Last year, London welcomed 18.8 million visitors from all over the world, making London one of the most visited cities on Earth. Here in South Kensington alone, more people visited the V&A, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, combined, than visited Venice. The three museums alone attracted an impressive 11.9 million visitors with visitors coming to enjoy both temporary exhibitions such as the Alexander McQueen at the V&A and the ever popular permenant exhibitions such as the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.
This summer the wonderful Team London Ambassadors are once again based in Exhibition Road welcoming visitors and maintaining London’s reputation as one of the best cities in the world. The Team London Ambassadors programme has grown from strength to strength since its inception during the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. At the Olympics the 7,000 Team London Ambassadors were based at 43 visitor hotspots, travel hubs and tourist attractions.
The Ambassadors were London’s ‘friendly face’, on hand to answer questions from tourists and Londoners alike and helping to show the world the very best that London has to offer. In 2015, over 600 volunteers took part in the programme, with 150 new volunteers joining an existing pool, of which 60 per cent volunteered during 2012. Ambassadors gave 15,000 hours of their time in total, and received fantastic feedback from visitors. In fact, 100% of visitors were more likely to recommend London as a place to visit after interacting with an Ambassador.
The entire Ambassador team were deployed at nine key locations including Exhibition Road over the 41 busiest days of summer. Based around a central information point, a team of three to five Ambassadors and one Location Team Leader are on hand to answer a range of questions and provide suggestions for things to do in the area.
We are so grateful to the many volunteers who are giving up their time to welcome visitors to Exhibition Road and it is fantastic to hear the reasons behind volunteering:
“I love my city! I want visitors to see at least some of it through the eyes of the people who live here rather than as tourists. Although the big tourist sites are amazing - there is so much more.”
“Such a great experience! London has given me so much; it was my opportunity to give something back.” “I get no greater satisfaction than learning about my capital city and then sharing this knowledge with visitors.”
Team London Ambassadors, we thank you and let's hope we have warm, dry summer!