Monday, 9 November 2009

Warm Welsh welcome round Cardiff

An initiative designed to help tourism businesses across Wales to develop by offering a distinctive Warm Welsh Welcome to visitors, or Croeso Cynnes Cymreig, has accredited its first South East Wales business.

The Bryn-y-Ddafad guest house, near Welsh St Donats in the Vale of Glamorgan, has gained the new Croeso Cynnes Cymreig status after the proprietors underwent a three-part training and assessment programme designed to help the business to grow by offering a truly Welsh experience to visitors.

Croeso Cynnes Cymreig is a Welsh Assembly initiative developed jointly by Visit Wales, The Welsh Language Board and Tourism Training for Wales. The programme encourages businesses to learn more about their local area, what is on offer for visitors and how best to use that knowledge to offer an authentic warm Welsh welcome, which leaves visitors in do doubt that they are in Wales.

Bryn-y-Ddafad owner, June Jenkins, explained why they had decided to undertake the programme. She said: “Our location is a big part of the attraction of Bryn-y-Ddafad and we have always sought to ensure that visitors are given a sense of place. We recognised that this programme would build on the importance we place on helping our guests to get the most out of the local area and would enable us to capitalise on the wider Wales brand. With so much happening in the region next year, we wanted to make sure we were in pole position to use 2010 as a springboard for our business growth. We have come through the Croeso programme with a stronger understanding of the unique characteristics that make Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan and Bryn-y-Ddafad special.”

Education Minister Jane Hutt said: “It’s crucial that we ensure that quality training is available in all sectors across Wales. I heartily congratulate Bryn-y-Ddafad guest house for their commitment to positive training. I’m sure that the valuable local knowledge they provide will be a major benefit for the business and, more importantly, their guests.”

Congratulating the team at Bryn-y-Ddafad on being the first business in the region to gain the accreditation, Capital Region Tourism board member and Vale of Glamorgan councillor, Anthony Ernest, said: "The new Croeso accreditation distinguishes those tourism providers who have embraced their locality and who understand what makes a truly Welsh welcome so special. For those who love Wales and their local area, achieving the accreditation is both enjoyable and informative. This programme is about discovering for yourself what makes the business and locality special and learning how to communicate that effectively to guests.

"Next year is a big deal for the Capital Region with the Ryder Cup and the Valleys Homecoming, tying together with the Eisteddfod and the new developments in Ebbw Vale. The Croeso Cynnes Cymreig scheme is the perfect tool to help tourism businesses and other organisations to identify their own unique selling point and ensure that 2010 provides them with a platform from which to launch their distinctive Welsh welcome.”

The three modules of the Croeso Cynnes Cymreig programme include a course on customer service and a further two self-assessed modules. One module focuses on gaining a better understanding of local history, food, landscape, culture and language to give the business and its locality a sense of place, while the third module explores the use of the Welsh language within the business at either entry, intermediate or advanced levels.

The programme is designed to help tourism businesses of all sizes, from SMEs to large organisations. Margaret James, head of customer experience at Cardiff Airport, said: Margaret James, head of customer services at
Cardiff Airport, said: “We plan to implement the new ‘Croeso Cynnes Cymreig’ programme through the winter months among our own staff and we hope the scheme can also be extended to other customer facing staff working at the airport for our service partners.

“With
Cardiff Airport being the national airport for Wales, our Welsh identity and celebrating being Welsh is an integral part of our brand ethos. This project is one of many initiatives with which we’ve been involved recently. Others include offering free Welsh lessons in the departure lounge for staff and passengers and working with Visit Wales to develop our arrivals corridors to provide passengers with an immediate sense of place when arriving in Wales by air. It is important that our visitors experience a truly warm Welsh welcome when arriving at Cardiff Airport.”

To find out more about the business benefits of Croeso Cynnes Cymreig, contact Visit Wales on 0845 010 8020, visit www.wales.gov.uk/topics/tourism/grading/croesowelcome or email quality.tourism@wales.gsi.gov.uk



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