GMCVB expands its ‘Miami Begins with Me’ program

Already proud of the very warm welcome extended to its visitors from around the globe, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) president and CEO William D. Talbert III, CDME, recently announced significant enhancements to its “Miami Begins with Me” customer service training program, including expanded curriculum and incentives.

Launched in 2009, the initiative has trained more than 25,000 employees of major community businesses and organizations, including Miami International Airport (MIA) and PortMiami staff, and Miami-Dade County Taxi Drivers.

A new Miami Begins with Me training center, located on the MIA campus, will provide a centralized location for free and voluntary classes. The curriculum developed by Miami Dade College (MDC) Center for Service Excellence includes four new classes for hospitality professionals including airline employees and taxi drivers as well as Miami- Dade College students at no cost.

Each new class runs for one hour, twice a week and covers the following topics:

• The Economic Importance of Tourism in Miami;

• Miami History, Heritage and Neighborhoods, and

• Customer Service Refresher.

Free training classes also will be offered monthly at the GMCVB’s offices located at 701 Brickell Ave. beginning in July and at MDC campus locations beginning this fall.

“As the No. 1 economic driver and top employer in Miami-Dade County, the tourism industry is everybody’s business in Miami and The Beaches,” Talbert said. “It is more important than ever to invest in the education and training of our customer service providers. Leisure and business travelers deserve and expect outstanding service from the minute they arrive at our airport, check into our hotels and hail our cabs.

“The expansion of our already successful Miami Begins with Me program brings the finest training tools and curriculum to our employees and to students aspiring to work in the industry,” he added.

“By their busy, fast-paced nature, airports can sometimes seem like impersonal places to the travelers who use them,” said Miami-Dade Aviation director Emilio T. González. “The partnership with the GMCVB to provide an expanded Miami Begins with Me program at MIA is designed to help us to turn that perception around and make the airport travel experience a more enjoyable one for MIA customers from around the globe.”

Graduates of the Miami Begins with Me program receive valuable rewards along with the opportunity for recognition. In addition to a certification pin, certificate of completion, shirt, hat and other fun items, those who have completed the program are recognized at the GMCVB annual Miami Begins with Me awards luncheon and are eligible for the grand prize of a cruise for two departing PortMiami. Discounts at area partner venues and attraction also are extended to graduates.

More information on the program details and class registration can be found at The classes will be conducted every Tuesday morning over complimentary breakfast and Friday during complimentary lunch.

The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an accredited not-for-profit sales and marketing organization with a mission to attract visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches for leisure, business and conventions.

For a vacation guide, visit the website at <> or call 1-888-76-Miami (US/Canada only) or 305-447-7777.

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