English Riviera to train 1000 front line staff to be outstanding!
The English Riviera Tourism Company (ERTC) is now settling in to its new role of managing one of the UK’s busiest seaside destinations and implementing the many actions of their industry supported strategy. Aiming for outstanding customer care training is just one of those actions and the ERTC made the decision to achieve this through investing in the development of a new training programme: Welcome English Riviera, based on the Welcome to Excellence and Welcome Host Gold programmes. ERTC chief executive, Carolyn Custerson said: “The flexibility offered by Welcome to Excellence meant that we could offer the benefits of a nationally recognised course and incorporate all of the key selling points of our own destination. The English Riviera has 20 beaches, three towns and two other key destination areas and through our strategy we are driving five key themes for growth: Agatha Christie, maritime activities, the UNESCO recognised Geopark, business tourism and of course our busy events programme. There’s a lot to get across but our delegate feedback tells us that this local knowledge is valued enormously and it helps us develop a Team English Riviera approach.”
The development of Welcome English Riviera has been supported by some initial development funding from Torbay Development Agency but is also heavily supported by local venues and in particular the Riviera International Conference Centre which has meant that the courses have been offered at an extremely competitive rate. Positive local PR has resulted in a very strong reputation developing for the ERTC offering a cost effective and practical customer service training solution for tourism businesses. Attractions and accommodation providers have been the mainstay attending but the local bus company, the harbour authority and a number of cafés, restaurants and shops have also been taking part.
An experienced “Welcome” training team was brought together and in the first few months nearly 200 delegates have been through the programme. Initiatives with tourism employers and the local college will result in these figures rising and the target is to train over 1000 in a 3 year period with extra courses now being planned.