For years now taxi operators are very much confused as to their role in offering a taxi service to the hotels. It is significant to note that a taxi service is fundamentally different to that of a tour company.
A tour company has to have a special insurance which is known as public liability insurance in most cases. A taxi has to be part of an association which a tour company doesn’t have to do. Also, a tour company must register as an entity under the laws of Grenada.
On the other hand, a taxi man can purchase a car put a “H” on his registration and start operating by offering a taxi service. Very seldom you will hear that a taxi service is contracted with a hotel to do tours.
There is a great deal of confusion among them because they feel that due to the fact that they are based on a hotel compound that they should also be doing the tours.
Due to this same problem that has been existing for quite a while, the Radisson hotel had took the decision to put them out of their parking lot and only call a taxi whenever they need one. We must be very clear that a taxi is not a tour company.
I think that the hotels should understand that the two roles are different. I am not saying that there are not qualify taxi operators but due to the very nature of the tour company they have to hire or possess the necessary skills and knowledge that is very much required in presentation skills in the island’s history geology, languages, pre-historic landscape, plants, Botanical information, social stratification, cultural diversity, flora and fauna, the food culture, politics, religion, races.
In other words, they must possess a very deep knowledge of the island. I do hope that the concept of a taxi is not just buying a car and putting a “H” on your registration and feel that you are qualified to do tours because it is far from that.
Most tour companies have constructed a website and have developed a tourism product that is recognised and approved by the main government tourism institutions.
So this business is not a fly-by-night and at the same time I cannot discredit the seasoned taxi operators who do an excellent job. However, we all have our different roles to play.
No tour company wants to do taxi but all taxis want to do tours. It is also based on the hotel owner if he or she wants the taxis to be based at their hotels – it’s not a decision for taxis to make.
If the hotel wants to harbour them in their car parks or call them when they need them in minimising the level of confusion that they make at different properties then there are certain taxi operators who will get so many calls from a hotel while the others are just sitting there just because he or she has become popular with the receptionist. This is unfair.
The taxi association now has a base where it can remain which only takes just ten minutes or less to get to the hotel. So in my view it’s better to call them when you need them and also the association must ensure that there is a more equitable distribution of work among themselves and stop fighting to be tour operators in the yards of hotels.
In order to to be better professionals we should be engaging ourselves in greater research in enriching our knowledge to move the industry forward as true ambassadors to our countries.