Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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May 7, 2014

Free Event May 19 at Lake Ontario Conference Center

Businesses and Attractions Are Invited to Send Front Line Staff to Tourism Ambassador Training

OSWEGO – Businesses, attractions and citizens across Oswego County are encouraged to take advantage of a free hospitality training session from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, May 19. Hosted by the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 56 E. First St., Oswego, the half-day program is designed to increase the tourism and hospitality knowledge of front-line staff of Oswego County businesses and attractions.

The training is sponsored by the Broadwell Hospitality Group, Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, Cre8 Studios, H. Lee White Marine Museum, and the Herzig Group.

The program begins with a one-hour overview of the region including points of interest, upcoming events and activities, and local resources of information. Following a short break there will be guided tours of the new Lake Ontario Conference Center expansion. After the tours, keynote speaker Lynn “Spike” Herzig of Geneva will give a presentation on hospitality training and the visitor experience.

“With such a wealth of recreational activities and historic sites in Oswego County, it is impossible for frontline staff to know everything or be able to answer all of our visitors’ questions,” said Dave Turner, director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. “This half-day session will give people an overview of key sites and other important information, and direct them to sources of information to assist and encourage visitors. The other very important piece of the ambassador training is the hospitality and visitor experience program that Spike Herzig will deliver. Spike has been in the hospitality business for years and will provide an upbeat and entertaining message on how to make our visitors feel welcome and keep them returning.”

There is no charge to attend. To register, visit www.oswegocountytap or call the Oswego County Tourism Office weekdays at 315-349-8322. Those who complete the training will become “Tourism Ambassadors” and receive a designation lapel pin, card, and opportunities to tour sites and receive discounts from local businesses so they can share their experience with visitors.

Businesses that participate or have employees attend will receive a certificate of participation and have the opportunity to offer discounts to ambassadors at times of their choosing. A brochure exchange station will also be at the conference center to give participating businesses the opportunity to share their information. “Participants don’t need to be employed in the hospitality industry in order to benefit from this program,” said Turner. “We encourage front-line workers, business owners and managers, as well as people who are thinking about getting jobs in Oswego County’s hospitality industry, to sign up. Our goal is to kick it up a notch and develop a first class welcoming environment in the county -- one that makes our visitors want to tell other people about what a great experience they had here in Oswego County.” For additional information, e-mail info@oswegocountytap.com or call the Tourism Office at 349-8322.

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