging their customers by becoming innovative and creating new marketing ideas. If used as a marketing tool, the project will expand the market share to other visitors who recognize the brand from both Central and South America. “The first of its kind with SICCS and BTB was a great eye opener and is a great accreditation mechanism for businesses in Belize to help improve quality management, standards of operations and customer services,” said local tourism stakeholder, Oscar Castañeda.
Interested businesses who are looking to be certified through the SICCS project are welcomed to contact Hebert Haylock at 227-2420. Certification will be valid for two years. An assistant will be assigned to your establishment to aid you in completing the requirements for your certification.

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