FORRES and the surrounding area has been recognised by an international programme.
The area has become a Worldhost destination after a number of businesses in and around Forres signed up to a programme of customer care training.
The Worldhost programme brings about a new industry benchmark that businesses and their operators can use to ensure that high quality customer service standards are a key part of their operation.
The businesses from Forres and Logie Steading have all earned the certificate which demonstrates to visitors their commitment to customer service.
The Moray Economic Partnership is leading the roll out of the initiative across the region, under its tourism and culture group, with the ultimate goal to have the MoraySpeyside area awarded Worldhost status.
Debbie Herron, local development officer at Forres area community trust said: "As we move into spring and the start of what we hope to be a busy tourist season, we are delighted to have gained Worldhost recognised destination status for Forres and Logie.
"Whilst we all pride ourselves on offering a warm welcome to visitors, this certificate demonstrates to the visitors that we take customer care seriously and that they can be assured of a warm welcome."
One of the businesses that has taken part in the programme is Babalu on Forres High Street.
Director Laura Hanson said: "As a small business, good customer service is vital to our survival, despite many years in the business I did still pick up some tips and hints.
"I think that taking part in the Worldhost training will be a benefit to my business.
"It will help Forres gain Worldhost status which will hopefully encourage even more visitors to visit our beautiful town."
Businesses that have received the Worldhost status are: Forres - Babalu; Cameron Taylor Consulting; Ray’s Opportunities - Community Café; East Lodge; Forres Area Community Trust; Gordon and MacPhail (Benromach); The Mosset Tavern; Oh How Sweet; Philip’s Fine Food and Canary Dwarf. Logie Steading - Logie Steading Bookshop; Logie Steading Art Gallery; Logie Estate; Hellygog craft shop; Iolaire print and design.
Around Forres - Cairngorm Leaf and Bean; Phoenix Café and the Loft.
For more information, prices and for a course in the area visit www.facebook.com/morayspeysideworldhost