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February 12, 2013
City of Toronto's We've Been Expecting You program wins Economic Developers Council of Ontario award
  
The City of Toronto's Welcome to Toronto...We've Been Expecting You (WBEY) hospitality excellence program won an Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) award.

This award, in the Product Development - Workforce Development category, was presented last week at the President's Dinner during the EDCO Annual Conference in London, Ont.

“Toronto is a fantastic city that has so much to offer visitors,” said Mayor Rob Ford. “This award recognizes the City’s commitment to providing businesses with the tools they need to succeed in the tourism industry.”

WBEY was developed in 2011 by the City of Toronto with the support of Tourism Toronto and the Province of Ontario, to instil a culture of hospitality excellence throughout the city, and to help support and unify organizations and businesses by providing training and tools that connect and inspire visitors around the common message of 'Welcome to Toronto'. More than 1,000 participants representing 144 organizations have participated in the program to date.

"The WBEY program is a successful example of how Toronto can make a visitor's first impression of our city a positive one," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of Toronto's Economic Development Committee. "Visitors who feel welcome are more likely to affect our economy in a positive way, and more likely to sing Toronto's praises to others."

"The Royal Ontario Museum has embraced the opportunity to work with the City of Toronto and other industry partners in making the WBEY program goals a reality," said Cheryl Blackman, Assistant Vice-President, ROM Audience. "WBEY seamlessly integrates with our existing strategic focus to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for our visitors. Our front of house team has been trained in the WBEY philosophy, and we've also partnered with the Art Gallery of Ontario in creating joint training opportunities for both of our organizations for the first time which benefits everyone."

"We are pleased to support WBEY's efforts to educate and train tourism and service staff in the principles of hospitality excellence," said David Whitaker, President and CEO, Tourism Toronto. "Creating a service culture and attitude among all our key stakeholders for welcoming visitors, not unlike preparing for and welcoming visitors into our homes, is a vital component in ensuring the guest experience exceeds expectations, not to mention helping them choose to return to visit Toronto again and again."

The EDCO awards are presented to Ontario organizations that have developed leading edge, innovative marketing programs, or designed and implemented new initiatives or best practices to foster economic growth. For more information please visit: http://www.edco.on.ca/programs/edco-awards

For more information on the WBEY program please visit: www.toronto.ca/wbey

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
John Gosgnach
Communications Manager
416-392-8386
jgosgna@toronto.ca

 

 

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