Free training to help tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses in Ashford.

Tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses in the Ashford area are being given the chance to apply for free places on Welcome to Kent top customer service training courses.

Ashford Borough Council is offering two full day Welcome to Kent training courses and one in-house training package to help local businesses prepare to greet customers and guests throughout the summer of celebrations, including the Diamond Jubilee and the London Games.

The training programmes, designed by the county’s tourism champions at Visit Kent, are focused on providing levels of customer service that will encourage repeat business for local companies and generate word-of-mouth recommendations to friends and family.

The training also prepares participants to answer visitors’ questions about the many different attractions and destinations available across the county.

Sandra Matthews-Marsh, Visit Kent chief executive, said: “Visitors rely on the people they meet at our hotels, guest houses, shops and attractions for information about different places to visit and the best ways to travel.

“Keeping up with the latest destinations across such a large county is not easy. We have tailored our Welcome to Kent training days so that everyone who takes part will be much better informed about all the new attractions on offer and what is happening in different areas.”

Cllr Peter Wood, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “2012 promises to bring unique opportunities for our tourism and hospitality businesses and so we are delighted to be able to support them by delivering bespoke tourism training in partnership with Visit Kent.

“This training will help to ensure that standards of customer care are second to none across the borough and that Ashford continues to be ‘best placed’ for visitors wishing to attend Jubilee and Olympic events this summer.”

Everyone taking advantage of the free training courses being provided by Ashford Borough Council is asked to pay just £5 to cover the cost of their lunch.

The Welcome to Kent training courses are being held at Ashford Civic Centre on May 11 and 21. The in-house training programme can be arranged for either May 2 or 3.

For further information, or to book, contact: Visit Kent Training, 2nd Floor Invicta House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XX, tel: 01622 696935 or email:

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