AN online scheme providing people with training and knowledge about the special qualities of areas in Wales is urging more people to get involved and become an Ambassador during the inaugural Wales Ambassador Week from 20-26 November.
The Wales Ambassador Scheme is open to everyone and it’s a great way to learn more about the unique characteristics of each place. A series of online modules on a variety of themes is offered. This includes Welsh language, communities, culture, history, landscapes, sustainable tourism, cycling and walking. There are 3 levels of awards – bronze, silver and gold, depending on the number of modules completed. Rewards including certificates and badges are sent to everyone who completes the levels.
Ceredigion is the latest area to offer a free course, joining Eryri and Bannau Brycheiniog National Parks, Denbighshire, Conwy, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Flintshire, Wrexham, and Carmarthenshire. Ambassadors are actively encouraged to sign up to multiple courses to extend their learning about Wales and be part of a wider community. The courses are online, and can followed step by step at a leisurely pace, dipping in and out as you wish. There are currently six modules available for Ceredigion – an introduction the County and its tourism industry, Welsh language and culture in Ceredigion, Cardigan Bay, the Cambrian Mountains, Aberystwyth and Cardigan – enough to reach Silver level, and more being prepared, so that there’s a choice of themes to explore to reach Gold level.
The aim of the Wales Ambassador Week is to highlight the diverse range of people that have benefitted from becoming an Ambassador and to encourage others to join. A number of activities will be organised during the week including an online event specifically for Ambassadors with speakers from Visit Wales and Eryri National Park will be discussing the plastic-free Yr Wyddfa project. The Wales Official Tourist Guide Association will also be attending and explaining how to become a Wales Tourist Guide.
Other activities include an evening under the stars to learn about the Welsh names and mythology behind the constellations; an interactive session on how to use smart phones to create social media content and a speed networking event to explore how businesses can work together.
There is currently over 3,750 people registered with over 2,700 people reaching bronze level, not only from within Wales but from all over the UK and beyond. 6,243 bronze, silver and gold badges have been awarded with around two thirds of bronze achievers going on to reach gold. 15-20% of users enrol onto more than one course.
Ambassador, Tony Vitti has completed all the courses to gold level comments. He said: “The Wales Ambassador Scheme is extremely useful for me in my work as it’s given me the chance to learn about parts of the area that I hadn’t previously discovered and to be able to pass that knowledge on to our customers. It’s invaluable when we know a particular area is busy to suggest alternative hidden gems. People have returned to us to say what a great place they’d found because we could give them this information.
As someone who likes to get out and about, I’ve had a personal gain from each of the courses. They have led me to beautiful places and interesting attractions, and I have a greater knowledge of these places than before I took the courses. I look forward to new modules!”
Councillor Clive Davies, Ceredigion Cabinet Member for the Economy and Regeneration, said: “I would encourage anyone to take advantage of this scheme. I know that visitors not only enquire with our Tourist Information Service but also ask local people in shops, pubs, cafes and accommodation for their opinion about interesting places to visit. This course is a chance for staff to learn and to confidently share their knowledge about the different areas of the county, which in turn strengthens the customer care ethos of the whole business. I’m sure individuals will enjoy this course too and discover parts of the county that they may not be so familiar with.”
The Wales Ambassador Scheme is sponsoring the Skills in Tourism & Hospitality Award at the Go North Wales Tourism Awards on 23 November. The scheme won this award last year.
For more information on the Wales Ambassador Week and to sign-up please visit www.ambassador.wales