Providing quality visitor information and a warm welcome to your visitors will help encourage them to stay longer, spend more, recommend the city to friends and family and visit again in future. We have prepared a handy checklist of tips and resources below to help you welcome, support and signpost your guests:
If you offer free Wi-Fi, is this made obvious to your visitors? It is important to provide reliable Wi-Fi for visitors, especially those from overseas. This helps them to access the visitor information, maps and other services they need to make the most of their stay. It also makes it easier for them to share photos, experiences and recommendations on social media, which help to promote the destination and encourage their friends and family to visit. When visitors are worried about Covid-19, being able to access information and services on their own phone will be especially important.
Is it easy for visitors to find your business? Do the local signposts direct your visitors to the right place? Are you included in local directories and are your neighbouring businesses aware of who you are and what services you provide? Is the signage on the outside of your building prominent? And once visitors are inside, is it easy for them to identify where things are? Is the reception desk obvious and are there signs to the toilets, baby changing, meeting rooms, restaurant and other facilities? If you have new systems in place to ensure social distancing, are these properly signposted? It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and review how easy it is for them to find what they are looking for, to ensure they get the best, hassle-free visitor experience.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative have prepared a list of frequently asked questions you can share with your staff, so they are better placed to help visitors. The FAQ list includes everything from ‘Where can I find left luggage facilities’ to ‘What time are the shops open until’ and is regularly updated with the latest information. The list of questions is not comprehensive however and your staff are bound to get more specific questions which relate to the local area around your business. It is therefore useful to prepare an FAQ list specific to your business and to circulate this to your front-line staff, including advice on the following:
- The nearest cash point.
- The nearest grocery shop / post office / pharmacy / NHS walk-in centre.
- The nearest Metro Station or bus stop.
- Nearby gyms or swimming pools (If not provided by your business).
- Reputable and reliable local taxi companies.
Encourage your staff to keep up to date with all the latest ‘what’s on’ events information, so they are able to better signpost visitors and ensure they make the most of their stay. They can do this by:
MAP PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD
NewcastleGateshead Initiative produces the Official Map and City Guide three times per year - to help visitors navigate their way around the city centre and find things to do while they're in the area.
The maps are available free to tourism businesses and NGI partners and can be ordered as folded maps in boxes of 300 or pads of 250 A2 flat maps.
Remember to make it easy for your visitors to identify and pick-up the maps and guides by putting them on display in your public areas and on reception. Don’t just keep them behind the desk!
To order supplies for your business or venue, please email email@example.com with the amount you require. We make distribution runs around NewcastleGateshead when each new map is printed. If you require maps more urgently or are based outside the city centre, maps are available for collection from our offices.
If you welcome a large number of visitors and want to improve visitor information at your venue, you may be eligible to host a free NewcastleGateshead Visitor Information Point.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative has established a network of visitor information points at key locations of high visitor footfall throughout the destination, including hotels, shopping centres and visitor attractions. The stands provide a consistent look and feel, featuring destination branding and visitor information logos, so that they are easily-identifiable to visitors.
The points are regularly stocked with free literature, including the Official Map and Pocket Guide and a range of local and regional attraction literature. Our partnership with A-ha! Distribution ensures that the literature is replenished and kept up-to-date, so there is no extra work involved for your staff.
The stands are designed to complement your visitor areas and add value to the service you provide at no extra cost or staff time.
If you are interested in hosting a Visitor Information Point, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORKSHOPS ARE CURRENTLY ON HOLD
Welcome to NewcastleGateshead is a destination awareness workshop for front-line tourism staff and anyone who plays a part in welcoming visitors. It’s a fun and interactive three-hour workshop, followed by a two-hour walking tour, and is designed to equip your staff with the tourism product knowledge they need to be able to best advise your guests.
Welcome training sessions for your staff can be arranged at times and locations to suit your requirements. Please email email@example.com for more information and a quote.
WELCOME SERVICES ARE CURRENTLY ON HOLD
Create a good first impression for your event or conference with our pop-up visitor information and delegate welcome services.
If you are hosting a major event or conference, please get in touch with the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau on +44 (0)191 440 5757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can support.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative can provide welcome desks at destination gateways, including Newcastle Central Station, at your delegate/guest accommodation or at the event or conference venue. Welcome materials and signage can be branded with your own event colours and logo, so they are easily recognisable (Charges apply for signage and branding).
Student ambassadors from local colleges will be on hand to welcome and direct your guests, and to provide visitor information, including copies of the Official Map and City Guide. As it may be your guests’ first time in NewcastleGateshead, this personal welcome provides them with the information they need to make the most of their time in the city and have the best possible experience. A visitor information desk can also be delivered at the event or conference venue, provided by knowledgeable and experience visitor information staff.