I joined the Board of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS) four years ago. Each year, my favorite event to attend has been the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council’s (NSTHRC) Annual Recognition of Excellence Certification Dinner. This year was extra special, as I received National Certification as a Tourism Trainer.
One of the reasons I love this evening so much is because many of the front-line tourism ambassadors in the province are able to attend. This year, 195 individuals were recognized for achieving certification in the following occupations: Food & Beverage Manager, Front Desk Agent, Guest Service Attendant, Heritage Interpreter, Housekeeping Room Attendant, Reservation Sales Agent, Sales Manager, Supervisor, Taxicab Limousine Driver, Tourism Visitor Information Counselor, and Tourism Trainer.
A few fun facts:
- Nova Scotia has more Nationally Certified Tourism Professionals than any other province in the Canada
- Nova Scotia has over 1,000 Nationally Certified Taxicab Limousine Driver
- Nova Scotia is the only province which invests to ensure 100% of their Tourism Visitor Information Counselors in the provincial Visitor Information Centres are nationally certified!
- Twelve Nova Scotian employers were recognized this year as having over 60% staff with national certifications!
To receive my certification, I was required to have completed a certain number of hours training people to be tourism professionals. These were attained through my Tourism Management Faculty position at the Nova Scotia Community College during the past two years. Then, in late March I had a classroom evaluation. This involved Lisa, manager of the NSTHRC, actually coming into my classroom and observing me “in action” while I taught a class. I then wrote a two hour exam, and completed a case study.
The dinner was held this year at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax. Since Halifax is only a one hour drive from the Belgravia, D’Arcy & I hopped in the car after school and made our way there. There was a reception for the first hour, where we mingled with other recipients and tourism professionals, and then we were treated to a wonderful dinner. Yum! The food and service at Casino Nova Scotia were fantastic! The menu was as follows:
Appetizer – Spinach Salad – baby spinach served with mandarin orange segments, topped with toasted almonds and dressed with ponzu vinaigrette.
Entree – Stuffed Chicken with goat cheese and sun-dried tomato and a peach coulis – served with Chef’s Potatoes and Vegetable
Dessert – Peach Cobbler – baked in brown sugar and ginger
Wine – Jost Vineyards Seyval Blanc & Prima Rosa
There was a musical performance to signal the beginning of the evening with photos of Nova Scotia flashing in the background. No matter how many times I watch a presentation like that, I get chills! There were speeches before the dinner by the Glenn Squires, chair of the NSTHRC, and the Hon. Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. Bhreagh MacDonald, Cabot Links Resort (receiving certification as a Tourism Supervisor), spoke of what receiving certification means to her. Garrett Gloade, from the Glooscap Heritage Centre (receiving his certification as a Heritage Interpreter) performed a blessing.
After dinner, the certifications were handed out by Minister Paris, Wendy Swedlove of the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, and Glenn Squires. There was much cheering and clapping! I was the last of the individuals to receive my certification, as I was the only person receiving Tourism Trainer recognition this year. Lisa (NSTHRC) gave me a touching introduction. It was a fabulous evening and I was extremely proud to be part of it.
The following are some photos that D’Arcy was able to take for me. There was a professional photographer there as well, so hopefully I will receive some of those at some point too.
I cannot thank the TIANS/NSTHRC team enough for their support and encouragement through this process! I look forward to using my certification to encourage and support the amazing people who work the front lines of the Tourism Industry, impressing our visitors and building our beloved Nova Scotia brand.