Durham tourism businesses offer ‘world-class visitor welcome

Members of The Witham team have recently attended the Welcome to Durham programme that saw 12 people become Ambassadors for Visit Durham including (from left to right in photo above) business owner Roy Chatterjee, volunteer Lusia McAnna, Veg Out in Barney’s Ann Barmby, Managing Director of Visit County Durham Michelle Gorman, volunteer Susan Kirkbride, The Witham Administrator Laura Shaw, Local Councillor and Town Crier Ian Kirkbride and volunteer Marie Wray. Read more below:

12 individuals from the county’s tourism industry have been recognised as ambassadors after successfully completing the ‘Welcome to Durham’ training programme, an initiative led by Visit County Durham.

The course was introduced by Visit County Durham in 2013 to provide businesses with the skills and resources to offer the highest standard of welcome for visitors.

Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham said: “We’re delighted that another 12 individuals have committed to offering the very best customer service through the Welcome to Durham programme.

The best way to build customer loyalty in the tourism and hospitality industry is to provide good customer service. Visitors who are treated efficiently and with respect are made to feel important and will return. People who have a positive experience at a hotel, restaurant, attraction, or even just speaking with a taxi driver, will tell other people about that and make it far more likely that they will visit Durham too.

Welcome to Durham gives people practical and immediately usable skills that can make the difference between a visitor being satisfied, and a visitor being made to feel special”.

The latest course was delivered at Woodleigh in Barnard Castle, just along the high street from The Witham, a Visit County Durham Visitor Information Network Partner committed to providing excellent customer service and visitor welcome.

Sandra Moorhouse, Project Leader at Making Barney Brighter Together, said: “The completion of the Welcome to Durham course by myself and a number of local visitor-facing staff and volunteers has assisted our aim in improving the overall visitor welcome in Barnard Castle. The number of those involved shows the commitment to providing the best possible service we can to visitors and residents alike”.

In addition to the Welcome to Durham course, Barnard Castle is also the location of the latest Visitor Information Network Partner, the Teesdale Mercury Shop, supported by Visit County Durham, which takes the total to 43 information points across the county.

Since its launch, over 159 individuals have now successfully completed the course and are recognised as qualified Welcome to Durham ambassadors.

Find more information on the Welcome to Durham training programme here.