Launching the new coach meet and greet service for Durham City Centre. Left to right: Melanie Owen f
Georgina Wilczek

Member Article

Durham Businesses Launch New Meet and Greet Service

Four of Durham City’s most visited tourist destinations have joined together to offer a brand new meet and greet service for coaches.

Durham Markets, Crook Hall and Gardens, Durham Cathedral and Durham University (represented by the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre) will offer a Meet and Greet service, Monday to Saturday, between Monday 19th March and Saturday 29th September 2012 from 9.30am and 11.30am.

Building on the original service which was launched by the Tourist Information Centre several years ago, the four destinations have agreed to work together to provide a representative on duty between 9:30am and 11:30am, Monday to Saturday, to meet and greet all arriving coaches at the Drop-Off point at the rear of Walkergate in the centre of Durham. The Meet and Greet representative will be on hand to provide visitors with maps of the City, details of any events on in the City that day and a food voucher for the driver.

“Durham can be a confusing place to navigate, comments Maggie Bell, owner of Crook Hall and Gardens. “We all know of people who have mistaken St Nicholas’ Church in the Market Place for the Cathedral or who can’t find the Castle. As a new visitor to the City, what could be more helpful than a friendly person to meet you at the coach drop off and explain Durham’s geography and show you where to go? We are delighted to be a part of this initiative and hope that it will continue for many years to come.”

“This service is an invaluable way for us to extend a warm welcome to the group travel trade and encourage as many visitors into the city as possible,” comments Colin Wilkes, Manager of Durham Markets. “The extra footfall generated by group travel has a welcome effect on businesses throughout the city centre, particularly during the summer months. We are keen to make sure that these visitors enjoy a warm reception on arrival, and hopefully ensure that the coaches keep coming back.”

“It is a great initiative, providing visitors with a welcome, a brief introductory overview, and a friendly face to answer a few questions about Durham. Our experience with the new World Heritage Site Visitor Centre shows that a warm welcome makes all the difference, and has a significant impact on visitors’ impressions of Durham,” adds Seif El Rashidi, Durham World Heritage Site Coordinator.

“It is not every city which is able to offer such a useful service to arriving coaches,” says David Holding, Regional Manager of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Northern. “It is excellent to see four of Durham City’s most visited attractions working together for the benefit of all, and we wish them every success in establishing the new Meet and Greet service next month.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Georgina Wilczek .

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