The York BID debuts with the Greeters programme
York Greeters to provide a friendly welcome to the city - A new initiative led by the York Business Improvement District (BID), will see an initial team of four York Greeters in the city centre from the 18th July, offering a helping hand for visitors, shoppers and business visitors alike. York Greeters will work at visitor hotspots throughout the city centre offering visitor information to those who need it, along with more general directions and information on attractions, places to shop and eat.
The recently formed York BID has helped fund the project which will run until the end of September 2016. York Greeters will also help ensure visitors are aware of the offerings of businesses that exist outside of the city centre hotspots.
Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of the BID, said, "The first BID project is all about offering a friendly welcome and providing information. This is a service for residents and visitors, to help offer the very best welcome and customer service for anyone interested in exploring the city. Good customer service is increasingly important and that extends beyond hotels and retail to how a city looks and feels. Our York Greeters will be located around the city offering a welcoming smile and answering questions to help people get the most out of their visit to York.’ Lowson added, "visitors to the city centre are not always aware of the great array of often independent businesses we have in our periphery streets, so we will ensure our York Greeters signpost people to these places alongside what exits in the city centre". The York Greeters will be very visible in burgundy attire with the slogan ‘ask me a question’ very prominent, so to encourage visitors to approach. All live locally and have experience of providing visitor information on York. The York Greeters programme will focus on the busy summer 2016 season and if successful the initiative could be rolled out year on year. If the York Greeters scheme is successful, Mr Lowson said it could be continued into next year and beyond, but for now the local workers were concentrating on what was expected to be a busy summer season in the city.
Richard Mansell, general manager at The Royal York Hotel, said: "This fresh initiative led by the York BID is fantastic news for the city, and is sure to build on York’s reputation as a friendly and hospitable destination. "We look forward to working with the York BID moving forward in order to deliver the very best experience for both residents and visitors."
Adam Sinclair is interim chairman of YorkBid, and said the brightly dressed Greeters would be followed by the end of this year by equally high-visible Rangers - who would perform similar roles, but also be given powers to help deal with antisocial and inappropriate behaviour in the city on Fridays and Saturdays, and cut down on rowdiness which has seen many visitors and residents complain in recent months. He said: “This move is reflective of YorkBid’s desire to increase the welcome and street presence in York City Centre. “Given the competitive value of sterling we are anticipating a surge in foreign visitors and family staycations in the coming eighteen months.”