San Antonio Tourism
2:15 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Visitors Bureau Launches Tourism Ambassador Program to Better Sell City

Slides at the front of a decorated gymnasium inside the Mission Concepción Sports Complex give guests an idea just how many visitors are coming to San Antonio.

Tourism brings in over $10 billion per year, and one out of every eight employees in San Antonio work in the industry. City leaders figured that's a lot of San Antonians greeting a lot of guests, so they adopted a program to help prepare those who are most involved with visitors.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau is launching the Tourism Ambassador Program, part of a nationally acclaimed certification program that targets hotel, restaurant and attraction workers.

"The hospitality industry is super competitive," said CVB Assistant Executive Director Ronnie Price. "Everyone's fighting for that same dollar. And you think about San Antonio, what makes us unique? This will allow us to raise the bar if you will, to put someone in place where their going to have more knowledge about their destination and sell it better."

The four-hour training class will nationally certify the program's participants. Leaders say they will leave with detailed knowledge on the history of the city, fun facts and directions to destinations for visitors.

Hilton Palacio del Rio's General Manager, and Chairman of the Convention and Visitors Commission, Robert Thrailkill, said he will send his more than 300 employees through the program to supplement training they are already receiving.

"It talks about the tourist destinations, the historic significance, the true history of San Antonio, because you always think you know the history, but you really don't," said Thrailkill. "When you're in a competition and you're in as competitive an industry as we are, having any points of differentiation between you and your competitors is huge."