Fife Tourism Businesses Energised To Improve Visitor Experience

Kirkcaldy hosted (16th November 2007) the east of Scotland’s only “Visitor Experience Workshop” organised by “Pride and Passion”, a national movement whose purpose is to significantly improve the customer care standards and visitor experience so that Scotland’s visitors keep coming back for more. In this aim, it enjoys support from Nick Nairn, Muriel Gray and Pete Irvine.

The innovative training event, held in the town’s Beverdige Park Hotel, was fully subscribed by tourism businesses from across Fife. Using an actor in a theatre based format, the assembled business representatives were given a range of highly enjoyable visitor scenarios and then asked to comment on their perceptions on how to improve on his experiences. The workshop was full of insights while the attendees had the chance of swapping notes as well as catching up with other tourism businesses. The day also included the participants going to lunch in the town centre and returning with their feedback on the quality of experience they encountered.

Kirkcaldy Town Centre Manager, Sunil Varu, was responsible for the travelling workshop to stop off at Kirkcaldy,

“One of the key differentiating factors in successful retail and tourism is the level of customer care and the overall experience created. At KTCM,or goal is to improve the qualityof experience of Kirkcaldy as retail and leisure destination and this workshop comes under that umbrella vivision. I have forged links with Pride and Passion over the last 18 months ago to help us in improving our own experience and I was delighted when they agreed to bring their roadshow to Kirkcaldy and even more so that it was fully subscribed. A number of town centre cafes and restaurants in effect also had a “mystery shopper” from the participants having lunch and the experience was fed back to the rest of the group. We will endeavour to bring this type of roadshow back to Kirkcaldy and allow even more businesses to benefit from it”

Gillian Stirton, Project Manager, Pride & Passion added,

“The fact that we had a full house at the workshop is indicative of the support that local businesses in Kirkcaldy are prepared to give to improve the local tourism offering. There was a real “buzz” to the workshop that only comes when you get a group of people together with passion for what they do. I think everyone learnt something new on the day about their customers, their businesses as well as neighbouring business and they left the workshop with the desire to deliver exceptional customer service and to support each other in “upping the ante” of tourism in the local area”.

The success of the workshop was undoubted and was endorsed by Brian and Bronwyn Birrell of Sandilands B & B (Lundin Links) whose feedback to Pride and Passion was:

“Just a few words to tell you how much we enjoyed the Pride and Passion workshop in Kirkcaldy. We found the variety of activities, the mix of presentation styles and the change of ‘people contact groups’ very entertaining, as well as thought provoking. We thought the idea of sending us out on a lunch mission was inspired! It really made you focus on the service you were getting and consequently thought about the service we give in our own business. Well done”