Tourism Ambassadors Are The Foundation Of Destination Success

This knowledge was essential as my Travel Counsellor role with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism was to help visitors plan their perfect vacation in Ontario and to ensure they made it their destination of choice over all the other options they have for their holiday.

Seems like a daunting task, but I was provided with the training, site inspections, familiarization trips, and the resources to ensure that I had the knowledge and competency to confidently match the visitors needs with what our Province offers. It was wonderful knowing that I could make a difference in a family’s vacation experience, or an international visitors’ first experience in Canada. After all, I was, and still am proud of my country and all it has to offer and I wanted visitors to have the experience of a lifetime!

Interestingly, this first job in the tourism industry formed the foundation of my career and instilled in me the importance of the visitor experience in a destination’s success. While not everyone can be a Travel Counsellor, most can be Tourism Ambassadors, whether they work in the industry, are a volunteer, or even a resident. I have learned that the interactions a visitor has in a destination, whether at a restaurant, attraction, hotel, gas station, store, airport, or event, can leave a lasting impression and determine whether they have a truly memorable experience.

Tourism Ambassadors are the champions and the “brand personality” of a destination. Unfortunately, too many destinations spend large budgets to develop and promote a brand, and to draw visitors to that destination, only to have the visitor experience fail due to the lack of product knowledge and service skills by those who the visitor engages with during their stay.

At OTEC, we have been fortunate to work with innovative destinations that understand the power of people in their brand marketing. Their success comes from the thousands of individuals and businesses who have become Tourism Ambassadors for their region. Visitors notice the difference.

We would now like more destinations to receive rave reviews and exceed visitor expectations so we are excited to launch OTEC’s new online Tourism Excellence Ambassador program.  After all, we all need more tourism champions in this world. For more information on OTEC's new online Tourism Excellence Ambassador program click here.

Victoria Behune is OTEC’s President & CEO and a lifelong Tourism Ambassador.


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