Tourists to Limerick City can expect a warm and welcoming hand this summer following the return of the Limerick Street Ambassador team.
Dressed in the red of Munster, the Street Ambassadors are roving tourist guides providing a friendly impression to tourists visiting Limerick and will advise them on the best places to visit, eat and shop.
The 2012 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 Street Ambassadors also supply local hotels with a weekly events guide on whatâ€™s happening in the city and keep an environmental watch, reporting litter offences, graffiti and infrastructural defects to Limerick City Council.
Since 2006, the Street Ambassadors â€“ mainly funded by Shannon Development, Limerick City Council, Limerick Hotels Association and the Limerick Communications Office â€“ have helped over 84,000 tourists in Limerick.The Limerick Communications Office (LCO) spearheads the scheme which runs until mid-September.
Eoghan Prendergast of Shannon Development said: â€œWe are delighted to support the Street Ambassador programme for the last seven years and to ensure that they will again be a feature on the streets of Limerick this summer.
â€œLimerick has a very good reputation amongst visitors as a really friendly and accessible city in which to spend their holiday.
â€œThe Street Ambassadors play an important role in promoting the city and ensuring that our visitors enjoy their time here, and weâ€™re very pleased to help make that happen again this year.â€
This year the group of ambassadors come from various backgrounds, from a former traffic warden to a local artist. All are experienced in the role, having been on the beat in previous summers, during festival times and major sporting events in the city.
LCO chairperson and local hotelier Sean Lally said that all the Street Ambassadors have proved they have a great love of Limerick and good outgoing personalities to engage with tourists and local people. â€œThis is a unique project that Limerick can be proud of and Iâ€™m delighted that the hoteliers in the city have come on board with Shannon Development and Limerick County Council to support the programme,â€ he stated.
The ambassadors include local artist and photographer Eithen deLoughry Oâ€™Byrne, who has a particular interes in the arts, and history buff Declan Hassett. They are looking forward to their fifth and sixth years respectively as ambassadors for Limerick.
Last year the guides helped 8,500 tourists and encournted sightseekers from more countries than ever before including South Korea, Kenya, Somalia and Argentina.
The majority were from France and Germany, with US, Spain and UK next.Venues wishing to be included in the Whatâ€™s On guide should contact firstname.lastname@example.org