THE township of Foster has scored very highly in the current Gippsland Tourism Business Audits, as has Prom Country Visitor Information Centre, proving that visitors are being warmly welcomed and well informed of the attractions of this wonderful area.
An initiative of Destination Gippsland, with support from South Gippsland Shire Council and Prom Country Regional Tourism, 12 Gippsland towns and 36 businesses are currently being ‘mystery shopped’ by an independent third party to measure, track and assess the actual customer experience being delivered in our region, providing an honest snapshot of how this district is performing against other Victorian regions.
Foster has ranked number one within the towns so far to have been audited – with the criteria of first impressions, food and beverage, accommodation, and the whole ‘tourism experience’ receiving a perfect score.
The audit revealed that honest friendliness is to be found here – not only from business operators and staff, but also from strangers on the street bidding a friendly ‘hello.’
“We loved the feel of the town. People we met and spoke to were very friendly and seemed proud of their town. Even though this was not a large town, it had everything you need and more,” the mystery shopper reported.
Both service providers and retail outlets were found to be in abundance – with many options for recreation, dining, accommodation – and with all offering great service.
Businesses were given the option to be audited in this manner and only those willing to participate were audited. A ‘mystery shopper’ visits on an undetermined day, making note of the friendliness and helpfulness of the selected businesses, assessing criteria such as accessibility, advertising, signage, parking facilities, internet presence, value for money and quality of product.
Participating businesses receive an extensive report, which is very worthwhile in determining just how the business and staff come across to customers and the likelihood of return visitation and recommendation to others.