Celebrating the launch of a new Wanaka Ambassador programme
are (from left) Warbirds over Wanaka general manager Ed
Taylor, Wanaka Community Board member Ross McRobie, Lake
Wanaka Tourism general manager James Helmore and Queenstown
Resort College chief executive Charlie Phillips, holding
the design for the badge that will be worn by the town's
ambassadors. Photo supplied.
Wanaka is following Queenstown's lead with the launch of
an education initiative allowing locals to enhance the
experience of visitors to the resort.
Queenstown Resort College (QRC) is introducing to Wanaka its
Ambassador Programme, in which participants take a short,
affordable course providing interesting and useful
information on Wanaka's history, culture and offerings.
Once the course is completed, participants become part of the
''ambassador community'', wearing a distinctive black badge
and representing Wanaka to the world by passing on
information to visitors.
QRC chief executive Charlie Phillips said the course
recognised visitors' value and gave participants a positive
mind-set to help holiday-makers.
''Tourists' spending supports local businesses and in turn
the local community. It's about respecting visitors, making a
difference and focusing on the things that cost you
nothing,'' Mr Phillips said.
The Wanaka Chamber of Commerce asked QRC to create an
ambassador programme specific to Wanaka after its
introduction in Queenstown in June 2013.
Chamber vice-chairman Andrew MacKenzie encouraged chamber
members to take part in the programme so businesses could
enhance staff knowledge.
''It doesn't have to be just for hospitality, accommodation
and tourist workers. The programme is designed for those who
have lived here for many years, through to those who have
been here for only a few weeks, so they can share information
about their home town with others,'' Mr MacKenzie said.
The Wanaka programme, backed by the Queenstown Lakes District
Council and Lake Wanaka Tourism, had its pilot launch on
Wednesday. Weekly Wanaka Ambassador sessions start from
January 29. Only one session is necessary to become an
To date, 400 people have taken part in the Queenstown