Assessors for the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS), together with two assessors from Visit Wales, have just completed their annual intensive training programme with three full days in Manchester and Salford.
This training, which is crucial to ensure the team are fully prepared for their assessment visits, enables a greater sharing of information and best practice across England. It is devised to increase their own knowledge of what is new in the industry and included a briefing on the latest VisitEngland research findings. With VAQAS now up 28% on the previous year and participants continuing to grow, consistency in delivery across this growing team is vital.
Four attractions were mock assessed and results discussed in depth. The group were also fortunate to be joined on the first day by Paul Simpson, Managing Director of Visit Manchester, who briefed them on the latest news for the Manchester area, and talked them through the concept and delivery of the new TIC in Piccadilly Gardens. A visit on a busy Saturday afternoon showed clearly that this TIC is working well. Staff engaged enthusiastically. The use of modern technology to entice visitors of all ages worked incredibly well.
As well as two intense days visiting attractions, the team were also taken on an evening City Tour with Green Badge Guide, Elizabeth Sibbering. Her excellent delivery showed how marshalling a group around a busy city centre can be easily achieved, providing an engaging tour that left the participants wanting even more!
Further information about VAQAS can be found by visiting www.visitengland.org/busdev/accreditation/attractions/VAQAS.aspx