Stites: We must be advocates for region to boost tourism

Posted 06/12/2011

by Doug Stites
Lansing State Journal

Have you ever thought about making Greater Lansing even greater?

I'm sure many of you can think of ways you already give back to the community. If you are, or want to be, an integral part of furthering the economy and the business development, Greater Lansing has a program for you.

The Greater Lansing Tourism Ambassadors Program is a certification program run by the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau that grooms community members, offering them certified tourism ambassador designations.

Tourism is one thing Greater Lansing can depend on to improve the economy and the quality and quantity of businesses.

It is estimated Greater Lansing receives more than 5 million visitors per year. That's over 5 million opportunities to improve this city and its surrounding areas.

This can be done by direct contact with visitors, whether it means greeting them with a positive attitude, giving efficient directions to a museum or shopping center or recommending a restaurant.

Providing exceptional service to visitors has great rewards. If people leave Greater Lansing with positive experiences, they will want to come and they will tell others to visit the area as well.

More visitors mean more business and economic growth.

Recently several of our staff participated in the CTA training. They walked away with a new appreciation for the assets of our region and a recognition of the importance of each of us in becoming advocates for the region.

Everyone can benefit from being an ambassador of Greater Lansing, even if you aren't certified.

Learn more about your community and get to know its visitors. When someone stops you to ask where they should take their family, ask what they like to do or what they are interested in.

Make that personal connection and offer them the best possible advice. They will remember you as a reason for their exceptional experience in Greater Lansing.

Putting Greater Lansing on the map as a place that people choose to travel to requires the right attitude. If you have a negative attitude about this city, you are debilitating its progress and therefore your own progress. The way you feel about Greater Lansing will project onto others and influence the way they view this city.

If you are positive, people will want to return here. They will walk away with the idea that Greater Lansing is a place of exceptional hospitality with a lot to do and see.

That is our brand. You are our brand. Market this city for all that it has to offer.

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