Welcome Host - Norfolk Tourist Attractions Staff Training

March 16, 2010

Wroxham Barns

Twenty-one staff from Wroxham Barns, Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, Broads Tours and RAF Radar Museum Neatishead, all members of Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association (NTAA), completed a one-day 'Welcome Host' training course at Wroxham Barns on Tuesday, March 16, during British Tourism Week.

The course, promoted by NTAA and delivered by East of England Tourism (EET) is part of the national 'Welcome to Excellence' initiative to train staff in tourism businesses in customer service skills and give them a greater understanding of the value of tourism to the local economy.

Caroline Featherstone EET Trainer who led the course said: "Welcome Host is an activity based course. Delegates work in groups and review their own customer service and look at ways to improve it. We cover subjects like body language, first impressions and customer needs including those with specific needs. The course also considers the importance of tourism to the local economy, so that delegates can understand their contribution to the industry."

Katrina White, who has worked as a waitress at Wroxham Barns for two years said: "I have learned a lot on the course, particularly communication and body language and looking after and understanding customers. I am going to share what I have learned with my colleagues."

Dave Welsh, a volunteer in the Coltishall Memorial Rooms, The Radar Museum, Neatishead said: "The course has provided an excellent opportunity to reflect on how I look after visitors and share experiences with other attractions."

Peter Williamson, Chairman Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association said: "British Tourism Week is a weeklong promotion to raise awareness of tourism and highlight the contribution made by businesses large and small, public and commercial to Britain's £114 billion visitor economy. I am really pleased that in British Tourism Week we had a well-attended Welcome Host course at Wroxham Barns. Staff training and qualifications are such an important part of ensuring that we offer top class customer service for our visitors."

Wroxham Barns is a Welcome Business which means that more than 50% of full and part time staff, including all front line staff, have completed 'Welcome Host' and 'Welcome Host plus' training courses provided by EET. The restaurant café achieved the gold standard following a Broads Quality Charter inspection in the autumn. The inspector commented: "Upbeat and friendly service combine to ensure that guests expectations are met if not exceeded." The full report can be downloaded via www.wroxhambarns.co.uk.

Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association www.norfolktouristattractions.co.uk. Founded in 1991, the association currently represents 106 attractions in Norfolk and North Suffolk.

British Tourism Week www.britishtourismweek.com. British Tourism Week 15 to 21 March, co-ordinated by VisitBritain, is a week-long promotion to raise awareness of tourism and highlight the contribution made by businesses large and small, public and commercial to Britain's £114 billion visitor economy. It also aims to galvanise the commitment of organisations and individuals to further improve and develop the industry. The key event is The Best of Britain & Ireland, a new trade and consumer travel show at London Olympia from 17 to 20 March. VisitNorwich, Norwich 12, Norwich Attractions and Norfolk Tourism will be promoting the county at the show.

Media contact: Paul Dickson tel. 01603 666011, mob 07801 103737

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