Business

Titanic Belfast attracting business tourists from around the world

Laura Cowan, head of business and leisure sales at Titanic Belfast, which will host this year's Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards on Thursday June 13

AN industry leader which values staff as its key asset, Titanic Belfast is again proud to hosting the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards which celebrate success and recognise excellence.

One of Belfast's top visitor attractions, Titanic Belfast has been transformative for tourism in Northern Ireland in recent years and its phenomenal performance demonstrates the venue will continue to lead the way in attracting business and leisure tourists from around the globe.

The facility has just celebrated its busiest year to date and has welcomed more than five million tourists in seven years, including Queen Elizabeth, US former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and American oceanographer and discoverer of the the Titanic, Dr Robert Ballard.

It has hosted more than 2,000 events - including the annual Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards - and has won the prestigious World Leading Tourist Attraction title, all the while constantly recognising that staff have played a central role in this success.

Recently, operational standards across all facets of business were recognised in one of Europe's most prestigious awards: the Ireland Excellence Award from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).

Following an intense assessment into policies, procedures and practices in innovation, excellence, and continuous development, Titanic Belfast was recognised for organisational excellence and as one of the leading companies in Europe.

Chief executive Judith Owens said: “This award is very special to us, as it recognises what our staff do on a daily basis across a wide range of disciplines, from visitor attraction, retail and hospitality, to business & leisure sales, marketing & communications and facilities management.

“Titanic Belfast is recognised for best practise and such awards showcase how we have demonstrated excellence and how we continue to embed excellence into our organisation, at every level.”

Heather Graham, head of human resources, added: “For us, talent really has equalled success, to echo the theme of this year's Irish News & Employment Awards.

“We know that our staff are indeed our biggest asset. From the very beginning, with our T-factor auditions, we have done recruitment differently as we recognised that everyone working at Titanic Belfast is an ambassador for Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole, and it was necessary for individual personalities and passion to shine through.

“We rely on our crew to deliver our famous five-star customer service and be part of all the exciting developments we have in the pipeline. In return, it is not only our product we develop, but our staff as well.

“As a leading employer, we work to ensure employee satisfaction, provide exciting employment opportunities across the board and instil pride wherever people work in the building.

“We have worked to introduce robust training programmes, including substantial on-the-job and bespoke customer service training, while our benefits scheme includes pension contributions, high street discounts and an employee assistance programme.

"There is also a cycle-to-work scheme, free uniforms, life assurance, health benefits such as the flu vaccination, company sick pay, free eye tests and staff taxi for those late working.”

Heather highlighted the importance of continuing to develop and maintain this employee culture, particularly with increasing visitor numbers and diversification of product.

“Titanic Belfast is working hard to ensure tourism and hospitality are seen as strong career choices in Northern Ireland in the future,” she said.

“We need to sustain this and encourage even more growth in the years ahead, especially as the outlook for the industry is so strong.”

:: Finalists in the 2019 Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards will be announced on Thursday May 16. The awards themselves take place in Titanic Belfast on Thursday June 13. More details at www.irishnews.com/wea. Follow us on Twitter at @irishnewsWEA

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