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Lee County's first certified guest services class passes national exam

August 15, 2013
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Twelve industry partners recently earned Certified Guest Service Professional certification in the first-of-its-kind partnership between the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

Each of the 12 partners, including one from a Beach resort, received training through the VCB's Guests First Customer Service Training Program and then passed the CGSP final exam. Earning certification are: Luisa Buitrago Cortes, Sanibel Recreation Department; Jo Ann Compton, volunteer VCB Tourism Ambassador; Cinder Danzey, volunteer VCB Tourism Ambassador; Betsy Dekker, Colony Resort; Melissa Jackson, Sanibel & Captiva Accommodations; Debbie Kwok, Sanibel Recreation Center; Elise Mahaney, Sanibel & Captiva Accommodations; Michael Mahoney, Dolphin Transportation; Penny Rodriguez, Colony Resort; Donna Sage-Nestra, Vacation Resorts International; Robert Skrentny, Triangle Services; and Klaus Zingraff, Windward Passage Resort of Fort Myers Beach.

The VCB aims to utilize the partnership with the EI to become the world's first Certified Guest Service destination to certify industry partners, including all area hotels. For more information contact Christine Davlin at

Other County notes

- Beach business among two local businesses to earn TripAdvisor honors: The 75-foot tour/dinner boat Fort Myers Princess, stationed on Fort Myers Beach, and 'Tween Waters Inn Island Resort on Captiva Island are two local tourism industry partners to have recently earned TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awards. In addition, 'Tween Waters Inn received a Certificate of Excellence for its Old Captiva House restaurant. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

- Airport traffic increases in May: During May, 576,713 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport, an increase of 8.4 percent compared to May 2012. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 6.7 percent from the same period last year. The traffic leader in May was Delta with 136,108 passengers traveling to and from RSW. Rounding out the top five airlines were AirTran (98,303), JetBlue (67,385), Southwest (60,907) and US Airways (56,449).

- La Quinta Inn & Suites Bonita Springs honored with renovation award: The La Quinta Inn & Suites Bonita Springs recently was honored with the brand's 2012 Outstanding Renovation Award. Owner TerraCap Partners invested $1.8 million in renovating the property over 100 days last fall. The 87-room hotel, which includes nine two-room suites, offers 1,200 square feet of meeting space. The hotel features a waterfront outdoor heated pool, fitness center, 24-hour business center and other amenities.



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