Ambassadors being sought to boost county's tourism industry
A training programme designed to help boost Northumberland’s tourism industry by inspiring front line staff and volunteers has been reintroduced by the County Council.
The Know Your Northumberland initiative aims to improve and develop the skills and knowledge of staff and volunteers working at visitor serving businesses across the county.
The programme will not only teaches the basics of exceeding customer expectations, it will also teach why tourism is so important and gives valuable destination product knowledge to your frontline. It will consist of eight familiarisation trips across the county, led by experienced Blue Badge Guides.
Delegates can work towards gaining bronze or silver certificates, or a gold ‘Ambassador Status’ diploma, depending on the number of courses completed.
The programme will also aim to give frontline employees the tools and confidence they need to create memorable experiences for visitors.
Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for Culture, Arts, Leisure and Tourism at the council said: “We wanted to reintroduce this programme as we know it can have a positive effect on a visitor’s experience. When visitors have a positive experience they are more likely to return in the future and also share their experiences with others. Everyone benefits the visitors, the industry, the local economy and more importantly, the front line worker.
“Northumberland is a very large county with a huge amount of things to see and do.
By offering these trips we are hoping to create a team of ambassadors for the county and help visitors get the most out of their stay.”
Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group said: “The Know Your Northumberland Ambassador scheme delivers on so many levels. Offering our customers exceptional service and added value to their experience is central to our operations across The Inn Collection Group as does investing in our teams themselves with training and development opportunities.
"The Northumberland ambassador scheme gives staff invaluable insights and understanding of the sheer diversity of attractions Northumberland has to offer - both on their doorstep and elsewhere across the county. The scheme encourages and empowers staff to impart this knowledge with customers, encouraging so they can make the most of their time in the county and visit places off the beaten track as well as our world famous gems.”
The dates of the 2019 / 2020 programme are:
Thursday 3rd October Alnwick & Rothbury
Monday 7th October Cheviots & Uplands
Tuesday 15th October Bellingham & Kielder
Tuesday 22nd October Morpeth & Mid Northumberland
Thursday 7th November South East Northumberland
3rd/4th/5th March (TBC) North Pennines
Wednesday 11th March Berwick & Northumberland Coast
Thursday 26th March Tyne Valley & Hadrian’s Wall