What would you think if I told you that pineapples make me think about Nova Scotia? Yes, you read that correctly. Our province with the seemingly endless coastline and four distinct seasons also has pineapples. Not in the traditional way mind you, but they do flourish throughout our tourism industry.
Pineapples are a centuries old international symbol of greeting and generous hospitality. The actual fruit may need a tropical climate to grow, but Nova Scotian pineapples sprout from the best of our famous maritime hospitality through the Pineapple Award Program. From my perspective, pineapples equate to people, and the people who live and work here are what make Nova Scotia the best place to be. For the past nine years I have been proud to manage this one of a kind Canadian service program that recognizes front line service staff and celebrates their extraordinary commitment to visitors, and I invite you to join in the appreciation.
The role of the tourism professional is an extremely important one; we set the tone for hospitality in our province. Sometimes there are opportunities to surprise a visitor or customer with some extraordinary service or an act of kindness. This is simply doing what Nova Scotians do best; listening to what people say, and may not say, in order to make them feel appreciated and respected like we do with family. This “going the extra mile” is what the Pineapple Award Program encourages and celebrates.
So who are some of the past winners of the Pineapple Awards? They include:
- A tour guide who rallied local fisherman to dive into the Atlantic Ocean to retrieve an heirloom earing for a visitor from Florida without being asked to do so.
- How about the catering company winner who saved the wedding day for one couple by last minute hand-picking enough strawberries for an entire wedding?
- Or the owners of cottages who lent their personal vehicle to a family at no charge so they could finish out the rest of their vacation after their own vehicle broke down.
- And we can’t forget about the Bed & Breakfast operators who stayed by a guest’s side during numerous hospital and specialist appointments after the guest received some troubling news while here on vacation.
You can read more stories from past winners here.
Making an extra effort can come in an infinite variety of actions. We want to recognize the extraordinary service performed here by our tourism professionals. Tooting our own horn may seem to be opposite of how Nova Scotians typically act, but it’s high time to praise and commend the actions of our peers. We want to hear about your service stories!
How do you do this? It’s simple. You can:
- Fill out the online nomination form
- Submit to us the stories that have been submitted through your own comment system
- Call or email us directly with your story
- Display the Nova Scotia Pineapple Awards ballots at your place of business
- Nominate a co-worker who shows exemplary service skills to internal and external customers
- Tell visitors what the pineapple represents, its maritime history, and how they can participate. Encourage them to take a ballot or fill out the nomination form on the TIANS website
Remember, the more detailed the nomination the better.
We invite you to be part of a campaign that promotes, recognizes and rewards service excellence to Nova Scotia’s 5.2 Million visitors per year and associates you and your company with service excellence.
Contact Jennifer Falkenham at (902) 496-7474 or (800) 948-4267 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this Province wide service recognition program and to get involved.
Written by: Jennifer Falkenham