City of Nacogdoches Main Street to host hospitality training for area businesses

     Helping make downtown Nacogdoches a “Texas Friendly” downtown will be the goal of an upcoming workshop hosted by the Main Street Program.

     Samantha Mora, Director of Alumni Events & Engagement for SFASU Alumni Association will lead the workshop. Participants will learn about Nacogdoches’ opportunities for tourism development, as well as the basics of customer service.

     The workshop will be held on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at Nacogdoches City Hall, 202 E. Pilar Street in downtown Nacogdoches. The session will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10 a.m.. The workshops are open to anyone interested in sharpening his or her customer service skills.

     “In today’s hurry-up society, we sometimes forget how to slow down and treat the customer or visitor with respect and friendliness,” said O’Brien. “It is so imperative for front line customer services workers to treat our visitors with a ‘Texas Friendly’ attitude, often those casual experiences are the impressions that visitors take home with them.”

     The program uses curriculum developed by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. The Texas Friendly program encourages business owners as well as employees to promote hospitality habits when dealing with local customers and visitors.

     According to Texas Economic Development, the state agency for economic development, tourism is a $40 billion industry in Texas each year. In Nacogdoches County travelers and tourists spent nearly $57.0 million in 2006.

     “Nacogdoches and downtown have so much to offer visitors,” said O’Brien. “Visitors to Nacogdoches have it all – from unique shopping destinations, history galore, to unparalleled nature tourism- like the Ruby M. Mize azalea garden, Texas’ largest in fact. I don’t think most of our residents realize how big of an impact tourism has on our local economy.”

     “We know that these workshops benefit not only the individual attendees but also Nacogdoches residents and the many visitors we welcome downtown to the oldest town in Texas each and every year,” O’Brien said. Last summer Nacogdoches was named a finalist for the Friendliest Small Town in America, by Rand McNally and USA Today.

     Class size is limited, and advanced registration is required. To register for the Texas Friendly Hospitality Workshop, call the Main Street Office at 936-559-2573. The cost is free for all downtown business and $15 for any other interested participants. Participants will be given a certificate of completion.

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