Wonderful weather for World Hosts’ tour

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Last week, a group of World Host ‘students’ left the classroom and took to the great outdoors around Ballymoney as part of their lessons! But these were not your typical students!

But these were not your typical students! These were the owners and staff from various tourism related businesses in the borough, who wanted to improve the quality of customer service and information that they can give to any visitors whom they meet. By experiencing first hand, the various tourism attractions, sights and activities, they can then become ambassadors for the tourism product locally.

Eligible participants include staff in the accommodation, hospitality, transport, retail, sport, entertainment and personal service sectors. Anyone employed in the private sector whose company employs less than 250 employees is eligible to take part in one of the 2 day World Host training courses for £20; the remainder is generously funded through the Department of Employment and Learning and the programme is accredited through City and Guilds.

Councillor Bill Kennedy, Chair of Development, recently presented certificates to the last wave of participants, at a reception in the council offices in February. Councillor Kennedy was so impressed with what he heard that day, that he signed up for the course himself.

The half day tour included a visit to the Ullans Centre in Victoria St to learn about the work to promote the Ulster Scots heritage and language and to avail of free literature for guests at their premises.

The trip also included a site visit to see progress at Scullion Hurls, who will be opening a working museum and visitors centre so people can see hurling sticks being made. Delegates were treated to well earned refreshments courtesy of Danny McKinley at Shean’s Horse Farm, after taking the History and Heritage trail up Slieve an Orra mountain. On the way home, the group stopped off at the much photographed Dark Hedges and agreed to a shot amongst the 300 year old serpentine trees before any spectral grey lady glided past! Among the delegates are world Host trainer Jean Haworth (third from right), Tour Guide Tommy Collins (far left) and Councillor Bill Kennedy.

Ballymoney Council are taking bookings for a third wave of training, this time, over four evenings in May and June. If you wish to find out more, please contact, Joanne in Ballymoney Borough Council on 2766 0238 town@ballymoney.gov.uk or for more information, please contact local World Host Licensed trainer, Jean Haworth on telephone: 07718826088 or E Mail : jeanhaworthconsulting@btinternet.com.