West Midlands tourism businesses urged to help region provide spectacular visitor experience to millions

11 July 2022

Hospitality venues, visitor attractions and transport providers from across the West Midlands are being called on to help provide a spectacular visitor experience for millions of tourists and spectators during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

To deliver this world-class welcome, firms are being encouraged to take part in the free Getting Games Ready training programme before it is too late. The activity is being delivered as part of the Birmingham 2022 Business and Tourism Programme.

The training programme, launched earlier this year, is based on the foundations of the globally recognised WorldHost customer service programme which was used to train thousands of customer-facing staff for major events including the London 2012 Olympics, equipping businesses with the skills and knowledge required to create positive experiences for visitors. 

As part of the training, businesses will receive information on the Games and Birmingham 2022 Festival and details on how to provide an accessible and inclusive service, as well as the West Midlands and its wider tourism offer. 

A myriad of businesses have already successfully taken part in the scheme, including Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Bloc Hotels and Escape Brum. There are 7,000 free places available. Individuals who complete the course will be awarded an accredited certificate, and businesses that train 80% of front-line staff can apply for Games Ready Business Recognition.  

Lee Parsons, Director, Escape Brum said:

“At Escape Brum we pride ourselves on giving a great experience to every guest: Getting Games Ready was an excellent opportunity to refresh our knowledge, plus learn a few new things about the people likely to be visiting the city, and useful information about the Games too!”

Pat Ferrins, Visitor Operations Manager at Birmingham Museums Trust added:
“The team at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery have responded really positively to the Getting Games Ready programme – it’s given them more confidence to make sure our visitors enjoy their time in the city. As the Visitor Operations Manager, I found the programme has a good balance between the importance of delivering excellent customer service and practical information about events.” 

Alex Mee, General Manager of Bloc Hotels Birmingham added:

“As the first business to achieve Games Ready Business recognition, we’d strongly encourage other businesses to take part and join us in ensuring employees across the region have the required knowledge to assist the influx of international visitors with local and Games knowledge.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“Millions of international and domestic tourists will enjoy the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Birmingham 2022 Festival this summer, providing us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase our incredible visitor offer and create memorable experiences for new and returning guests.

“The Getting Games Ready and Get Set for the Games programmes are great assets to help tourism businesses make an incredible first impression as we prepare to welcome guests from across the UK and the Commonwealth during the Games. 

“I would encourage all businesses to take part in the Getting Games Ready training scheme, and to check the latest event information via the Get Set for the Games programme.”

Business owners are also being urged to prepare for the busy summer of sport by visiting Birmingham 2022’s Get Set for the Games online hub.

‘Get Set for the Games’ is a joint campaign involving several Games partners, including Transport for West Midlands, Birmingham City Council and the other local authorities which are working together to host events across the region. The programme will help residents and businesses plan ahead to think about how and when they will travel during the Games.

David Grady, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Chief Financial Officer added:

“There is now less than a month to go to the largest event that our city and region has ever hosted. Come Games time our region will have a huge number of visitors. 

“They will be enjoying world-class sport and culture but will be looking for opportunities to experience what our region has to offer. 

“We encourage all businesses to ‘Get Set’, to plan ahead and ensure they take the opportunities which the Games bring.”

Tourism businesses can take part in the Getting Games Ready scheme by visiting www.welcomewm.com.  

Businesses and residents can access the ‘Get Set for the Games’ Hub at www.birmingham2022.com/getset.