'Ambassadors' in town streets

"Town ambassadors" could soon be wandering the streets of Alexandra to welcome visitors and pass on their knowledge about the district.

Promote Alexandra was calling for volunteers with good knowledge of the town and region to become a "go-to person on the street", group secretary Liz Wright said.

"People who want to tell [visiting] people about Alexandra."

She said the idea was that they would work in pairs and be "stationed by key places like the Visitors Centre, New World and the Post Office, approaching people that look like visitors".

Armed with resources such as the visitors' guide, they would advise people on things like local attractions and the travelling times to reach them.

Ms Wright said the idea was timed to coincide with the end of the Rugby World Cup visitors and the Blossom Festival but could also operate at other busy times, such as Christmas, New Year or with other big events.

"Anything that will bring lots of people to Alexandra."

It was hoped the service would operate between 11am and 3pm, but the number of days a week it could run would depend on the number of volunteers, Ms Wright said.

The Vincent Community Board last week agreed to donate $3925 to the group for the programme. Board member Tim Cadogan said he was impressed with the energy of the group, its strategies and its processes.

There would be a "huge" number of people in the area for the world cup and it was important to be as welcoming as possible.

"The more welcoming we are, the more likely those visitors are to spend money in our district," he said.

Ms Wright said the funding would go towards training for the volunteers.

She said the volunteers would have liquor-ban training from the community constable, with St John providing first aid training. The i-SITE and Tourism Central Otago have also been asked to be involved.

Uniforms were expected to include T-shirts or polo shirts and hats.

People interested were encouraged to brush up on knowledge of the local area.

Inquiries can be made to info@alexandra.co.nz

- sarah.marquet@odt.co.nz


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