People 1st, the sector skills council for the hospitality, leisure, tourism and travel sectors, has launched a campaign to train 200,000 staff ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The campaign is designed to raise customer service standards ahead of the 2012 event, plus other landmark sporting occasions, such as the Rugby World Cup in 2015, amid concerns that current service standards could compromise the UK’s ability to take full advantage of the London Games – estimated to generate up to £2bn from visitors. The UK is currently ranked 14th in the international customer service rankings and 13th for its perceived “welcome” by the Nation Brand Index Survey. Under the “WorldHost” training programme, People 1st has adopted a programme which was used to train 39,000 people ahead of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. The initiative already has the support of some of the sector’s largest companies such as McDonald’s and Sodexo.