Sandals, Beaches move to enhance sailing experience for visitors
VISITORS to Sandals and Beaches Resorts are set to benefit from enhanced sailing training through a professional certification programme currently being undertaken in association with the American Sailing Association.
During the months of April and May 2013, Sandals and Beaches Negril watersports team members participated in the pilot phases of the ASA Small-Boat Sailing Instructor course, which Sandals Resorts International (parent company of Sandals and Beaches Resorts) intends to extend to all its resorts across seven Caribbean islands.
The group of lifeguards, dive instructors and boat captains completed level one of the course earlier this month and have matriculated to assistant small-boat sailing instructors. Following a second training later this year, the Negril team will become fully certified Small-Boat Sailing Instructors and be able to give visitors to Sandals Resorts an opportunity to undertake sailing courses which are internationally recognised.
"Not only will Sandals team members build on their skills in teaching the art of sailing, crew overboard recovery, capsize recovery and other areas, they will also be on par with the rest of the world," remarked David Lumian, ASA instruction evaluator.
"Sandals Resorts are the only hotels to have benefited from this training in Jamaica and I strongly believe this is an attractive incentive that will keep guests wanting to come back. More people across the globe want to sail, but they want to be able to do it in a fun, easy and safe way — now they will be more comfortable knowing that the Caribbean has sailing professionals working in tandem with an internationally recognised system."
Lumian also shared that having completed the full training, the watersports team at Sandals will be able to instruct and offer student-level certification to guests on the resort as well as globally. "Course participants will have a sailing log book for recordkeeping as well as tangible certification to prove their proficiency — this will remove any concern major charter boat companies and other entities will have about renting their vessels, among other things. Certification removes a lot of restrictions and Sandals guests will be pleased with that."
At the graduation ceremony on May 1, lifeguard Carlington Campbell said, "I am pleased with the enhanced structure this training has provided to what we have been doing over the years. Some of us have added something new to our skills and we are grateful for the advanced knowledge which will see us on par to meet the demands of the job as our guests' expectations grow; on a personal level, we will also become more marketable."
Sandals group director of watersports, Michael Clarke, remarked, "Sandals and Beaches Resorts continue to be recognised for their extensive inclusive watersports offerings and we want to continue to be forerunners in this area. With a professional sailing course we will not only be able to take guest satisfaction up a notch, but give our clients a lifelong experience that they can use when they return to their home countries or travel to other parts of the world."
Beaches Negril and Sandals Negril will bring to 302 the 30-year-old ASA-certified training school network, which spans 25 countries, including every continent outside of Antarctica.