This Commonwealth Secretariat-funded research project looked into customer service capacity building in order to support the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) in implementing the 2011 ‘Tourism Human Resources Strategy for Namibia’.
The Customer Service Train the Trainers Programme builds on the idea that the way holidaymakers are treated can be vital in how they experience a destination, and in encouraging them to return to it in the future and recommend it to friends and relatives.
Based on priorities identified by the "Tourism human resource strategy for Namibia", published in 2011, the project is aimed at enhancing the visitor experience by improving customer service skills and destination knowledge of employees and volunteers through a high-profile customer service training initiative. The research consisted of three phases:
Namibia is known for its stunning natural environment and it was named fifth best tourism destination in the world by the Lonely Planet in 2010.
The Train the Trainers project began in Namibia's capital, Windhoek, in September 2012 with a stakeholders' workshop led by Professor Novelli. This focused on understanding the issues on the ground and involved key players from the destination who helped identify key components of the training needed.
Senior figures who spoke at the workshop included Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Namibia's Honourable Minister of Tourism and the Environment; Digu Naobeb, Chief Executive of the Namibia Tourist Board (NTB) and Dr Davis Barasa from the Commonwealth Secretariat. Dr Novelli gave a keynote address on best practices in service standards and the role played by customer services in the tourism experience.
The research team finalised the training material and the Train the Trainer programme is started in January 2013. It was delivered in three locations across Namibia and enabled 60 Namibians to become certified customer service trainers to work with the NTB in the future.
Professor Marina Novelli
Namibia Tourist Board (NTB)