Six City Ambassadors have been greeting thousands of international visitors in their own languages this summer, offering a warm welcome to our world-renowned city.
The Ambassadors, whose role is funded by Cambridge BID and delivered by Visit Cambridge, themselves represent four nationalities and speak no fewer than 13 languages between them:
English: Welcome to Cambridge
Cantonese Chinese: 歡迎黎到劍橋
Hindi: कैम्ब्रिज में आपका स्वागत है
Greek: Καλώς ήλθατε στο Cambridge
Italian: Benvenuto a Cambridge
Spanish : Bienvenido a Cambridge
Urdu: کیمبرج میں خوش آمدید
Punjabi: ਜੀ ਆਇਆ ਨੂੰ। / جی آیاں نُوں
Hungarian: Üdvözöljük a Cambridge-ben
French: Bienvenue à Cambridge
Persian: به کمبریج خوش آمدید
German: Willkommen bei Cambridge
Celebrating their sixth birthday this month, the Ambassadors play an important role in helping to manage the flow of visitors around our city – welcoming 59,248 visitors over the last 12 months, answering queries and pointing them towards the Visitor Information Centre for details of local attractions and official tours. New information stands at the train station and in Petty Cury are proving particularly popular with visitors, who identify the Ambassadors by their distinctive bespoke purple blazers, striped ties, smart waistcoats and trilby hats.
“This coordinated visitor welcome is a subtle yet important part of managing the place that is Cambridge,” commented Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID. “We want visitors to feel welcome yet we also recognise that, for residents, the city can feel overcrowded in the summer months. By steering visitors towards official sources of information, we can help to curate their visit for everyone’s benefit.”
“Our official Blue Badge Guided Tours have an upper limit of 20 people, for example, so when the Ambassadors raise awareness of how this is a great way to see the city, they help to reduce congestion in busy central areas,” explained Emma Thornton, CEO of Visit Cambridge. “In addition, in most colleges groups are only permitted when accompanied by one of our guides, for reasons of sustainability, so it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Ambassador Taj explains why he loves his job: “Imagine a place where you can meet visitors from every corner of the earth! Cambridge is culturally and linguistically probably the most diverse visitor destination in the world. Welcoming and directing this varied pool of visitors makes this job very special, unusual and interesting.”
Ambassadors are commonly asked:
Where is the University?
Where is the apple tree?
Where I can eat fish and chips?
Where are the toilets?
Where can I go punting?
More unusually, the Ambassadors have also been asked:
Where can I find lavender flowers?
Is there a pool without chlorine in Cambridge?
Where can I find car number plates?
Are you a traffic warden?
Are there ghosts in Cambridge?
The Ambassadors also have an ongoing role in keeping the city looking at its best. Last year the team reported 782 environmental issues and 3,511 instances of commercial waste to the City Council for follow-up. In addition, they carried out 4,087 business visits, keeping everyone up-to-date with Cambridge BID initiatives designed to help the city thrive - such as the Rapid Response early morning call-out service that keeps shop fronts pristine, and projects such as Restaurant Week that encourages residents and visitors to explore the city and support local eateries.