WorldHost success for NRC students as summer tourism tees off

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A number of Travel and Tourism students from Northern Regional College have successfully achieved WorldHost Customer Service qualifications.

The aim of the qualification is to ensure that individuals within the tourism and hospitality industries have the core skills required to meet the expectations of local, national and international visitors.

All first year Level 3 students were successful in achieving the qualification.

Professor Terri Scott, Principal and Chief Executive of Northern Regional College, congratulated all of the students on their success: “With the global success of Game of Thrones, as well as events like the Giro d’Italia and the upcoming 148th Open, Northern Ireland’s position as a global tourist destination has never been so strong. We recognise that our skilled people are key drivers of our local economy and will be integral to the success of, not only this this year’s Open Championship, but the years of further tourism growth that The 148th Open has the potential to bring.

“At Northern Regional College, we are committed to supporting our students in their chosen career pathways. I am convinced that our students will deliver the highest levels of customer service to all of our visitors, not only in the coming months but for many years to come.”

The students were presented with their qualifications by Royal Portrush Golf Club’s pro Gary McNeill, who provided a sneak preview of the build-up and insight into the preparations behind golf’s oldest major championship, The Open Championship, and the impact it will have on both the local and national tourism scene. He said over 190,000 spectators are expected to be in attendance, generating £80million for the local economy.

Karen McLeod, Travel and Tourism Co-ordinator at Northern Regional College and WorldHost trainer, provided some further insights, explaining how it was key to improving the students’ employability: “Internationally recognised, WorldHost training is an important part of the Travel and Tourism curriculum at Northern Regional College. When forging a career within the tourism industry, employees must be visitor-ready and visitor-centric – there is no middle ground.

“When students begin their travel, tourism or hospitality journey with Northern Regional College, we strive for vocational excellence, as they are going to feed into the sector’s future talent pool. Achieving the WorldHost training is a fantastic milestone for our current crop of students and is a great addition to their CV which will set them apart from others, ultimately providing excellent employability prospects.”

Among the Coleraine-based students who received their WorldHost qualifications were Ballymoney’s Sarah Thompson and George Mainwaring from Portstewart. They said that the WorldHost training has helped them in their current roles working alongside customers.

George said: “The 148th Open is going to bring a lot of visitors to the North Coast, so we expecting to be extremely busy and under a lot of pressure. There’s no doubt that the WorldHost training will come in handy when working alongside customers.”