Blackpool received the recognition after it trained over 2,500 front line staff using WorldHost customer service training programmes over the last 2 years and signed a commitment to delivering amazing customer service.
WorldHost is a suite of world-class customer service training programmes that have already been used to train over 200,000 people in the UK. Programmes include training on serving customers with disabilities, welcoming customers from other cultures, increasing sales through service and an introduction to the general principles of customer service.
The ambition to achieve WorldHost destination status has been pioneered by quality assured WorldHost trainers within Blackpool Tourism Academy, a consortium of leading leisure industry and transport employers, who between them operate:-
• Blackpool Pleasure Beach
• The Blackpool Tower, Sealife and Madame Tussauds
• The Winter Gardens complex
• Blackpool Zoo
• Sandcastle Waterpark
• Blackpool Transport (bus and tram network)
• Family Entertainment Centres
Each of these businesses have also gained Business Recogniton Status in their own right meaning at least 50% of their front line staff have been trained to WorldHost standard, in addition to their general training.
A range of other businesses linked to the visitor economy have also embraced the standard - from smaller hoteliers to large retailers including Boots and M&S, and Illuminations Ambassadors.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Blackpool has become the biggest tourist resort in the UK to gain WorldHost status. It’s fantastic that all the hard work and commitment has paid off – the accolade is well deserved.
“With over 2,500 trained front line staff, visitors will receive a world class level of customer service whilst making the most of our world class attractions in our friendly and welcoming tourist destination.”
On receiving the recognition, Nigel Kilgallon, Chair of the Blackpool Tourism Academy, and Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, said: “We are proud to become a WorldHost Recognised Destination – it’s a testament to the fantastic commitment that businesses in Blackpool have made to delivering excellent service.
“When people see the WorldHost logo displayed in Blackpool they will know that they are visiting a place that cares about its visitors and values their custom. We hope that this will encourage visitors to return and that word-of-mouth recommendations will help attract new visitors to the area.”
The WorldHost recognition was awarded by workforce development expert People 1st, which is rolling out the WorldHost training programmes across the UK in an effort to improve customer service standards.
Sharon Glancy, executive director at People 1st, congratulated Blackpool on its achievement. She commented: “Becoming a WorldHost Recognised Destination is a fantastic achievement and it’s incredibly encouraging to see so many businesses willing to go the extra mile for their customers.
“Customer service is vital to the future success of tourism in the UK – research has shown that 88% of employers see it as the most important skill needed in their business in the next five years. This training means that Blackpool will be well placed to meet that challenge, and I have no doubt it will have a positive impact on tourism. Congratulations to all the businesses involved.”