Tourism volunteer scheme launches in Essex to help support £3billion industry

MORE than 200 volunteers have been recruited to help boost tourism in Essex.

The tourism ambassadors will greet visitors at the county’s ports, airports and train stations and hand out visitor maps.

The move comes on the back of the success of the London Olympics where hundreds of volunteers in Essex were out in force at the mountain biking event at Hadleigh Farm and canoe slalom at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

Around 250 tourism ambassadors have signed up for the scheme and will also help at major events throughout the year including the Clacton Airshow, Tendring Show and Essex Country Show.

The announcement coincided with the official launch of Visit Essex’s Live Local, Love Local tourism campaign which is encouraging people to enjoy what there is to offer on their doorstep.

As part of the lunch, Visit Essex chairman George Kieffer and county councillor Kevin Bentley rolled-up their sleeves and donned aprons a at the newly refurbished 4-star hotel Wivenhoe House Hotel in Colchester.

During the afternoon, they set tables, changed sheets, hoovered and dusted bedrooms to highlight some of the work which goes on behind the scenes in the tourism industry.

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People in Colchester also took advantage of £400 voucher cheque books being given out in Castle Park which included money off deals at attractions and restaurants across the county.

George Kieffer, chairman of Visit Essex, said: “I am delighted we are able to launch a scheme like this. The tourism industry brings in £3billion to the Essex economy and it can only do that by offering quality service to our visitors.

“These volunteers will bring that extra added value to our customer service, offering a great welcome and advice, which will bring people back to the county year after year.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities, visit