Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated Belleek on becoming Northern Ireland’s first WorldHost Village.
The award is made to towns or villages where at least 25% of businesses have achieved WorldHost Recognition by delivering excellent customer service and which have trained 50% or more of their front-line staff using any of the WorldHost training programmes.
Welcoming the announcement, Arlene Foster said: “Businesses in Belleek have rightly recognised the importance of customer service in shaping visitors’ experiences. Their achievement in attaining WorldHost Village status, the first in Northern Ireland, is a fitting acknowledgement of a collective commitment to enhance service standards.
“The WorldHost programme rightly recognises the role that customer care plays to tourism in Northern Ireland. The impression left by customer-facing staff goes a long way to ensuring that our visitors enjoy the best possible experience whilst here, which in turn helps generate future recommendations, repeat business and continued growth.”
Fermanagh pro-actively promotes and supports the WorldHost customer service initiative and is the only destination in Northern Ireland to have a comprehensive plan in place for all of its towns and villages in a bid to gain WorldHost Destination status.
Arlene Foster added: “The customer service standards of businesses in Belleek have raised the bar for the tourism and hospitality sector throughout Northern Ireland and I would encourage other destinations to follow their example.”
Welcoming Belleek’s achievement, Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Councillor Bert Johnston said: “Ensuring that visitors receive a warm and personal welcome when visiting our County will only serve to strengthen the tourism offering in Fermanagh. WorldHost customer service training is an opportunity for local businesses to learn more about best practice in customer service and also to improve staff skills.”
Rolled out in Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in partnership with the sector skills council, People 1st, and the Department for Employment and Learning, the World Host Programme helps businesses gain a competitive advantage by enhancing customer service skills. To date, over 14,000 participants trained and 604 companies registered with the World Host Programme.