City of Johannesburg Launches Tourism Ambassador Programme
Event Africa Contributor 13/06/2019 Industry News
In line with its focused approach to continue supporting tourism growth in Johannesburg, the Department of Economic Development: Tourism directorate launched its Tourism Ambassador Programme at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.
“In terms of Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy [GDS], the Joburg 2040 – tourism remains an economic growth imperative on the city’s agenda,” says Cllr Leah Knott, MMC for the City’s Department of Economic Development. “In line with the prioritisation of achieving increased visitor arrivals in the city and contributing towards the economic growth target of 5% by 2021, Joburg Tourism seeks ways to facilitate the tourism experience at sites and attractions in the City, rendering them safe, pleasant, informative and memorable.”
The Tourism Ambassador Programme envisages making Johannesburg a safer destination, leading to an increased number of tourists visiting the City for both leisure and business.
Cllr Michael Sun, MMC for Public Safety, is thrilled to be collaborating with Joburg Tourism on the Tourism Ambassador Programme to create visibility at tourism sites and attractions. “This is a proactive initiative which is set to reduce the number of security incidents affecting tourists and residents. Secondly, the ambassadors will assist in providing tourism information to tourists and visitors.”
With elements of linking ambassadors with visible policing and safety to deliver pleasant tourism experiences, the programme is also geared to create Joburg tourism ambassadors who are knowledgeable about attractions and their key selling points.
The programme looks to enhance tourism safety in specific tourism areas and create 60 direct job opportunities, improving on opportunities created in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Gauteng Tourism Authority is implementing a similar programme on behalf of the National Department of Tourism; however, due to the limited number of monitors allocated, safety concerns are not being adequately addressed.
“We are thrilled that this Mayoral Service delivery initiative is also addressing the issue of reducing unemployment, as 60 unemployed Johannesburg youth, with a minimum of matric qualifications, have been selected to participate,” says Knott. “Selected from applicants in the Department of Public Safety’s unemployed youth database, the team of youngsters will be trained and deployed for a period of three years, receiving a stipend in line with the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) during this time.”
Prior to their deployment, the team of 60 ambassadors will be trained in the following key aspects related to their role:
- Tourism information, geo-locating tourism sites and tourist site guidance
- Service excellence and customer care
- Communication skills and conflict management
- By-law education and awareness on issues such as public roads, street trading etc.
- Road Safety
- Community Patrolling