A Warm and Friendly Kent Welcome

Culture Kent pathfinder organsations are busy experimenting with different ways of showing people what Kent has to offer. Here, Cheryl Parker (Head of Development, Partnerships and Funding at Visit Kent) describes a recent innovative training programme for people involved in tourism.

image VisitKent

Visit Kent is a delivery partner in the Cultural Destinations programme managed by Turner Contemporary and funded by Visit Britain and Arts Council England.

An element of the programme is to train local staff, volunteers, businesses and organisations to be passionate and knowledgeable about their town, give an exceptional level of customer service and promote the cultural activities in the area.

The first training course was delivered on 7 and 8 May 2014 at Turner Contemporary where over 25 delegates from the Thanet area received a half day World Host Ambassador workshop with a focus on building knowledge on Margate’s Summer of Colour.

Visit Kent is a licensed World Host training organisation and delivered the Ambassador Workshop which gives staff, volunteers, businesses and individuals key skills to deliver a warm and friendly welcome to customers and visitors, it is particularly focused on their role as an ambassador for their local area.

Participants learnt how equipping themselves with knowledge about what’s on offer in their local community, such as the Summer of Colour can take their service to another level.

We encouraged them to think about what’s available in the local area, and how a positive and enthusiastic attitude can have a real effect on the visitor experience (and ultimately, visitor spend).

This programme was used to train thousands of local ambassadors for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics, and is perfect for training staff and volunteers at sport, cultural or tourism events of any size.

  • Why their role as an ambassador is so important, and how powerful their connection can be with visitors to the community
  • How to demonstrate a warm welcome to customers and visitors and respond to their different needs
  • The importance of maintaining a positive attitude
  • How to become more familiar with the community they represent, equipping them with the knowledge to answer customer queries in particular on the Summer of Colour and other cultural activity as part of the Cultural Destinations Programme

The Delegates received their World Host badge and were all presented with a World Host Certificate by Mark Dance – Portfolio Holder for Regeneration – Kent County Council at Turner Contemporary on Thursday 19th June in the presence of Cheryl Parker – Head of Development at Visit Kent and Bryony Bishop, Head of Marketing at Turner Contemporary.

Margate was looking particularly glorious today with superb weather, stunning sea views with the Summer of Colour street banners providing a blaze of colour to an already colourful spectacle – if you haven’t been to Margate recently you simply have to go – visit the Mondrian at Turner Contemporary and take in some of the superb vintage businesses that are springing up along Margate Seafront.