Betsy Ross: Get Ready for our Summer Guests! - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Betsy Ross: Get Ready for our Summer Guests!

(Source: FOX19 NOW file) (Source: FOX19 NOW file)

So, I took a test this week.

Big deal, I can hear the thousands of college and high school students say during this month of finals.

But this was one I volunteered to take.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network is taking part in a national program to certify local volunteers, hospitality employees and tourism managers to be Certified Tourism Ambassadors. The program consists of reading material on the history and attractions here in Cincinnati USA, a three-hour class to review the information and discuss best practices to engage visitors, and, yes, the test.

If you're from the area, or even if you're new to the Tri-State, there's still lots to learn in the class. Information on the origins of Cincinnati, how Mount Adams got its name, and yes, what's up with all these pigs, it's all covered in the class.

And they're all questions that visitors to the region might ask you on the street, in a restaurant or in a hotel lobby.

Why is this relevant? Well, Cincinnati attracts visitors from around the country, and the world, any time of the year, with a world-class zoo, Bengals and Reds games, the Flying Pig Marathon, Kentucky Speedway events and the like. And there's a good chance someone from out of town might stop you on the street for directions, or ask for suggestions on where to spend a free afternoon.

This summer, of course, it's more important than ever, with the MLB All-Star Game and its ancillary activities, coming to town. Cincinnati is becoming a destination, and we as residents here want to put our best foot forward. That starts with being knowledgeable about our home town.

Now, you don't have to go through a class to help out, but we will have lots of guests to our home this year. It's good for us as a community to put out the welcome mat and greet them as we would anyone who might stop by for a visit. Put on a smile, an extra pot of coffee and show them just what a terrific place Greater Cincinnati is to live, work and play.

Which brings me back to the test. Yep, I passed, and I have my little gold star lapel pin, designating me as a Certified Tourism Ambassador. Now, ask me, “What's up with all the pigs..”

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