Visitors Promised a Quality Welcome to Cornwall

Key tourism figures from across the county came together at Newquay Cornwall Airport on Monday 29th March to celebrate the launch of an innovative customer service programme which aims to drive up quality across the county.

'Welcome to Cornwall' is a one-day course which mixes customer service training with destination knowledge and is designed to inspire people employed within tourist related businesses to share their passion for the county and give a genuine warmth of welcome to visitors. It forms part of the nationally accredited Welcome to Excellence series of training programmes which are run by South West Tourism in the region, and builds on the tried and tested Welcome Host Plus course which develops customer service and communication skills.

Financed by the Learning Skills Council and delivered by Newquay for Excellence Training, the course has the full support of VisitCornwall, the official tourist board for the county, and is being herald as Cornwall's weapon in the bid to become the most welcoming UK visitor destination.

Malcolm Bell, Head of Tourism at VisitCornwall comments: "Customer service and warmth of welcome are among the most important factors influencing how an area is perceived by visitors. Although research shows that we are already on the right track with 75% of visitors rating the welcome offered in Cornwall as 'very good', it is important to keep striving for improvement especially whilst the eyes of the world are upon us in the lead up to the Olympic Games in 2012. We have to stand out from other destinations and prove that the service in Cornwall is seconded to none.

"The Welcome to Cornwall training programme is an excellent vehicle for creating a consistent and quality approach to customer service and I'd urge the industry to support it. We want employees to enjoy the Welcome to Cornwall experience, learn more about the county and then go out and spread the word."

Helen Jones, Training Manager at South West Tourism, adds: "It's fantastic news that Cornwall is investing to empower businesses with strong customer service skills and destination knowledge. Businesses that invest in training are enhancing their staff skills in addition to increasing their confidence, motivation, and making them feel more valued.

"We were delighted to be involved in facilitating the development of the 'Welcome to Cornwall' course. Cornwall is leading the way in destination focused customer service training and we hope that other areas will follow their lead in developing tailored courses to enhance the customer service skills across the region as a whole."

In partnership with Newquay for Excellence Training and VisitCornwall, Newquay Cornwall Airport has spearheaded the development of the Welcome to Cornwall training programme and is the first business to sign-up all of its employees to the course.

Managing Director of the Airport, Al Titterington, comments: "The Airport is a gateway to Cornwall and the quality of service that we provide affects visitors first and last impression of the County. With this is mind we are keen to ensure we provide the best welcome possible and also enrich visitor's experience of Cornwall by helping them to get the most out of their stay. The 'Welcome to Cornwall' programme has my full support and having completed it myself I can testify that the product knowledge and skills that it develops will be extremely beneficial to Cornwall's visitor economy.

Carolyn Rule, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, adds: "Tourism and transport go hand in hand so it is encouraging to see that Newquay Cornwall Airport has taken a proactive approach to quality service provision and are wholeheartedly supporting the Welcome to Cornwall initiative. In order to develop loyalty among our visitors and make them want to visit Cornwall again, it is vital they leave having had a positive experience and this course is an invaluable tool in ensuring that."

Eight employees from Newquay Cornwall Airport have already completed the course by spending a day test-driving the interactive activities and working their way through the 52 page participant guide which features inspirational imagery and detailed information. Other businesses with visitor contact from hotels to taxi companies are now invited to register their interest in the course by contacting Newquay for Excellence Training on 01637 871067 or by emailing claireevans@nfet.co.uk. The first fifty places are offered FREE of charge.

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