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Tourism Vancouver launches City Host Program

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Tourism Vancouver's new Volunteer City Hosts today start taking visitor information to the streets, offering a mobile visitor information service in five city corridors.

Wearing distinctive bright green shirts and vests, the Volunteer City Hosts' role is similar to that of Tourism Vancouver Visitor Information Counsellors, providing information, directions and friendly advice on what to do and see in the city.

 Supported by the City of Vancouver, the summer initiative will serve as a prelude to an enhanced visitor services program during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

"This summer is a fantastic opportunity to launch the Volunteer City Host program," said Tourism Vancouver chair Rick Baxter. "Not only will it allow us to fine tune our plans before the 2010 Winter Games, it will also reach visitors out enjoying the city, driving further business to the tourism industry sector during what could be a difficult summer."

The program will run from June 15 until mid-September, with up to 15 pairs of hosts out on the streets at any one time. They'll carry tourist maps and reference materials, and will be ready to refer visitors to the organization's two Visitor Centres for more in-depth services and ticket purchases.

Tourism Vancouver's flagship Visitor Centre is located at 200 Burrard Street, with a second satellite location on Robson Street in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson shared his support for the program, saying, "Tourism Vancouver's Volunteer City Host program is a great example of our citizens sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for Vancouver with our visitors, benefiting the tourism industry and the city as a whole."

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