WorldHost city region ambition realised

As a result of this year’s International Festival for Business (IFB), the Liverpool City Region has become the first in Great Britain to achieve the prestigious WorldHost customer service accreditation.

A consortium of organisations, led by Merseytravel and in partnership with Visit Liverpool and Liverpool ONE, secured funding to provide customer service training for more than 4000 customer-facing staff in the visitor economy, retail and transport services; and ambassador training for all volunteers who supported the City Stars programme.

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A diverse range of businesses and organisations are benefitting from the training. For example, hundreds of staff at Liverpool John Lennon Airport; bus, private and hackney cab drivers; those across the city region involved with the numerous other big summer events, including the Giants Spectacular and the Open Championship at Hoylake.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “We’re delighted that almost 400 local businesses got behind this initiative and invested in this training for their staff.
“We have an excellent and well-deserved reputation for the warm welcome we offer visitors and the feedback from delegates and visitors throughout the Festival has been really positive.

“Being equipped with these skills will improve a person’s employability, boost their confidence, and increase our reputation as a wonderful place to visit, so we were delighted so many, including 60 school pupils, were able to benefit from this training.”

Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel, said: “The sheer scale of this summer’s activity provided us with the perfect opportunity to increase the customer service skills of the transport sector and of those who are working in the retail and visitor economies. We’ve had great feedback from our staff who really enjoyed the training.”

Robert Hough, Chair of Liverpool City Region Local Economic Partnership, said: As a result of this training, visitors will experience even better customer service from our retailers, hospitality and tourism businesses. This in turn encourages more visitors to spread the word and make a return visit, boosting profitability of our sector.”

Chris Bliss, Estate Director at Liverpool ONE, said: “WorldHost offers a great suite of products and we’ve been working with People1st for many years to ensure our team members are given gold standard training in customer service and ambassador skills.

Simon Tarr, Managing Director of People 1st, which owns the licence for the WorldHost programme in the UK, said: “WorldHost has already been used to train more than 150,000 people in the UK, including the volunteers and staff at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games who helped the UK rank in the global top 10 for visitor welcome for the first time ever.

“It is wonderful to see Liverpool City Region leading the way across Great Britain in its commitment to increasing customer service skills and making its mark in the visitor economy, retail and transport sectors.”

For further information please contact Jonathan Caswell, head of Public Relations at Liverpool Vision on 0151 600 2946 / jcaswell@liverpoolvision.co.uk