The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Reporter's Notebook

April 13, 2013

Tourism agency trying to spread knowledge

Otsego County Tourism is trying to revive its Ambassador Program this spring.

The singularly practical idea behind the program is to educate hospitality workers about other attractions so they can dispense advice that will keep tourists in the county.

“People who meet and greet and talk to our visitors on a daily basis, if they have actually have visited the Hall of Fame or the Fenimore Art Museum, they have first-hand knowledge of the product,” said Deb Taylor, director of Otsego County tourism.

The program was a success years ago, when it was conducted for four or five years with Schoharie County, but it was allow to lapse, Taylor said.

“We’re just doing it in Otsego County this year,” she said. “Just a test to see if it runs.”

The goal is ensure, for example, that a hotel desk clerk can accurately describe Ommegang Brewery to visitors, or an Ommegang worker can tell visitors about The Farmers’ Museum or restaurants in Oneonta.

The program will run from May 27 through June 6. Any staff member who has contact with visitors on a daily basis is invited to visit county attractions, restaurants and lodging facilities to gain first-hand knowledge of exhibits, amenities and the “feel” of attractions.

Attractions that charge admission are asked to provide two free tickets to these workers. All others are asked to provide a small incentive, such as a logo coffee mug or free beverage, to encourage people to stop in and learn more about their businesses.

Otsego Tourism points out that front-line, hardworking employees are the county’s best ambassadors, and that that the better the information visitors receive, the more they’ll enjoy their stays, leading to return visits and recommendations.

Attractions interested in participating can call Taylor at 643-0059 or email her at taylord@otsegocounty.com.

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