Regional Tourism Ambassador Program Starts Aug 22
A New Frontline Training Program Covers the History of the Tri-County Area
and How to Share an Authentic Sense of Place with Our Guests
August 20, 2012 – Monterey, CA – The mission of Monterey Bay Ambassadors is to create a region-wide network of certified frontline employees and volunteers, trained as experts in sharing the region’s story and connecting guests to an authentic sense of place, encouraging longer stays and return visits.
Many destinations all over the U.S. and even the world have tourism ambassador programs that train and certify their frontline to be local trivia and guest satisfaction experts with a keen sense of place and a passion to share it with others. Our region has been waiting for a high caliber frontline training program, and Monterey Bay Ambassadors (MBA) is finally here.
MBA is a product of Monterey County Business Council’s Tourism Competitive Cluster group. A steering committee was compiled of advisors and area specialists from a variety of key regional tourism industry organizations and attractions. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, Monterey Bay Aquarium, The National Steinbeck Center, and California State University Monterey Bay are a few of the organizations that have helped prepare for the first year’s program. It is being piloted in Monterey County, even though the curriculum includes information on Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties as well, with the intension to expand and offer the program to the whole region.
The inaugural class will begin with its first of a two-part workshop on Wednesday, August 22, from 8:30 until 10:30 AM at the Community Foundation Center in Monterey. Training will be facilitated by Sylecia Johnston, the MBA program manager and a sustainable destination management professional at Monterey County Business Council, and Tish Sammon, a local history expert with Historic Monterey. The second workshop will be held September 5th at the same time and place, led by Dr. John Avella, who is the Director of Hospitality Management at CSUMB and a Master Trainer of the EQi (emotional intelligence assessment).
Training will be offered monthly to any interested individual for $25 and includes 4 hours of workshop time, a small assignment, some supplemental reading materials and an open book test, after which participants will become certified ambassadors at a ceremony where they will receive a certificate, a pin, and other perks that come with the designation. Annual recertification is acquired for a small fee and by participating in a few events throughout the year. Ambassadors also have the opportunity to become a MBA trainer and receive a stipend for their time.
Sponsorships are available to local businesses who wish to send their employees through the program and to be recognized on MBA presentations and publications. This program is for those business owners who are ready to tap into the experience economy and align themselves with the vision to create a destination that goes beyond a tourist’s expectations. Training of staff on site can be arranged.
Monterey County Business Council is an alliance of business executives and professionals providing collaborative leadership to help people from business, government, education, and the community work together on countywide issues reflecting our organization's strong commitment to the environment, economic vitality, and quality of life.
Competitive Clusters (C2) is a public/private partnership between the County of Monterey and Monterey County Business Council and is designed to implement economic development action initiatives as well as to provide an economic vision and strategy to guide future economic development efforts. The Tourism Competitive Cluster group focuses on a sustainable tourism industry by identifying issues and coming up with creative solutions and initiatives for an enhanced visitor experience. It is open to the public and meets the 4th Tuesday of every month from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at various locations.
For more information on the Monterey County Business Council and its programs, please call 831.582.3234 or contact Mary Ann Leffel, President, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nancy Martin, Executive Director, at email@example.com.
For more information on the Monterey Bay Ambassadors program, please contact Sylecia Johnston, Program Manager, at 831.582.3236 or firstname.lastname@example.org