The simple answer is I wouldn't have waited for 45 minutes in a disorganised shambles of a queue, in a grotty area with nothing to do but concern myself whether I am standing in the right area to get out of this as quickly as possible. I also wouldn't be reading notices which try and convince me that the reason for the long queues is because we have tightened security by asking more questions - a notion blown out of the water when the only words shared (when I finally made it to the desk) were "can you remove the passport from the holder - because it makes it easier for me!"
So what if Disney did run the UK Border Agencies
Staff scheduling would be done to ensure the right people with the right skillset were available at the right time to deal with demand that could be easily forecast. Management would not simply be standing around watching the shambles, rather stepping in and helping make the experience better for guests.
The Immigration officers would be well trained to appreciate and deliver against the vision and mission of providing a welcoming and safe nation that guests want to return to time after time. Targets would be set which drive the behaviours that meet this goal - they would smile and be welcoming while clearly demonstrating professionalism.
Where a queue exists it would be orderly and well managed providing guests with material which passes the time informatively and interestingly. Video reels and information would engage and enforce showing:
- Athletic reels exciting and reminding people about the fact that London is Olympic Host city
- Our rich history
- Our amazing architecture and places to visit - challenging guests to consider visiting more places or indeed plan to visit again in the future
- Our sporting culture e.g. the Premier League for example is the most watched league in the world
- Our musical and artistic talents and heritage
- Interesting facts to challenge the misplaced stereotypes that exist - Did you know that research shows Britain is stereotyped internationally as Sherlock Holmes of the Basil Rathbone variety
- The array of Tourist attractions
- Our excellent and varied food - Did you know how many Michelin starred restaurants we have?
- The variety of stunning Pubs and clubs - a rich and envied history
Information sources produced by the nation would be readily available with the mission and vision in mind - selling the brand. This rather than the HSBC Guide to London available as you disembark your plane found right alongside their averts extolling how many Michellin Starred restaurants Tokyo has!
In this the year of the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee we could do so much better and still preserve the professionalism of the agency and the security of our nation. This space all the way from the doors of the plane through to airside arrivals and visa versa is marketing manna from heaven (as it is at every UK ingress or egress point). Disney would be selling what we have to offer to today's and tomorrow's guests - building a legacy and maximising the value of the Olympic investment.
“Take tourism seriously” - what a joke! Tourism is clearly not taken seriously and this abject failure is embarrassing and saddening. We need to act now before we miss the opportunity of a generation.
In conclusion perhaps the question should be - If anyone ran UK Border Control other than who does?
Being miserable faced, hardly speaking and inhospitable is not professional and secure it's simply rude.
In : Marketing
Tags: "customer service" airport olympics marketing disney heathrow "london 2012"
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