Derry~Londonderry on track to be the first Destination City

27th January 2014

Ilex, the urban regeneration company today announced that the Apprentice Boys of Derry has become the 300th business in the city to successfully receive World Host recognition, having completed the prestigious customer service training programme.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is rolling out this programme in partnership with the Sector Skills Council, People 1st and the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL).  The training programme offers the skills and competencies required for front of house staff, positioning the city and Northern Ireland as a world class tourist destination.

Highlighting the significance of this milestone, Ilex’s Strategy & Regeneration Manager Angela Hughes, Chair of the local WorldHost steering group, said:

“Congratulations to the Apprentice Boys of Derry on their achievement, which is the 300th business in the city to have completed the WorldHost training programme.  Being a part of this programme gives staff the opportunity to achieve a nationally recognised qualification in the art of customer service, promoting a positive sense of pride in your business, your community and the city to create a legacy for 2014 and beyond”.

DEL Operations Manager for Skills Solutions, Sammy Gamble added:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to present this Business Recognition award today and commend all the participants’ commitment in achieving World Host qualifications. All of the staff working in tourism and hospitality need the right skills to ensure that visitors have the very best experience from the moment they arrive here, to the minute they leave. Ensuring people have the skills necessary to make the most of this unique opportunity is of prime importance to the Department, and WorldHost training has proved to be a vital skills training initiative for the sector”.

NITB Industry Development Manager, Carolyn Boyd said: 

“The WorldHost training programme is helping local businesses develop key customer care skills which are vital in raising the overall standard of the visitor experience in Northern Ireland.  I commend the Apprentice Boys of Derry on reaching this milestone as Derry~Londonderry continues towards becoming Northern Ireland’s first WorldHost Destination City”.

Billy Moore, General Secretary of the Apprentice Boys Association added:

"I am thrilled to accept the prestigious recognition award on behalf of the members who completed the training programme.  It is a unique coincidence to be the 300th business in the city to have completed the training, especially as we celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Apprentice Boys organisation.  We do hope and trust that we can continue to provide a positive visitor experience to everyone who enters the Memorial Hall.  We commemorate a very special event in the history of the city and the Association is proud to share its traditions with the entire community".

To sign up to WorldHost or for further information, please contact Ana Mc Colgan on 07786 433203 or email