Gunwharf Quays prepares for Americas Cup tourists

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STORE managers have beaten the starter’s gun by brushing up on how to cope with the expected half a million America’s Cup tourists.

Shops in Gunwharf Quays have been learning how to deal with the number of guests from different cultures.

Tourism expert Liz Sharples, from Portsmouth Business School has guided the stores to make key changes including ensuring sales advisors are trained to answer questions on sizing, currency and tax.

As a part of the training University of Portsmouth students Russia, China, Nigeria, Japan, India and Hong Kong took part in a speed dating-style activity.

The students talked to managers about how their culture likes to be treated and what sort of products people from their country most like to buy.

Mrs Sharples said: ‘It was a superb training session and everyone said it helped them feel better prepared for what is expected to be one of the city’s biggest ever tourism events.

‘The aim of preparation is partly commercial – of course businesses want to encourage repeat visits – but it’s also about the bigger picture for the city and how we are perceived around the world.’

The project was a joint effort between Portsmouth Business School and Land Securities, which manages Gunwharf Quays.

Colin Wilding, general manager at Gunwharf Quays said: ‘With the city gearing up to welcome even more international guests this summer, cultural awareness training seemed to be the perfect initiative to launch our partnership.’