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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Friday, 9 November, 2001, 06:23 GMT
Commonwealth smiles
Commonwealth Games logo
The games run in Manchester for ten days in 2002
Overseas visitors to the Commonwealth Games in Manchester will be greeted in their own language by smiling teams of specially trained, customer-friendly locals.

Trafford Borough Council has launched a series of language and cultural classes for local people and businesses to make the most of the influx of visitors.

The 17th games are being held at the City of Manchester Stadium and other venues from 25 July to 4 August in 2002.

Kay Harwood, tourism development officer, told BBC News Online: "We need to ensure those visitors receive a warm and professional welcome, encouraging them to make a return visit and also to become ambassadors for the area."

'Cultural awareness'

Funding has been made available for a series of training courses.

There is an introduction to the languages of at least six countries, allowing staff to meet, greet, and assist non-English speaking visitors.

The programme also features a cultural awareness course, to provide an understanding of the expectations of visitors from different countries.

Commonwealth Games Stadium
Thousands of people will flock to the games

The training is designed to improve service standards, and boost the confidence of those meeting overseas visitors.

Mrs Harwood said: "The games may only be two weeks long but there will be a whole programme of events surrounding the games and an enormous number of visitors to the area.

"The message we need to get across to businesses is an investment in their staff is an investment in their business."

Helen Aldous, training manager for the North West Tourist Board, said: "The training will be used to train those who meet visitors to the games and the region in general.

"It will provide them with enhanced customer care skills which will make a real difference to the visitors."

'Affordable games'

The training programmes include two for school children.

Half the tickets for the Manchester 2002 Games are priced at 10 or less, making the event the "affordable games".

Ticket prices start from 5 for sporting events and from 21 for the opening and closing ceremonies.

There will be no booking fees or postage and handling charges on any tickets.

See also:

27 Sep 01 | England
Games website helps pupils
25 Jul 01 | SOL
Games on for Manchester
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