Project coordinator Genevieve Huneault and instructors Tashia Potter and Naomi Nicholson speak at the January Chamber of Commerce meeting. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alberni chamber takes tourism training to businesses

There’s still time to sign up for in-person or online learning

It’s been a little more than a year since the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures and the city of Port Alberni launched the free Alberni Valley Tourism Training Program, and project coordinator Genevieve Huneault is hoping to increase participation in the last few months of the program.

READ: Chamber program will offer tourism training

AVTTP has seen just over 200 in attendance, and has reached more than 20 businesses in town.

“I think that’s a really great reach,” said Huneault. “We’ve accomplished a really great social media following and we’re building relationships with tour operators here in Port Alberni.”

The training is targeted at front line workers in local stores, high school and university students, managers and business owners and people who interact with visitors. The training is completely free, and provides people with a chance to refine their customer service, marketing and communication skills, while learning a bit about Port Alberni, its history and its First Nations culture.

In its second year, the program is working to address delivery and accessibility. While previous sessions had set dates hosted at the Chamber of Commerce, Huneault said they are now promoting in-house programs for businesses, with a schedule that suits business owners and employees.

“We recognize that there’s sometimes a challenge with having a set date,” she said. “With the switch in delivery, it will be more accessible.”

In mid-February, the AVTTP will also be offering online courses for three of the four programs (Alberni Valley Tourism, Cultural Awareness and Social Media).

“It’s based on your own time, at the comfort of your own home,” said Huneault. “We want to increase the awareness and get that information out there.”

The online courses will still be engaging, with discussion portions either through the module or through a Facebook group. Online students will also still receive a certificate for each module they complete, as well as a $10 gift card to a local business for each module.

If you want to join the program, sooner is better than later. The program is part of a grant initiative that only stretches for 20 months. After the month of May, there is no guarantee that it will be offered or that it will be free of charge.

“We’re encouraging people to capitalize on it now,” said Huneault.

The modules usually require a minimum of 7-10 people, but Huneault said they can make arrangements for businesses that have fewer numbers.

“We’re flexible. We’re nice,” she laughed.

AVTTP will be hosting an information session at Char’s Landing on Thursday, March 8, featuring a free wine and cheese sampler, as well as a learning component. Stations will be set up with introductions to the different modules, and students will have a chance to meet instructors.

“It’s a less formal way of learning some of the content,” said Huneault.

Overall, Huneault said she wants to see this program have a benefit to the local community.

“We’re hoping that they’ll use these skills to aid visitors as they come through,” she said. “We want to develop that industry a bit, so people don’t just pass through.”

For more information about the program, check out the webpage www.albernivalleytourismtraining.com or the Facebook page Alberni Valley Tourism Training Program.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Ahousaht welcomes massive Surfrider Canada conference to Meares Island near Tofino

“It was the first time we’ve all come together.”

Alberni RCMP kept busy with 170 calls over May long weekend

Detachment answers calls from fatal vehicle crash to man with a gun, trailer thefts

Celebrate cycling in Port Alberni during Bike to Work and School Week

Numerous ‘celebration stations’ are planned for May 28 to June 2

Chaos and creativity reign at Alberni’s Rollin Art Centre

The next art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre will be an… Continue reading

Ucluelet shakes up emergency services, removes manager, eyes new sirens

District has eliminated Emergency and Environmental Manager position

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

RCMP caution boaters after two kids pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning

Both children were given oxygen and taken to hospital

B.C. invests $115M to create 200 new nurse practitioner jobs

Health Minister says 780,000 B.C. residents don’t have a family doctor

Supreme Court rules social housing residents in B.C. deserve rights too

Tenants trying to stabilize their living situations should not face less legal rights than those paying market rates: Judge

Union calls on prime minister to step into ‘stalled’ Phoenix compensation talks

For more than two years, thousands of federal workers have been affected by Phoenix system

Judge: President Trump can’t block critics on Twitter

The judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics

NFL owners adopt new policy to address anthem protests

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by owners

Most Read