A new initiative to develop Auckland tourism ‘ambassadors’ has been launched today, with the ultimate aim of enhancing the experience of visitors to our region.

The training programme is designed to upskill frontline staff from Auckland tourism businesses, helping them expand their local knowledge, and providing them with simple tools to create positive and memorable experiences for visitors to the region.

Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) Head of Tourism, Jason Hill, says the programme will equip tourism staff who interact with visitors every day with useful information about the Auckland region.

“Tourism is one of Auckland’s and New Zealand’s most important sectors. In the year to July 2017, total tourism spend in Auckland was $7.9 billion, with international visitors spending $4.3b – up 6.1% for the year.*

"International visitors already rate us very highly as a destination, and this course will add to the warm welcome visitors already receive when they come here.

"Participants in this ambassador programme will learn more about Auckland, becoming story tellers and advocates for the region and enhancing the experience that visitors have when they travel here."

Participants will take part in a three hour workshop which delves into the history and unique story of Auckland, including local Māori history and legends, the experience of early settlers and how the local economy has evolved up to present day.

They will also will receive tips on how to better connect with visitors from key international markets, ensuring they are left with a positive and lasting impression of Auckland.

The bespoke course has been developed by Queenstown Resort College which has successfully rolled out variants of the programme in four locations including Queenstown and Wanaka. The ‘Auckland Ambassador Programme’ will be the first of its kind in the North Island.

"Overall, the workshop explores alternative techniques which incur minimal cost to tourism businesses in Auckland but add immeasurable value to the visitor experience," says Jason Hill.

Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy is an example of a local tourism business which is getting behind the ‘Auckland Ambassador Programme’ by enrolling all staff for training. 

Tash Lawrence, Sales Manager, Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy, says: "Being an ambassador for our great region is a privilege.

"Every day we engage with visitors from across the globe and I feel passionate about making sure each visitor leaves with a lasting and positive impression by connecting and sharing Tāmaki Makaurau’s unique story.

"Part of the programme helps you find common ground with people from other countries – if you’re hosting visitors from India, just mention cricket and in particular that we have had Sachin Tendulkar do these Auckland activities. You are guaranteed to impress!"

The programme is open to everyone for a small fee of $40 + GST per person. For more information visit http://nzambassador.com/.

Anika Forsman
Senior Communications Advisor
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Kim Hayman
Communications Advisor
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