Phil Whitney trains Abergavenny taxi driver, Mike Bloor
A college in Colwyn Bay has been working hard to ensure visitors to the Ryder Cup in Newport receive a warm Welsh welcome.
Taxi drivers, hotel staff and course marshals are among 7,000 people following a training programme designed by Llandrillo College.
The college won the contract after years of experience managing a Canadian-devised programme called Welcome Host in Wales.
“Over the years, we’ve developed a lot of experience in the concept of welcoming visitors,” said Christine Evans, the project’s development manager.
“When the work went out to tender under the auspices of Croeso Cynnes, we applied, and luckily we got it”
Without a base in south Wales, Llandrillo’s role is to train the trainers who then pass on what they’ve learned to the thousands of volunteers tasked with welcoming international golf fans.
“It wasn’t a big project in terms of money,” said Christine. “We got £10,000 to develop the training. But I’m always keen that whatever is happening across Wales, our region gets a shot at taking part, too.”
Among the 2,500 people who have so far attended the face-to-face version of the workshops are hotel workers and staff on the Severn Bridge, Arriva trains and the ferry terminals in Pembrokeshire.
“We wanted to give the training a Welsh stamp,” explained Christine. “And it’s not a course where people just go through a book.
“It’s high impact, with interactive films and soundbites of useful Welsh words. Everybody will be saying ‘croeso’ and ‘bore da’ to all the visitors.”
Each volunteer will also get the Foldilocks; a credit-card sized information pack, patented by the college which comprises 30 sides of useful information about the south east Wales area.
“The legacy idea behind the training is that it can also act as a blueprint for future major events,” said Chris Allen, event welcome coordinator for Capital Region Tourism who are funding the training.
“The Ryder Cup content can be taken out, and information about maybe the Eisteddfod or Wakestock be slotted in instead.”
He has been very pleased with the materials provided by the north Wales college.
“It was a tight turn around for Llandrillo because they only won the tender in December, and we needed to start the training in February,” said Chris. “But they’ve provided exactly what we were looking for.
“The purpose of the training is to use the Ryder Cup as a large advert for Wales. Whenever a visitor comes into contact with one of the volunteers, Wales will be given off in a positive light and as much information as possible is given over to them.”
A further 4,000+ volunteers have watched a 15-minute training film about the best way to welcome visitors to Wales. It’s available on the