Visitors Bureau Set to Self-Advocate

By Aaryn Frazier, December 11, 2018

A host of local business owners within the Ottumwa area gathered for an introduction to a new training program from the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitors Bureau on Monday, December 10.

Destination Advocacy training is for business owners and managers to teach employees how to make interactions with visitors in order to boost tourism and return tourism. They cover basic engagement skills like greetings, conversation starters and what to avoid. Then they move on to the advocating for the community you are in by offering up local information, personal memories of the community and responding to negative impressions of the area. Lastly, the training goes over getting people to return to the area by making them advocates because of their positive experiences.

“The purpose of this training is not only to enhance the customer service skills of individual businesses and organizations but to increase visitor arrivals through increased repeat business and the expansion of our virtual sales force that will come with more positive referrals from visitors” said Wartenberg.

The training program provides on-site training to Ottumwa businesses and organizations in three areas: customer service and engagement skills, how to advocate for Ottumwa during interactions with visitors and local customers, and how to request referrals during interactions with visitors and local customers. Wartenberg tries to make it as painless as possible to volunteer for demonstrations and ask questions about the information given. Various implementations are available depending on the business with social media as wel.

The training is one hour and free of charge to all businesses and organizations. It will be conducted at the location of the business or organization upon request. To schedule a training session or for more information, please contact the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitors Bureau at or 641-684-4303.

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