Craftsmen and masterminds of tourism in the Caribbean

Crafting is a skill in a particular profession. Let’s make tourism and hospitality this special profession. Think of “The Art of Making a Tourism Product”. The craft requires a person who is a skilled practitioner with the ingenuity of a master and a leader of change; a brain.

Handicrafts help build better tourism and hospitality products. The craftsman has convictions and there is a connection between mind, heart and pursuit. Mastery is the goal of the true craftsman when trying to create something more beautiful. Mastermind is about brilliant thinking and original ideas, not competition with others.

Examples will be requested. Three people who come to mind as role models of craftsmanship and tourism mastery in the Caribbean: Karolin Troubetzkoy of Saint Lucia (Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain Resorts), Gregor Nassief of the Commonwealth of Dominica (Secret Bay Resort) and late Gordon “Butch”. Stewart from Jamaica (Sandals Resorts). All three have shown the passion and dedication of an artisan or a master to achieve outstanding performance in creating tourism in the Caribbean, although hospitality may have been the focus.

Too often, people’s minds are saturated with little things and therefore there is no room to do big things. This can lead to being content with doing small things. Without convictions, people simply use what is readily available or take shortcuts. Often quantity comes before quality. They copy or enter into a franchise. The uniqueness and authenticity that could make a product or a tourist destination stand out are lost. Thereafter, it may get a lower ranking in industry reviews. It also often leads to cheaping, trying to make the numbers follow.

Craftsmanship is about doing the best, however it’s done. This is to ensure that craftsmanship is aesthetically beautiful, that it fulfills what it was designed to do, and that every detail that went into making it has been carefully considered. A true craftsman will work until the job is done excellently.

The human touch is vital for unparalleled craftsmanship and performance. The craftsman is personally involved in the creation and sees it as an extension of his life. Some statements made by the tourism masterminds mentioned above may give an impression of their mindset:

“We needed something like Jade Mountain, so other hotel developers feel challenged to think outside the box and also create something more unique, … I found a lot of personal fulfillment, to be able to give back to the local and regional community that I have been a part of for all these years, and ultimately hope to be able to inspire others to do the same.Karoline Troubetzkoy and her husband Nick have created a hotel that makes foliage and flowers, scents and peaks, the sea and the chirping of birds all part and parcel of a holiday experience.It is claimed that the property has produced more magazine covers and publicity for Saint Lucia than perhaps all other properties combined.

“To me, hospitality is really about caring for others. It’s about being a part of people’s lives in a meaningful, transformative and lasting way. We see travelers eager for authentic and immersive experiences that allow them to connect with the destination, especially its people,… Our love affair has resulted in the creation of Secret Bay” – the founder and visionary, Gregor Nassief, took a family passion project and built Secret Bay into a leader in the hospitality industry recognized as one of the best resorts in the world.

“From day one I keep my own motivation, I have to have what I think is best, … I run on instinct to a large extent, but at the same time I never make a major decision without making it. bouncing around a circle of people I work with, … Our top priority will always be to surprise and delight our clients, … and develop new opportunities for clients.- Gordon “Butch” Stewart was one of the most dynamics in the hospitality industry that have been said to have changed the way the world vacations and has been proclaimed “The King of Vacations”.

The craftsman knows firsthand that creation does not concern him. It is about, and is for someone else, the customer. Craftsmanship is what connects them. And the customer is a person, not a number in a mass.

The craftsman creates a project twice: first mentally, then physically. Before getting to work, the Master has already created his creation in his mind and plans how to bring a project to life from belly to grave. A craftsman is always self-monitored and the utmost critic of his own work. He accepts feedback and continues to improve his work.

Although the Artisan knows the importance of planning, he is not too picky about it. The Master prefers the draft, knowing that unforeseen problems or opportunities can arise during a creation. It leaves room for improvisation and changes. Solving challenges can turn a creation into an experience. The craftsman is not a member of the committee but rather an individualist and sometimes a maverick.

Craftsman is not a title. Titles can be superficial, outdated and vague. Titles often inflate ego, while artisan skills inflate value. Craft is not a degree, but rather like any form of art, it must come from an inner conviction. It’s a human trait that allows you to go from non-traditional to revolutionary. Such wording is not usually found in job descriptions. But don’t be rash, a craftsman always measures twice and cuts once.

Stunning beauty and friendly people are some of the defining characteristics of the Caribbean. And if there are weaknesses, some of the greatest men in history have turned them into strengths and seen them as creative opportunities and incorporated them as unique and interesting. The region should be positioned to capitalize on its resources and opportunities. Higher class products require a higher class craftsman. Masterminds and leaders of change who use their strengths and virtues in the service of tourism and hospitality, and represent something much bigger than themselves, and are the key to success in the Caribbean.

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