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Ambassadors put Heart into our city

PUBLISHED: 17:48 24 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:31 01 July 2010

Mike Loveday

Mike Loveday

Mary Hamilton

A pilot scheme to train taxi drivers, hotel staff and market traders to become ambassadors for Norwich has been a big success - and organisers say they will now look to make it a permanent asset for people working in the tourism industry.

A pilot scheme to train taxi drivers, hotel staff and market traders to become ambassadors for Norwich has been a big success - and organisers say they will now look to make it a permanent asset for people working in the tourism industry.

More than 30 people attended the first free pilot session of the Ambassadors scheme on Monday, including people whose jobs involve working with tourists, managers in the industry and members of the public interested in acting as champions celebrating the city's sights and experiences.

Their feedback will now be used to help create a rolling programme that could produce more than 200 city ambassadors in the first 18 months - and thousands more if Norwich wins the City of Culture title.

Set up by Norwich HEART and Visit Norwich, the session will give information about the city's historical buildings, events, places and people, as well as tourist attractions, shopping, eating out and nightlife.

It also includes a goody bag of free and half-price ticket offers to help ambassadors get a taste for the experiences they will be promoting.

Christina Lister, communications manager at HEART, said: “We had a really good range and cross-section of people who came along, and some really good discussions.

“One of the big things that came from the pilot session was how much people valued being able to connect with others working in the same industry but perhaps in different ways and places.”

Ms Lister said the Ambassadors programme would begin in mid to late July, with a small fee for attendees.

HEART chief executive Michael Loveday, pictured, said: “Norwich has so much for locals to be proud of and shout about to visitors - world-class heritage and a vibrant cultural scene to name just two.”

Are you working to make Norwich a more welcoming place for visitors? Call reporter Mary Hamilton on 01603 772418 or email mary.hamilton@archant.co.uk.

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