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Brenda is top tourism ambassador in Medway

Date: 15/05/2008           Category: Tourism

Brenda O’Donovan, costumed guide and visitor host at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, took two top awards at the first Medway Tourism Ambassadors presentations. The Visit Kent awards recognise people from local tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses who consistently deliver outstanding customer service. Brenda, who has worked at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, for eight years, won the top title of Medway Tourism Ambassadors Award for Exceptional Customer Service as well as the award for Heritage Attraction Employee of the Year. She said: “I was amazed and very proud to win the awards. I am very grateful to the visitors who took the time to fill out a nomination form recommending me for an award. “I am not sure that I do anything very special I just love talking to the visitors about all our attractions and listening to what they have to say. And, as everywhere in life, a smile goes a very long way.” Victoria Melhuish, Francis Bethel and Sarah Hirsch were presented with first prize for the team of costumed characters at Dickens World while Alan Wood, of Buckmore Park Karting Circuit, gained the Leisure Attraction Employee of the Year Award. James Hefferman, of the Ramada Encore, Chatham, was named Hotel Employee of the Year. Roger and Janet Reader, of Salisbury House Bed and Breakfast, Rochester, were rewarded for their customer service with the title of B&B Employee of the Year. Runners up included Jane Chaplin, of Rochester Castle; Jim Spellman and David Hale, of Riverside Country Park; and Pam Wood and the costumed guides at the Historic Dockyard Chatham. Judges also made a special mention of the excellent work done by the staff at the Medway Visitor Information Centre in ensuring people received a warm welcome to the area. The winners had all been nominated for an award by Medway visitors and residents who were impressed with the customer service they had received. The awards were presented at Dickens World by local radio presenter Vanessa Elms and Cllr Jane Chitty, Medway Council portfolio holder for Strategic Development, Economic Growth and Tourism. Cllr Chitty, said: “This event is vital in recognising the excellent customer service provided by Medway tourism staff. A warm welcome is key to ensuring repeat visits especially to a growing destination such as Medway. There is so much taking place in tourism in Medway at the moment in terms of hotel development, the new Dickens World, the National Museum at Chatham, and the prospective World Heritage Site status.” The Medway Tourism Ambassador Awards are part of a wider Pride campaign in Kent and Medway raising awareness of the contribution tourism makes to the local economy and the importance of good customer service. ends