Liverpool: Metropolitan Cathedral wins top tourism award

 Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is the latest Merseyside attraction to be accredited under Visit Britain's Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance service. The recognition, assisted by The Mersey Partnership, comes just nine months after the new Visitor Centre was opened to enhance the welcome to those visiting the City. The scheme, run by Visit Britain, assesses the quality of the 'visitor experience' and awards a quality marque, thereby encouraging operators to enhance quality and spread best practice within the industry. To achieve accreditation the Cathedral staff had to undergo a rigourous process of assessment covering every aspect of hospitality offered, whether through direct contact with the public or through the maintenance of the building and grounds. Areas covered included clear signage and a litter-free environment; assessment of all the facilities, and telephone and personal contact with members of the public. Preparations for the final judgement were overseen by Claire Hanlon (Assistant to the Cathedral Dean); Paul Mannings (Chair of the Guild of Guides); Mark Kershaw (Catering Manager at The Piazza) and Eryl Parry (Visitor Centre Manager). Eryl said: "t is much appreciated that The Mersey Partnership supports Liverpool's Visitor attractions in this way to promote quality of service as a real priority. This is a fitting award, which reflects the hard work put in by staff throughout the Cathedral and recognises the quality of the facilities on offer. The Visitor Centre itself is still only in its first year of opening and already the improvements that we can offer to our guests have surpassed all expectations. The award also recognises and affirms the great work done by so many volunteers in the Cathedral who can feel justly proud of their service and tremendous commitment." Thomas O'Brien, Chief Executive at The Mersey Partnership, said: "The Cathedral is the 23rd venue in the region to receive this national seal of approval - making Merseyside a real hotspot for quality. We are particularly enthused that 50% of Merseyside's attractions are accredited under the VAQAS initiative against a national average of 15%. Mr O'Brien will present the award on Friday at 5pm in The Piazza at Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral.

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