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Training intitiative aims to help Flintshire and North Wales tourism

A MAJOR training initiative is aiming to help Flintshire become a must-visit tourist destination.

Tourism chiefs are hoping by upgrading the skills of people working in the tourism industry, North Wales will become on of the top five visitor destinations in the UK.

The aim of the training is to improve quality and deliver even better standards of service so visitors to Flintshire and North Wales will receive an even warmer Welsh welcome.

The tourism industry in North Wales already employs 38,000 people and generates more than £2bn in spending every year.

Bosses at Tourism Partnership North Wales have commissioned the scheme to make the region more competitive as a tourism destination.

Regional strategy director Dewi Davies said: “It’s vital to enhance the skills base in the region and to do that we need to identify the key priorities for training for both staff and management.”

He told the Chronicle the skills needed by businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector vary and that courses would be tailor-made for those working in hotels and guest houses, visitor attractions and activity centres.

Mr Davies added: “Among our key priorities for action are developing skills in legislation, re-skilling, management and leadership, flexibility and adaptability, social networking, using local knowledge and practice and Welsh language knowledge.”

Tourism Partnership North Wales chairman Neil Rowlands said having a skilled workforce is essential to the development and sustainability of tourism-related businesses.

He added: “In terms of priority, skills are absolutely crucial, whether it’s offering a warm welcome, customer service, technical skills in the kitchen or proficiency in the bar and restaurant.

“If your team aren’t trained and don’t have the appropriate skills they can’t deliver – and without that you won’t be in business.

“It’s essential people who visit North Wales on their holiday have a positive experience – they’re looking for a welcoming smile and great service delivered in a friendly and professional manner.

“We’re all in business to make money and a good team and good staff certainly can make your business more profitable.”

Esther Roberts, managing director of North Wales Tourism, said: “Our three trainers who are delivering the skills have all been there and done it well at the sharp end.

“Our aim is to upskill the workforce to improve the quality and standards of service so that we can assist our businesses to develop and grow.”