Volunteer ‘ambassadors’ to help Arnold Sports Festival attendees

Posted 02/26/2013

by Brian R. Ball
Columbus Business First

More than 300 bellhops, concierge service providers, downtown workers and others in the community will help those attending the Arnold Sports Festival "experience Columbus" this weekend.

The Experience Columbus tourism and convention agency has trained volunteers and front-line hospitality service providers to answer questions from 175,000 convention attendees about where to find a great steak and beer in Columbus and how to get to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and other top tourist spots.

"This beefs up our ability to have information out on the street for all the visitors coming through," said Experience Columbus spokesman Scott Peacock. "The Arnold Sports Festival is our biggest and best event every year."

About 70 percent of the first batch of ambassadors come from the hospitality industry, he said. The bureau began training ambassadors in January under the national Certified Tourism Ambassador Program. The training includes learning about the festival's shuttle bus schedules and stops along with Columbus history and how far it is to various festival venues.

Experience Columbus hopes to have 600 ambassadors by late 2013 to staff various events and conventions.

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