As an entrepreneur, what excites me is to see seeds of ideas grow into a reality that is often bigger that you first imagined. This is how I feel about the growth Aquila has experienced over the past few years, and what is especially exciting is that this growth is both with shore excursions in our “Living Lab” in Saint John and with our Center for Cruise Excellence and training all over the world. In 2019 alone, Aquila trained and consulted on-site in over 35 port destinations worldwide.
Often when a company is in growth mode, and the flywheel is in full motion, finding sustainable ways to manage this growth can be challenging. As usual with the team at Aquila, we saw these challenges as opportunities, and after over a year of discussions, brainstorming, and asking the right questions, we have found answers that are truly unique to us
One of Aquila’s solutions is our significant investment over the last six months in our online training and creating more programs, including having more training accessible online. We have been updating the online platform used in our Tour Guide Excellence International Certification so it can be adaptable to today’s smart phones and tablets. We have also created programs that speak to the industry needs that were uncovered while training in so many destinations the last few years, including online programs like Creating a Culture of Respect for Frontlines, and on-site programs like Storytelling for Tour Guides. More new programs are in development such as, a new Destination Designation recognizing those destinations who continue to raise the level of excellence in the cruise industry
A second solution for this accelerating growth was with building a team of global trainers knowing we could only be in so many places at once. There are so many industry experts who are passionate about the cruise industry, raising the level of service excellence and eager to assist Aquila with training around the world. We chose to Aquilafy and contract industry experts to become Aquila “Global Trainers” to join our current trainers who include myself and Aquila partners Melanie Colpitts and Danielle Timmons. These global trainers have numerous gifts to share including multilingual skills that will allow Frontlines to be trained in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. We can now announce our first two global trainers, who are in regions that will have the biggest impact for our growth, the Caribbean and Europe.
Ambra Attus is based in the Dominican Republic and has extensive knowledge and experience in tourism, training, and the cruise industry. Her previous roles have included Executive Director of the Tourism Association of the north coast of the DR, Training Facilitator with the Dominican Republic National Institute of Technical Training, and for 3 years, Caribbean Development Lead designing unique, purposeful and sustainable shore experiences with Fathom Travel, Carnival Corporation. Fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, Ambra excels at inspiring curiosity, connection, exploration and growth, which is a focus of Aquila’s training programs. Ambra will be joining me next month in Progreso, Mexico for an FCCA Frontline Service Excellence 2.0 and later in March, she will join partner and lead program developer, Melanie Colpitts in Roatan for another Frontline training workshop, both in Spanish.
Cinthya Pavan was born and raised in Brazil from an Italian family, and her entire career has been dedicated to the tourism industry, from hotels to cruise ships, from operations to product development to training. She spent almost 20 years recruiting, training and working on board and ashore for Silversea, Crystal Cruises, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas and Viking Cruises. Today Cinthya is based in Italy, and divides her time between consulting, training, and leading land tours worldwide for global tour operators. Fluent in English, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, Cinthya brings a rich perspective to Aquila’s training programs from her experiences in the cruise industry and as a frontline tour leader. Her experience led her to Aquila and she will become a great asset for destinations we work with, especially in Europe.
Stay tuned for more news on additional Global Trainers and other exciting news in Spring 2020 as Aquila continues to passionately “Aquilafy” cruise operations worldwide using our home port of Saint John as our “Living Lab”.
Originally published on LinkedIn on March 2nd, 2020