The Aberdeen region has been awarded a mark of excellence in customer service in a scheme led by VisitAberdeenshire to establish the north-east as a top tourist destination.
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is the largest region in Scotland to secure WorldHost Recognised Destination status, with more than 110 local businesses so far completing the customer service training programmes.
To achieve this a minimum of 25% of tourism businesses in the region must have at least half their customer-facing staff complete a WorldHost service training programmes.
The confirmation of the north-east’s status comes at a time when travel publication Rough Guide announced that their readers voted Scotland as the most welcoming destination in the world, and their favourite destination of 2017.
Chris Foy, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, received a commemorative plaque from People 1st on behalf of the participating businesses at a celebratory event yesterday at Aberdeen’s Skene House.
Mr Foy said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see so many local tourism businesses committed to improving the overall quality and consistency of service delivery.
“WorldHost status is something we should be proud of, and will help us to increase our international appeal by offering a warm authentic Scottish welcome to our visitors.
“I would strongly encourage local tourism businesses who have yet to complete the training to look into its benefits.”
Dr Andrew Martin, vice chair of Aberdeen City and Shire Hotel Association, said: “Hotels throughout the north-east are often the first point of contact for visitors when they arrive, which is why the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotel Association fully support this project.
“Our area has to compete as a premier tourism destination, and securing this status supports our drive to deliver quality and excellent value.”
David Allen, director of Scotland for People 1st, added: “Customer service is vital to the future success of Scottish tourism and it’s taken a huge concerted effort from businesses across the Aberdeen City and Shire region to achieve WorldHost Recognised Business status.
“Customer expectations are rising all the time but this training means that Aberdeen will be well placed to meet that challenge, and I have no doubt it will have a positive impact on tourism.”
The WorldHost training programmes were brought to the UK from Canada by People 1st to prepare businesses in and around London for the 2012 Olympics.