The Bath Welcome Ambassadors have been running for five months now and we caught up with them to see how it is going.
Since their start in November, the ambassadors have helped thousands of visitors to the city. The Welcome Ambassadors work Thursday to Sunday each week and find that their busiest spots in the city are around the railway station, Lower Borough Walls, Stall Street and at Abbey Courtyard. They are in demand in the mornings. The team plan their routes around the London trains arriving at the station, as a lot of visitors need help upon arriving in the city. The rest of the time they are out and about, in pairs. They walk slowly and stop at intervals, usually where there is a crossroads or junction where it’s likely that people will lose their way. Their distinctive blue jackets, emblazoned with ‘Ask me!’ helps assure a friendly response – and they have all the information at their fingertips; the ambassadors carry a tablet to look up anything they don’t know as well as a list of all the events going on in the city.
During the Christmas period, the focus was on retail queries as shoppers sought out specific stores. The majority of queries since then have been about attractions, followed by people asking for a map (19%) and more than 1 in 10 visitors ask for recommendations. More specifically in March, The Pump Room and the Roman Baths were the locations most asked after (38%), followed by Thermae Bath Spa (19%) and the Visitor Information Centre (9%). The questions they get asked are really varied – Where can I buy good quality teabags? How do you get to the Skyline walk? What are the top three rated restaurants on TripAdvisor? How regular are the boat trips?
The team has grown; our two volunteer coordinators, Emily and Christine, lead a team of eleven volunteer Welcome Ambassadors. John C, one of the volunteers explains why he is involved; “Bath is a beautiful city. I have been privileged to have worked in the city centre and enjoyed its many benefits. By volunteering as a Welcome Ambassador I have the opportunity to ‘give something back’ and hopefully help people to enjoy their time in Bath.”
They are looking for more people to join so if you know of anyone that likes to help show off the city of Bath and would like to provide visitors with a friendly welcome, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to say hello if you see the team in town.