Bodies from across the north-east have joined forces to boost the tourism industry in the region in an attempt to diversify its economy from the troubled energy sector.
The Aberdeen City & Shire Tourism Partnership (ATP) has launched a scheme to train staff in hotels and restaurants about local attractions that will encourage visitors to spend more time and money in the region.
The new customer service training initiative, Discover Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire, is an online course covering customer service topics as well as a module focusing on “the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Experience”. It provides information on attractions, activities, sites, events and destinations in the area that would be of interest to tourists of all ages.
Claire Bruce, chair of APT and the “board champion” for tourism on the Aberdeen City & Shire Economic Future (ACSEF) body, said: “With such a wealth of things to see and do across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, the course gives frontline staff the chance to really learn about all the fantastic things the area can offer visitors.
“Great memorable customer service and an enjoyable visitor experience will help encourage visitors to extend their stay, make return visits and even refer others – all helping to drive a sustainable growth in tourism in the north-east.”
Ian Watson, Chairman of the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association said: “I strongly believe that our region has a great deal to offer visitors and any initiative that can help provide greater local knowledge to people within our industry is very welcome.
“Not only will this be a great opportunity for frontline tourism staff to enjoy learning more about the area but will also help us provide a more enjoyable experience for our customers.”
The launch of the new training module complements ongoing efforts to improve skills in the local tourism industry. Business in the area are already taking part in WorldHost training initiatives – a suite of customer service training programmes that have already been used to train nearly one million people worldwide.