Visit Cheyenne announces development of Tourism Ambassador Program
CHEYENNE – Visit Cheyenne is developing a new Cheyenne Tourism Ambassador Program for the Capital City and the rest of Laramie County.
The program is run in partnership with Laramie County Community College through the nationally recognized Certified Tourism Ambassador group, which is an accredited training program with the objective of “inspiring front line hospitality employees and volunteers to turn every encounter into a positive experience.”
The purpose of the program is to educate frontline employees, such as restaurant wait staff, customer service representatives and hotel desk workers, on Cheyenne’s history and things to do in the community.
If the Tourism Ambassador Program functions as it should, frontline workers can fill tourists in on the positive aspects of the community, and hopefully get them to prolong their stay to further explore the city. The goal is to stimulate the economy by cultivating interest in Cheyenne as a tourist destination.
Domenic Bravo, president and CEO of Visit Cheyenne and acting director of the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority, said he considered pitching the program years ago, but he thinks this upcoming summer is the perfect time to finally implement the idea.
“With Cheyenne Frontier Days, Old West Holiday, the rodeos, the huge music scene we have going, all the new restaurants, retail and all the stuff that has really been built over the last couple years,” Bravo said, “I think it’s a prime time for us to really highlight to the folks that are the face of our destination on how they get their message out to visitors.”
Workers, at the encouragement of managing staff, would attend a short course presented by the Certified Tourism Ambassador program, which would give a comprehensive script on things to do around town. The course is not unlike a common ServeSafe food certification, which is required in many states for an employee to serve food to customers.
Those who complete the course can use it like a script, with the employee having the necessary information to hold a quick conversation with anyone who’s looking for some guidance around town.
Visit Cheyenne only recently completed interactions with focus groups. In the process, they gained knowledge on what information should be included in the program, as well as the required number of certifications over the course of a year.
One difficulty will be shaking the perception that Cheyenne lacks things to do, but the focus group offered good tidings toward repairing this common criticism.
“Even though I live this day to day, it was kind of nice to see some of the stakeholders realize all the great things there are to do in our community,” Bravo said. “We even had someone mention that anyone who says there’s nothing to do is not looking in the right places.”
The Tourism Ambassador Program has been implemented in cities in 18 other states. In Wyoming, Cheyenne will be the third destination for the Certified Tourism Ambassador program after Casper in 2016 and Sweetwater County in 2021.
It is expected to be ready to implement in May 2022.