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Welcome to Blackpool First Birthday

Monday, 16th November 2009

WELCOME TO BLACKPOOL ANNIVERSARY

Over the summer, 450 staff from two of Blackpool’s best known and popular attractions Pleasure Beach and Sandcastle Waterpark completed the resort’s Welcome to Blackpool training programme; a unique course delivered by Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board in partnership with Blackpool Council which was launched just a year ago (Nov 08).

More than 1400 people have already completed the bespoke training which is on course to reach its target of 3,000 participants, with major retailers, local transport, visitor attractions, hotels and the local Police force already signed up.

Welcome to Blackpool is designed to enhance the visitor experience and is aimed at encouraging return visits to the resort, which is going through extensive transformation and currently enjoying the revival of interest in the great British holiday; with figures already showing a 20% increase on the annual total for 2008.

Lesley Lloyd, Chair of Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board, said: “We’re delighted that Welcome to Blackpool, which is the only bespoke location-specific training course of its kind in the north west, has been so successful and contributed to Blackpool’s bumper 2009 season .

“Welcome to Blackpool is part of a combined and concerted effort by the tourist board, Blackpool Council and all those who take part, to present a new-look resort that will be the destination of choice for those who enjoy a traditional British holiday experience, now and in the future.” 

This one-day course developed as part of Welcome to Excellence, the UK’s leading customer service training programme, equips participants with a wealth of local knowledge covering everything from the resort’s rich heritage and attractions, to major events and practical facilities such as parking and transport, as well as providing the communication skills and the practical know-how required to welcome Blackpool’s annual influx of 10m + domestic and overseas visitors.

Improving customer service and civic pride is key to Blackpool’s tourism strategy, supporting the long-term £500m+ regeneration masterplan.

Cllr Maxine Callow, portfolio holder for tourism and regeneration for Blackpool Council, said: “2009 has seen a substantial increase in visitor numbers, some of whom may never have been to Blackpool before. It was absolutely vital that they enjoyed a very positive experience during their stay.  Product knowledge and customer service are essential ingredients if we are to effectively get the message across to visitors that Blackpool is changing and changing for the better.  We are wholly committed to the Welcome To Blackpool programme because it contributes greatly to our aim of providing visitors with a quality experience that will result in them coming back here time and time again.  We are delighted that so many private and public sector organisations (around 120) have participated in the programme.”

Gwen Hunt, Senior Training Co-ordinator, Pleasure Beach said: “The Welcome to Blackpool course has reminded our hospitality employees of the exciting and diverse range of activities and attractions in and around Blackpool that bring our visitors back to us year after year.  It has also given them an understanding of the Council’s vision for a brighter, better Blackpool and their plans for innovation and improvement across the resort.  The course has stimulated a renewed enthusiasm for the resort, which will be conveyed to our visitors, generating a more positive image of Blackpool and a better future for everyone.”

John Child, Managing Director of Sandcastle Waterpark said: “The newly designed Welcome to Blackpool course has been a great tool for the team here at Sandcastle Waterpark. It helps us continue to deliver outstanding guest service, providing information about the rest of the resort and what Blackpool has to offer. We will continue to support the training course with regular updates and refreshers and have even adapted our own version ‘Welcome to Sandcastle Waterpark’ which is now delivered to each and every staff member.”

Welcome to Blackpool forms part of the Welcome to Excellence suite of courses, established as the UK’s most popular customer service training, and undertaken by more than 300,000 staff throughout the tourism, hospitality, leisure and retail sectors.

For more information about Welcome to Blackpool or Welcome to Excellence training delivered by Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board please contact:  Helen Aldous, Training Manager, Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board Tel: 01257 2266 05 haldous@lbtbltd.com

<<ENDS>>

Media enquiries: Anna Izza, Communications Executive, Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board on 01257 226614 or aizza@lbtbltd.com.

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