Suffolk: Tourism businesses are ‘On Our Marks’ for the Olympics

TOURISM-related businesses from around Suffolk have taken part in the first of a series of customer service workshops designed to prepare them to welcome visitors attracted to the UK by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The free “Delivering First-Class Customer Service” workshops are being delivered by West Suffolk College and WS Training on behalf of the On Our Marks project – a partnership between Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Suffolk County Council – to ensure local firms are “Games Ready”.

Among the first businesses to have taken part in the workshops are the Adnams-owned Swan Hotel in Southwold, the Queen’s Head at Bramfield, near Halesworth, Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, near Ipswich, and Stoke By Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa.

The workshops include training on understanding and delivering good customer service, specifically looking at the diversity of customers visiting Suffolk during the games.

The aim of the project is to ensure that the county presents itself professionally and effectively in the period around the games in order to make the most of the opportunity to win new customers who will, hopefully, also return in future years, so creating a lasting legacy for the county from London 2012.

Firms who complete the workshop will receive a certificate and window sticker, and a specially-developed marketing tool-kit to help them make the most of their “Games Ready” status.

Katherine Daines, front office manager at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, one of those to have completed the training, said: “What a fab training programme. It can be difficult to keep the attention of staff on training courses but this one was different.

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“All of the staff came out of the On Your Marks course with a real buzz, with positive comments all round and discussions carrying on into the evening.

“It has succeeded in creating a real excitement for the months to come and prepared us for welcoming visitors during the games.”