The City of Johannesburg’s Department of Economic Development: Tourism directorate has launched a Tourism Ambassador programme at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein on May 28.

The key focus of the three-year programme is to deploy ambassadors to tourism sites to sell the city, dispel the notion that Joburg is unsafe and to create much-needed employment among the youth.

A total of 60 young Joburg Tourism Ambassadors from the city’s seven regions, some of whom hold university degrees, were inducted in the presence of the MMC for Economic Development, Cllr Leah Knott, the MMC for Social Development and Health, Cllr Mpho Phalatse and City Manager, Dr Ndivho Lukhwareni.

The programme is run in partnership with the City’s Public Safety Department and national government’s Extended Public Works programme. The ambassadors will be trained on by-laws, traffic safety, basic first aid and hospitality courses. They will receive a R3 300 monthly stipend.

“Tourism remains an economic growth imperative on the city’s agenda. In line with the prioritisation of achieving increased visitor arrivals in the city and contributing toward the economic growth target of 5% by 2021, Joburg Tourism seeks ways to facilitate the tourism experience at sites and attractions in the city, rendering them safe, pleasant, informative and memorable,” said Knott.

She added that the Tourism Ambassador programme envisaged making Johannesburg a safer destination, leading to more tourists visiting the city for leisure and business.