Philadelphia enlists everyday 'ambassadors' to welcome tourists
In a quest for better "customer service" for tourists streaming into the city, Philadelphia is enlisting the help of everyday residents on the project.
The program called "PHL Welcomes U" is designed to help and encourage all Philadelphians to show tourists a good time.
Everyday citizens can do a lot to make a visit positive, said Jack Ferguson of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"PHL Welcomes U program takes the premise even further in the effort to involve every Philadelphian by creating PHL ambassadors in every neighborhood and industry -- be it retail, travel and tourism, education, hospitality, transportation, etc.," he said. "We can strive in creating a lasting memories for visitors as well as those who live here work and play."
One of the first graduates of the online program is Derek Muller who works for the city's recreation department.
"I learned how to use my words better like positive phrasing, for example instead of saying, 'We don't have free play here' but 'I can direct you outside to our outside basketball courts where there is free play,'" he said.
The recreation department and Parking Authority are both heavily involved with the program.