Colorado Tourism Office’s online concierge training not just for hospitality workers | PostIndependent.com

Colorado Tourism Office’s online concierge training not just for hospitality workers

Glenwood Springs Visitor Center staffer Eve Cammon, front of counter, goes over some of the routine tourist instructions with new hire Devon Starnes on Monday afternoon.
John Stroud/Post Independent
Ever wondering how to pronounce “concierge”? Some people fancy it up as con-see-AIR or con-see-AY as a tribute to the word’s French roots (though it turns out even the French don’t pronounce it that way). Americans, on the other had, use the soft “g” sound: con-see-AIRZH. Source: Colorado Tourism Office

Pointing visitors in the right direction to take in all that Glenwood Springs has to offer isn’t just the job of hospitality workers anymore.

Any Colorado employer or employee whose business might benefit from tourist dollars has a vested interest, according to state and local tourism officials.

That goes for the local convenience store clerk or liquor store owner, same as the front-desk hotel worker or visitor information center employee.

Now, thanks to the Colorado Tourism Office, just about anyone can become a local tourism expert.

At least that’s the idea behind the state’s new “Be a Colorado Concierge” free online training program.

“It’s really meant to help everybody who might come in contact with someone who comes in and asks, ‘Hey, what’s there to do around here?'” said Lisa Langer, director of tourism promotion for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

Langer said she encourages any of the chamber’s business associates to take advantage of the new training program.

“Hopefully we’ll be one of the star communities to get everybody all trained up,” Langer said. “It’s very useful, and helps people feel confident about giving out that kind of information.”

The four-module training program, available at BeAColoradoConcierge.com, provides information about Colorado in general and its various travel regions.

According to Cathy Ritter, executive director for the Colorado Office of Tourism, the workforce training program can be utilized by any type of front-line worker.

The training modules cover four areas

  • General Colorado knowledge;
  • Care for Colorado, which ties into the state Tourism Office’s new sustainability program;
  • Colorado travel regions; and,
  • Colorado-style customer service.

“The goal is to turn our front-line workers into Colorado experts, while training them to the ethic of Colorado hospitality,” Ritter said during a recent joint chamber luncheon that brought together representatives from the Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt, Aspen and Rifle chambers.

In developing the program, state tourism officials conducted some research to find out what makes Colorado hospitality unique, she said.

“One of the things that emerged from this is that most visitors don’t care all that much about mints on their pillow, or being treated like a VIP,” Ritter said. “What they really care about is being able to feel that somebody cares about them.”

The training covers everything from basic Colorado travel facts, such as the state’s national parks and monuments, popular day trips, scenic byways, state parks, to the rules around legal cannabis consumption.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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