By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Tourism is a major industry that contributes significantly to the economy of many states – including West Virginia. The goal is to offer tourists a great experience and motivate them to return. Those with that goal in mind will want to consider an educational opportunity being provided by the Clarksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau that is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27th at the Days Inn & Suites on Tolley Drive in Bridgeport.
Tara Morrison, Marketing Coordinator with the Clarksburg CVB, says it will be valuable training that is NOT just for hotel staff.
“It’s for anyone, whether your business is hospitality related or not. Restaurant and retail people are invited as well,” she stressed. “The best part is that the training only involves a little over an hour of your time … and it’s FREE!”
Participants will learn the skills necessary to deliver exemplary service to all visitors – whether they are tourists from outside the region or customers from right here in the local area. Learn how to improve the quality of service provided to guests and/or customers … how to exceed guest expectations … build customer loyalty … address the public … offer assistance, etc. The training will also stress things like the importance of presentation and appearance and how to handle conflicts.
“Although it is just a one-hour course, it is very comprehensive. We want to encourage hostesses, wait staff and retail owners to engage customers in a conversation and be familiar with many of our state’s attractions and landmarks and encourage them to come back. Some visitors may only be in the area for a short time; they may be just passing through, but if they can help promote the positive aspects of West Virginia, they may want to return. And visitors can be directed to the CVB’s resources for more information.”
Morrison noted that this is the first time hospitality training such as this has been offered in Clarksburg. Later this summer, other opportunities will be hosted by CVB’s in other locales throughout the state, such as in Weirton and Wheeling.
Whether your business is involved with lodging, dining, entertainment, shopping or whatever, you want to retain the customers you have while also looking for new ones … and the best way to promote that is to ensure a quality experience. Go beyond what visitors expect and give them more than they anticipated!
The Clarksburg CVB has engaged training specialist John Sorrenti as its presenter. A graduate of West Virginia University Institute of Technology, he was a training manager for Mountaineer Park Inc. for nine years and has spent the last four years as a trainer and motivational speaker for the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office. He also does the WV Welcome Hospitality training. And, Morrison emphasized that he is entertaining and knows how to make learning fun!
Registration for this event is required and is limited to the first 100 registrants. To register, contact the Clarksburg CVB at 304-622-2157 or e-mail [email protected] You will be asked to provide your name, business, and contact information. Remember, this training opportunity is free!