The 2013 Limerick Street Ambassadors programme has been officially launched for the summer.
Dressed in Munster red, the Street Ambassadors are roving tourist guides providing a friendly first impression to tourists visiting Limerick and will advise them on the best places to visit, eat and shop.
The Street Ambassadors also supply tourists with a weekly events guide on what’s happening in Limerick city and keep an environmental watch, reporting litter offences, graffiti and infrastructural defects to Limerick City Council.
Since 2006, the Street Ambassadors have helped 92,000 visitors in Limerick.
The Limerick Communications Office (LCO) spearheads the scheme which runs until September and is jointly funded by Limerick City Council and the Limerick Communications Office.
Mayor of Limerick, Cllr. Kathleen Leddin said the Street Ambassadors are an asset to the city.
“The Street Ambassadors are friendly and welcoming and a great resource for the many visitors to our city,” said Mayor Leddin.
“One of the main reasons our visitors return is the friendliness of the local people, which superbly complements the wonderful attractions we have. The Street Ambassadors play an important role in promoting the city and ensuring that our visitors enjoy their time here,” she added.
This year the group of Limerick’s 2013 Street Ambassadors are all experienced in the role, having worked in the position in previous summers, during festival times and big rugby weekends in the city.
Director of Services at Limerick City Council, Kieran Lehane said the street ambassadors play a vital role in promoting the city ahead of Limerick becoming the first Irish City of Culture next year.
“This is a great project that Limerick can be proud of and I’m delighted to welcome back the Street Ambassadors for another summer,” Kieran stated.
“Limerick’s designation as the first Irish City of Culture 2014 is transforming Limerick into a cultural hub of activities that will attract people from both near and far and the Street Ambassadors play a vital role by engaging with tourists and local people to share their great knowledge of the city!” he explained.
Last year the on foot tourist guides helped 8,000 tourists from 50 different countries including Japan, India, South Korea and Argentina.
The majority of visitors came from France and Germany with a sizeable number from the USA, Spain and the UK enjoying a trip to Limerick, voted as one of the top 10 destinations in Ireland 2013 by travel website Tripadvisor.
The 2013 Street Ambassadors have undergone an intensive course in local history, first aid, communications skills and basic foreign language training. They will walk two different routes every day covering Medieval Limerick and Limerick city centre.
The 2013 Street Ambassadors include local artist and photographer Eithne deLoughry O’Byrne and history buff Declan Hassett who are both looking forward to their sixth and seventh years as ambassadors for Limerick.