COMPETITIVE prices and stimulating promotions to entertain a wide range of audiences help to make JORVIK Viking Centre a flagship attraction in York’s tourism offer.

JORVIK which is vying for the Retail, Tourism and Leisure Business of the Year title takes customers back 1,000 years to discover the city’s Viking legacy.

By constantly improving staff training and visitor interaction it is more accessible and engaging than ever.

The centre has a front of house team of interactive ‘Vikings’, admissions and reservations staff to ensure customers thoroughly enjoy their experience, from the booking process to their journey around the attraction. Customers can pre-book online or by contacting the reservation team, who can also answer queries. When they arrive, visitors can expect a friendly welcome on the door before starting their journey back in time.

As well as being trained on the history of the 10th century city, the centre’s ‘Vikings’ are very approachable and wear authentic period clothing - they can even speak some Old Norse.

All staff are access trained and encouraged to undertake additional training including Blue Assist, Welcome All, Dementia Friends, Guiding the Blind and British Sign Language.

Staff utilise a wide range of access provisions, enabling customers to queue jump if they need to and accepting MAX Cards and Carer ID cards for free admission; and provide Braille and large print guides, ear defenders, and traffic light stickers which enable customers to choose their level of interaction.

As usual, the centre has enjoyed excellent feedback from customers about its staff this year. Exit research data shows that 97 per cent of those surveyed found both Viking staff and the overall staff welcome ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

Since re-opening in 2017 the centre has also received enthusiastic responses about its updated ride experience.

Its key markets are families and independent adult travellers. The centre also targets international visitors. Its ride has commentary in 14 languages, and it has been working with Visit York and tour companies to attract international groups, particularly Chinese visitors.

JORVIK Viking Centre’s profits are ploughed back into the work of York Archaeological Trust, which also includes running the JORVIK group of attractions, providing archaeological services, and undertaking charitable work in education and community archaeology.