what is a tourism ambassador

What is a Tourism Ambassador?

What is a tourism ambassador?

A tourism ambassador is an individual trained to help create better visitor experiences that increase visitor spending, satisfaction, length of stay and repeat visitation. Ambassadors may be front line employees at local hotels, restaurants, attractions and transportation, civic leaders, volunteers and similar stakeholders. Ambassadors demonstrate exceptional hospitality that supports destination marketing objectives, competitive advantage and stakeholder alignment. Ambassadors understand the benefits of tourism to their community and serve as advocates for tourism initiatives. 

RELATED: Why Your Destination Needs Tourism Ambassadors

RELATED: Tourism Ambassador Training

Who can be a tourism ambassador?

Anyone who completes the training can become a tourism ambassador.

Tourism Ambassadors from all possible market sectors come together to create a full visitor experience. Destinations, both big and small, can align these sectors successfully because each benefits from a positive visitor experience!  Here are just a few of those who are positively impacted by your credentialed tourism ambassadors (CTA).

  • Transportation hubs like Airports, Rail Stations, Bus Depots, etc.

  • Activities, Attractions & Events - arts, culture, heritage, casinos, sports

  • Government - City, State, Federal - elected officials like mayors and city council, government employees like police and community outreach

  • Community Members - Passionate Volunteers & Local Citizens

  • Conference Hotels, Convention Centers & Meeting Places

  • Local Mom & Pop Shops and Downtown Merchants

  • Community & Workforce Development / Economic Development

  • Schools & Higher Education - colleges, universities, community colleges

  • Medical Facilities - Urgent Care Centers & Hospitals

  • Lodging & Hotels - home rentals, beds & breakfast, RV parks, hotels, etc.

  • Bars, Clubs, Lounges & Nightlife

  • Real Estate and Reinvestment Firms

  • Places to Dine - coffee shops, restaurants, classy joints and local favorites

  • Commercial Real Estate - malls, downtown alliances, retailers, districts, etc.

  • Event Facilities - convention center, arena, theaters, concert halls, sporting events

  • Modes of Transport - Uber, Lyft, taxi, cab, shuttle, public transit, local trolly, limo, motorcoach

  • Tourism Promoters - Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO), Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Chambers of Commerce & Community Economic Development Groups

  • Everyone else - Tourism Spending benefits every local person and entity through reduced taxes and economic development, including local banks, corporations, etc.

How can I become a tourism ambassador?

Take the course

If your destination offers a tourism ambassador training program, take their online course now. Click here to search.

If your destination is not listed, contact your local convention & visitors bureau or destination marketing organization to let them know you're interested. 

Take Pride in Providing Service to Others

Being of service to others is important and valued. Be courteous and friendly. Smile and greet your customers in a welcoming manner. Ask how you can help. Listen to them and make them feel like they are an important part of your day. A positive, cheerful attitude is pivotal to a great first impression.

Know Your Community

Develop a thorough knowledge of local activities, events and attractions. Make a list of your favourite things to do in your area. Better yet, make it a community effort – work with other businesses, associations and town administrators to create a list of attractions, events and popular activities. Distribute the list to every local business and organization, and encourage operators to share with staff. As a bonus, you may discover something new about your community and develop a deeper sense of pride in your hometown.

Share Information and Resources

Stock up on maps and materials offering visitor information. Travellers will be grateful when you can provide them with information or show them directions. Organizers of local events or festivals may have brochures or flyers that you can distribute to your customers. The materials often become conversation starters. They are reminders of the busy schedule of local activities and enable fast and easy reference. With examples on hand, no one can say, "There is nothing to do around here." If there are no specific activities that day, use the examples and resources to highlight upcoming events. Your guests may decide to extend their stay or plan a return visit.

Take the Lead

Your leadership and the positive experiences that you provide as a tourism ambassador will inspire others. People may come forward with their own ideas for making the community a welcoming destination. Informal networks may grow into formal tourism and economic development strategies. Your personal effort may be what it takes to get the ball rolling.

Share and Celebrate Accomplishments

Organize, as a community, to recognize and reward those who go “above and beyond.” Highlight their efforts in the local newspaper or a company newsletter. Share stories of appreciation that you hear from visitors.

How can my destination create a tourism ambassador program?

It's easy. Have a representative of your local convention and visitors bureau contact The Tourism Academy. From there, our team of instructional designers and tourism experts will build a course that meets your community's needs. We'll then provide all of the tools needed to easily manage the course while being able to track participation, engagement, retention and distribution from the instructor dashboard. 

Click here to learn more. 

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