2.5 million people are expected to engage with the Birmingham 2022 Festival, and a further 1.2 million people to experience the Games, putting the West Midlands on the global stage and presenting a significant opportunity to local businesses.
Those that deliver a world-class experience open the door to positive reviews, repeat custom and increased sales. To equip businesses with the appropriate skills and knowledge to create positive experiences and set the West Midlands apart as a destination, up to 7,000 visitor-facing employees from tourism businesses across the region will take part in the ‘Getting Games Ready’ training programme for free.
Using the foundations of the globally-recognised WorldHost customer service programme, which has been used to train hundreds of thousands of people for events including the London 2012 Olympics, Rugby World Cup 2015 and The Golf Open 2019, the ‘Getting Games Ready’ programme will help participants to:
- highlight the very best of what the West Midlands destinations have to offer
- provide a warm, knowledgeable, and inclusive welcome
- share tips about Birmingham 2022 and the Birmingham 2022 Festival
- provide up-to-date, accurate and accessible information to visitors
- promote the West Midlands as a place to visit, stay and invest.
Andrew Lovett OBE, Chair of the West Midlands Regional Board for Tourism, said:
“The Getting Games Ready programme is an important – and free – tool for local businesses to access ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, allowing visitor-facing staff to enhance customer service skills and local knowledge of the West Midlands. This training will ensure that the experiences of visitors to Birmingham and the West Midlands are positive and memorable, encouraging people to return and enjoy our region’s great visitor attractions and world-class hospitality time and again.”
The project is being delivered as part of the Business and Tourism Programme, a three-year initiative which aims to leverage the profile of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to, among other objectives, attract more international and domestic tourists and additional major events to the West Midlands and wider UK.
Sports and Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston said:
“Birmingham 2022 is an incredible chance to promote the West Midlands as a premier tourism destination. This programme will help local businesses provide a first-class service to visitors this summer so the industry can capitalise on this once-in-a-generation opportunity."
Becky Frall, Head of Visitor Attraction at the West Midlands Growth Company, added:
“The Getting Games Ready training programme will be interactive and easily accessible, providing a critical upskilling opportunity as the West Midlands prepares to welcome an influx of domestic and international visitors throughout 2022.
“Delivered through our Business and Tourism Programme, the training offers support for visitor economy businesses recovering from Covid, with benefits that our destinations will reap into the future, as visitors recommend their fantastic experiences to friends and family.”
To demonstrate a commitment to customer service excellence, businesses that train more than 80% of front-line staff using the programme will also be eligible to apply for ‘Getting Games Ready’ Business Recognition.
Available now, tourism businesses can secure free places for their employees by visiting https://welcomewm.com