West Hollywood tourism takes on hundreds of workers

By | Category: Travel news

Hollywood-la_lacvb14Lots of us visit Hollywood if we are holidaying on the west coast of the US. Now if you are looking for information when you get there, you could do worse than ask a waiter or a shopworker.

In any city, usually taxi drivers and the concierge in a hotel know where to go for the best deals or know about an attraction that is barely mentioned in guide books but in West Hollywood a new programme has started where businesses are sending their staff to the classroom. There, they will be taught more about the city, how to get around it and obvious and little-known attractions.

Most importantly it also stresses customer service, not something that you generally find lacking in the US anyway.

The theory behind sending people back to the schoolroom is that those people that are always meeting visitors are the ones most likely to be help answer any questions. In many ways it echoes the training introduced into Swansea on one bus route a few years ago so that bus drivers became almost tourist information people as well. And that is what these workers in West Hollywood will become – assistants to the local tourism board. But whereas a tourism board will have only one or two staffed information offices, this method will ensure that there are dozens if not hundreds.

Train guards and buffet carriage staff on routes where there is a large number of tourist travellers could carry leaflets and be trained to answer questions about attractions along the route. Indeed at least one TransPennine train service does this but why not extend it nationwide? We all would benefit from more tourist money flowing into our local economies and it would go a great way to counter criticism that crops up in many Visit Britain studies tat we British are not the friendliest.

We could start by making it a condition of new rail franchise agreements that their frontline staff get mandatory training on customer service, ( I hope they get this already but sometimes I wonder) attractions and beauty sports along the route.

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