Westport, one of Ireland’s most popular visitor destinations, has become the first Irish town to be awarded Fáilte Ireland’s Destination Award for Excellence in Customer Service.
To achieve the award, tourism businesses in Westport undertook Fáilte Ireland’s Accredited Service Excellence Programme, with over 300 local tourism frontline staff across 18 businesses completing a dedicated course of customer care training.
Fáilte Ireland’s Services Excellence Programme is aimed at helping tourism businesses reach the highest standards in customer care, which can result in major benefits such as business growth, additional repeat business, increased visitor spend and positive recommendations. The Award can be presented to individual businesses or to a whole town, as is the case with Westport.
Unveiling a plaque to mark the presentation of the Destination Award, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring stated: "It is a historic day for Westport as it leads the way for the rest of the country in terms of providing excellence in customer care and service provision. The many tens of thousands of visitors that come to Westport each year can testify to the warmth and welcoming nature of the town and surrounding areas. Today’s award is confirmation of something I have always known, that Westport guarantees a best in class customer service and a holiday to remember for visitors."
Speaking at the presentation of awards, Paul Kelly, Fáilte Ireland Chief Executive said that the Programme is an important aspect of Fáilte Ireland’s business development and training supports adding: "Westport is the first town in Ireland to achieve a Destination Award from our Fáilte Ireland Accredited Service Excellence Programme.
"Through the programme, we are helping tourism businesses to strengthen their competitiveness and to offer a truly authentic and impressive welcome. Putting visitors at the centre of everything we do gives us another competitive edge as we seek to compete internationally to win new visitors and welcome previous guests back. Well done Westport for providing a great example of how it’s done.”
The programme trains front-facing staff across all sectors of a business to maximise their potential in the area of customer relationships and satisfaction. It aims to reduce and/or better handle complaints, introduce new operational standards and efficiencies through best in class service, and increase sales through up-selling and cross-selling techniques.