There’s no doubt about the economic impact that tourism has on our community. But what about the power that local residents have in promoting our region? Shopkeepers, restaurant servers, hotel staff – all of these individuals play an important role in welcoming visitors to the greater Richmond area. They serve as ambassadors of our great city, often offering tips and advice on where to go, what to see, and of course, where to eat to visitors who visit their businesses. Richmond Region Tourism recognizes the value these individuals, as well as local residents who regularly welcome friends and family to town, bring to the city’s tourism industry and to the local economy, and offers a unique program to help equip them to truly serve as ambassadors of Richmond.

Richmond Region Tourism’s I Am Tourism Ambassador Program provides free training to those who would like to serve as ambassadors of the Richmond region. The program, which is open to both individuals as well as groups from local businesses, helps participants learn what’s in their own backyard while gaining a visitor’s perspective and insights on the region, and preparing them to represent the Richmond Region in their interactions every day. Indeed, Retail Merchants believes so strongly in the power of the I am Tourism Ambassador program that each team member attends a workshop as part of the onboarding process.

Richmond Region Tourism will be hosting the first in-person workshop in over a year and a half at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Wednesday, July 21 from 8am until 12:30pm. The morning will include a classroom presentation followed by a 90-minute narrated bus tour led by Bill Martin, Executive Director of The Valentine.

Additionally, Richmond Region Tourism will be hosting a second workshop that night to take place virtually via Zoom. The virtual class will run from 6-8pm and will include virtual video tours of Bill Martin’s favorite places.

To learn more about the I Am Tourism Ambassador Program and register, please click here.

Already an IAT graduate, and want to dig deeper? Register for Richmond Region Tourism’s fall IAT Ambassador Academy presented in partnership with The Valentine. This 6-week class takes place at different locations throughout the region on Sundays from October 10 – November 14. IAT Ambassador Academy participants gain a strong foundation in Richmond history, a greater knowledge of the connection between the Region’s past and present and an understanding of this dynamic region. Participants will leave with a skill-set perfect for the local tourism industry and an endorsement from Richmond Region Tourism as an Ambassador Guide. The IAT Academy is open to IAT Ambassador graduates only.

To learn more about the IAT Academy and register, please click here.