STMP - Visioning Forum
The first general stakeholder meeting – a Visioning Forum – was held on the 24th November, 2010. Some 40 people participated – representing a cross section of the tourism and hospitality sector to include hoteliers (large and small), villa operators, project developers, restaurateurs, car rental operators, airlines, ferry services companies, tour operators, technicians and senior management in the public services. Participants were divided into 4 groups – A, B, C, D – each group being mandated to prepare, firstly, a Vision Statement for tourism in Anguilla in 2020 and, secondly, to identify the key issues that need to be addressed to make the Vision attainable.
5.1 Feedback from Group A
Anguilla is an easily accessible, unique, premier sustainable destination with friendly well trained people, and a safe, clean and green environmental experience.
- Control the scale of development and complete unfinished properties.
- Promote linkages with other sectors – e.g. farming, fishing.
- Improve access and arrival procedures which would enhance 5-star experience.
- Develop human resources capital – e.g. through job placement.
- Establish meeting place where locals and tourists can interact (locals selling craft, food and other items, vendors, entertainment).
- Tourism and environmental awareness in the schools (e.g. Hello Tourist Programme).
- Enforce existing legislation in areas of physical planning, environment, work permits, etc.
5.1 Feedback from Group B
We want Anguilla to be known as a world class destination with high standards of safety and service while preserving the natural tendencies of our people and culture (very hospitable, polite, and friendly), and the environment.
- Preserving a clean, pristine environment.
- Quality service that exceeds customers’ expectations through implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
- Enhanced training and tourism education.
- Safety, security and enforcement of laws.
- Development of public awareness of role of tourism in Anguilla.
- Social development (manners, discipline).
5.1 Feedback from Group C
We envision Anguilla as the premier authentic vacation destination of choice where guests come among family and are made to feel safe, relaxed and at home, complemented by the most exquisite beach, culinary and cultural experiences founded on the principles of education and sustainability.
- What brings return guests are the people and the culture of Anguilla: the ‘magical’ person connection, bonding, history, etc gives a warm feeling, resulting in a high level of repeat visitation, more akin to a family reunion, or a home away from home, with the same taxi drivers, etc. Everything is available but no one is trying to hassle you, not commercialised. This is down to the values of the people (do not touch what does not belong).
- There is need to maintain this feeling of intimacy – do not want to become like The Bahamas where visitors no longer experience the indigenous culture.
- If number of rooms get too large, AXA would have to bring in people of other cultures.
- Host populations can become disenchanted if the tourist arrivals are not manageable e.g. if a hospitality employee has to process 20 people in a set period of time instead of 5 people there is no room for personal bonding and can become just a number. Also, employees can experience an erosion of attitude.
- In addition to world class beaches, Anguilla can offer a ‘phenomenal’ culinary experience; there is need for greater promotion and positioning of the F&B product - from BBQs to fine dining and wines.
- More emphasis on maintenance of a pristine environment - addressing such issues as litter, garbage collection, unpainted houses, hanging out of clothes in front of buildings, unpainted properties – under the slogan: ‘Dream to be Green’
- Building our human resources, training and development of our people.
- Government to have a plan where scholarships and grants are given for tourism educational programmes at college and university levels.
- Create a Tourism Appreciation Programme (building on current AHTA tourism awareness campaign).
5.1 Feedback from Group D
To be among the top ten destinations showcasing consistent high quality service and a warm, friendly educated people in a safe, tranquil and sustainable environment with a distinctive Caribbean flavour.
- Cleanliness, pristine environment – should be the main focus.
- Enforcement of legislation e.g. a litter warden.
- Unfinished houses and other buildings.
- Beautification of built environment.
- Building ordinance, zoning, phasing of development.
- Training, tourism education in schools and college.
- Public tourism awareness and knowledge of island.
- Product development and diversification – historical/archaeological sites.
- Development of craft and marketing of products.
- Empowerment of AXA people – developing Anguillians to assume leadership positions in the tourism industry.
- Government should develop and adhere to plans that are best for the island as a whole.
- Need for continuity of plans and buy-in at all levels.