Ever been to one of those cities where everyone is just so helpful? You know, the baggage handler at the airport, the taxi driver, the hotel concierge, the waiter – all beaming with pride as they tell you the region’s must-see list?

Now picture those happy folks in Flint, because a new tourism ambassadors program in the works seeks to make this scenario a reality.

The Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is launching a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) Program in the region. On Feb. 13, dozens of area business, management and government officials will take part in focus groups that will serve to create the curriculum for the CTA Program when it launches officially in the fall.

“Our hospitality businesses will certainly benefit from Certified Tourism Ambassadors, but it’s much more big-picture than that,” said CVB Director Cheryl DeFrain. “These ambassadors will have vast knowledge of Flint & Genesee, they’ll know how to answer questions, and they’ll provide excellent customer service.

“This program will serve to enhance the visitor experience, but it will also strengthen our businesses and communities. When someone has a good experience in a region, it makes the difference in whether they choose to book a conference or event here, or even relocate their business here.”

Flint will be the fifth major city in Michigan to offer the CTA Program, joining Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Kalamazoo. The nationwide community ambassador program is developed and administered by Mickey Schaefer & Associates, an Arizona-based professional consulting practice specializing in guiding the strategic direction of the meetings industry, tourism and associations.

The Feb. 13 focus groups will come together as Flint & Genesee “experts” of sorts to create the curriculum that will be taught to future participants in the CTA Program.

Starting in the fall, anyone can become a CTA for Flint & Genesee through classes offered by the CVB. Ambassadors must recertify each year, as the curriculum will constantly be updated to include any new attractions and events in Flint & Genesee.

The CVB supports Flint & Genesee for all tourism needs including, but not limited to, lodging, motor coach tours, conventions, sport activities, reunions, weddings, car shows and clubs and individual tourism.

For more information, contact the Flint & Genesee CVB at (810) 600-1404 or cdefrain@flintandgenesee.org.