MOTA and RBPF to collaborate for “visitor-centric” officer training

MOTA and RBPF to collaborate for “visitor-centric” officer training
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Executive Director Dr Kenneth Romer (left) and Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle engage in a stakeholder meeting in February 2021. (PHOTO: MOTA)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) recently announced it will “strengthen its partnership” with the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) to facilitate visitor-centric training for selected officers throughout the entire Bahamas, who are at the forefront of visitor interactions.

The initiative is part of the MOTA’s marketing plan, according to Tourism Executive Director Dr Kenneth Romer.

Romer recently engaged in a “critical stakeholder meeting” with Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Commissioner Paul Rolle at the Police Headquarters, during which he updated the commissioner on the national and global tourism outlook and underscored the importance of strengthening the relationship among tourism stakeholders.

The executive director advanced the notion that more than ever, visitors want to ensure the destinations they come to are safe, and therefore, the policies and personnel of the RBPF are critical links in supporting the destination marketing, management mandate and initiatives of the MOTA.

“One of the key organizational priorities of the BMOTA is to inspire visitors to return to The Bahamas as lifelong brand ambassadors,” Romer said.

“They will not return to a bad show. Therefore, inspiring their return is a shared priority, and we need all of our strategic partners to view themselves as a valuable extension of our tourism family.

“In this new era, tourism must truly become everybody’s business.”

He added: “The new COVID environment and the accompanying realities it brings make it imperative for all of our tourism partners to take greater ownership in the fight for us to maintain our competitive advantage as a global industry leader, as we consistently explore new opportunities to innovate our product and service offerings.

“We must play to win, instead of simply playing not to lose.”

For his part, Rolle highlighted several new initiatives advanced by his organization to further support the country’s number one industry, since he assumed the leadership rank on March 2, 2020.

“The RBPF takes seriously its vision to make The Bahamas a safer place to live, work, visit and play,” he said.

“Our national policing plan, the strategic assignment of officers and the disbursement of our resources are all reflections of our commitment to work together with tourism for a safer Bahamas.”

Rolle further revealed a number of dynamics currently taking place within the ranks of the police force.

He noted that the Tourism Policing Unit has been re-energized and strengthened with a record-breaking number of officers specifically assigned to the main touristic areas. One of the force’s key management strategies is to focus on the prevention of crime as opposed to responding to crime, in an effort to reduce incidences committed against visitors and residents.

The public can expect to see increased police presence with more innovative approaches to visitor interactions, as well as more robust police patrols and oversight utilizing both technological and traditional measures.

Furthermore, Rolle pledged to provide additional resources to support the Visitor Relations and Safety Unit at the MOTA.

Both Romer and Rolle agreed that the evolving nature of the tourism industry requires ongoing training around global best practices as it relates to crime management and visitor safety and relations.