HOUSTON (January 23, 2017) – Houston First Corporation has received the first ever Forbes Travel Guide Hospitality Training Certification just ahead of the city hosting Super Bowl LI.  The training is focused on providing front line personnel in organizations such as hotels, restaurants, attractions, airports and tour companies with best practices and professional guidelines that will help make Houston excel in customer satisfaction.

More than 150 professional industry associates attended the 4-hour interactive seminar, held this morning at The Houstonian Hotel.  The certification will serve Houston well for the estimated 138,000 out-of-town guests coming to the city for Super Bowl, but also for the millions more who visit Houston annually.  Houston received 17.5 million visitors in 2015 and Houston First Corporation is looking to increase that number to 20 million by 2018.

“We are excited to be able to bring this opportunity to our local hospitality industry.  We all benefit with this training, improving the visitor experience means return visits and increased economic impact for Houston,” Said Jorge Franz, senior vice president of tourism for Houston First Corporation.

“It's fantastic to see Houston be the very first city to offer Forbes Travel Guide Hospitality Service Training. This will not only generate great enthusiasm amongst every associate that influences a tourist stay, it will have a positive impact on one’s stay and the desire to return to Houston”.  Said Micarl Hill, Senior Vice President, Brand Development for Forbes Travel Guide.


About Houston First Corporation and Visit Houston:
Houston First Corporation operates the city's finest convention and arts facilities to position Houston as a world-class destination. In 2014, Houston First and the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau aligned their operations to provide a single clear voice for the city under the brand Visit Houston. Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel and manages 11 city-owned buildings, plazas and parking facilities. Properties include the George R. Brown Convention Center, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Wortham Center and Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. For more information, log on to HoustonFirst.com and VisitHouston.com

About Forbes Travel Guide:
Forbes Travel Guide is the global authority on luxury travel. Since 1958, starting as Mobil Travel Guide, Forbes Travel Guide has been the expert on refined, intuitive service. The company’s incognito inspectors use a checklist of more than 800 standards to evaluate hotels, restaurants and spas to determine which stand out as the icons of the industry.



Celia Morales