Sharon Ross, Les Fraser and Tracy Dobie were proud to launch
Sharon Ross, Les Fraser and Tracy Dobie were proud to launch "Be Out Guest" yesterday. Marian Faa

BE OUR GUEST: Businesses urged to step it up for big event

A TOWN teeming with visitors is the sign of Warwick's tourism industry in full swing, but local leaders are urging businesses to look beyond Jumpers and Jazz and prepare for bigger things.

Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie today launched a new TAFE Queensland training program designed especially to upskill businesses in preparation for the 2019 Polocrosse World Cup, which will bring 60,000 visitors to Warwick.

Being at the forefront of training in social media, marketing and customer service would be pivotal to Warwick businesses getting the most out of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the Mayor said.

"People want to be treated well when they come into a shop or cafe and they expect good service and if they don't get it they won't come back,” she said.

STREET SCAPE: Warwick's main street overflowing with people at a previous Jumpers and Jazz festival.
STREET SCAPE: Warwick's main street overflowing with people at a previous Jumpers and Jazz festival. Izelle Behr

"We want them to see the service in regional Queensland is as good as anywhere in Australia if not better.”

"Be Our Guest” is a series of workshops that aim to give local businesses the skills they need to get the most out of major tourism events and grow the region's tourism.

"This is also a great tourism campaign in a way,” the Mayor said.

"People need to come here and then go away thinking this would be a great place to visit and a great place to come back.”

Criterion Hotel manager Kylie Jenner has seen first hand what the flow-on effects good hospitality can have.

"People who come here love our wonderful, friendly country attitude and first-class hospitality,” she said.

GOAL SHOT: Robert Sibley scores a goal in the 31-8 Australia win in the playoff for third in the Polocrosse World Cup. Photos Leo McGuire
GOAL SHOT: Robert Sibley scores a goal in the 31-8 Australia win in the playoff for third in the Polocrosse World Cup. Photos Leo McGuire Contributed

Earlier this month, the Criterion hosted a group of 35 people visit for the Criterion's first "Christmas in July” event and they have already booked for next year.

"We have so much to offer on so many levels,” Ms Jenner said.

"We have to showcase our wonderful, friendly country attitude we have to showcase that ad be proud of it - we have to be really proud of our country hospitality we just have to be who we are.”

Starting in September, local retailers and businesses people will be able to participate in night classes that focus on things like time management, getting customers back, personal sales techniques and hospitality skills.

TAFE Queensland South West marketing manager Sharon Ross said customer service and innovative marketing was essential.

"Things like how to get repeat customers back, how to use social media - these are all skills they can use in the future.”

Ms Ross said big events like these were a great chance for networking and economic growth.



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