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Heard on the Street: 108 'ambassadors' honored

On Wednesday, 108 people who help Rochester's visitors were recognized for their commitment to the Certified Tourism Ambassadorprogram.

The Tourism Ambassador program was launched in 2011 to train front-line employees at hotels, restaurants, transportation companies and others to "polish the apple" for Rochester and enhance visitor experience of people traveling for treatment at Mayo Clinic and other reasons.

The program's goal is "to increase regional tourism by inspiring frontline hospitality employees and volunteers to run every patient and visitor encounter into a positive experience." Simply put, that means being nice to people and making every effort possible to make things better for them.

Rochester's program is a local version of a nationally recognized certification program created by the Tourism Ambassador Institute. The Rochester Visitors and Convention Bureaumanages the local training. More than 1,500 people have gone through the training program in the past five years, according to the RVCB.

To keep certification, ambassadors need to renew the training annually. Of those who have gone through the training,108 have maintained certification for the past five years.

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The RCVB honored those ambassadors at a special program Wednesday at Mayo Clinic's Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center.

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