Become an expert on the Northumberland coast - free online course aims to boost tourism after lockdown

People in the tourism sector are being encouraged to take a new online course about the Northumberland coast while off work during the coronavirus shutdown.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 2:57 pm
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 2:59 pm

The scheme – – is a free product-knowledge training course tailored for everyone who interacts with visitors.

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Developed by the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA), a VisitEngland-funded project designed to help create growth for coastal tourism businesses and seaside destinations, the course is packed with information on Northumberland – one of eight distinct regions available, with another being Durham and the North East coast.

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“This is a very anxious time for anyone working in the hospitality industry,” said Samantha Richardson, academy director of the NCTA. “But it may be that while we’re working from home, staff might have more free time to brush up on local knowledge and gain new customer care tips.

“This new, free online training course is ideal for anyone working in the industry in any capacity, whether a restaurateur, hotelier, bartender, shop or café.

“By undertaking it, you’ll be at the top of your game, ready to welcome visitors back, equipped with a wealth of local information and able to hit the ground running once this crisis has abated.”

The Ambassador course has already been completed by hundreds of businesses around the coast, prompting a series of positive comments.

Keith Costello, from the Northumberland-based Inn Collection Group, whose portfolio includes the Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick and the Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses, said: “I enjoyed doing the course.

“As well as being able to assist any visitors to our area, it also taught me a few things I wasn’t aware of, so a win-win all round.”

It features modules on nature, local towns and villages, tips on getting around the county, and there’s a special module on understanding how to welcome international visitors, facts on the key markets and what businesses need to do to attract and retain these visitors.

It is free, can be undertaken in stages and, upon successful completion, users can download a personalised certificate.

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