Fernie’s College of the Rockies campus boats a unique course that gives students an edge in the tourism business.
The program is a short, four-hour-long class that teaches the importance of good customer service in an economy with a strong tourism industry.
The Fernie Ambassador program teaches students how to make a memorable experience for those visiting the area.
“The idea behind the program was to look at opportunities to support our business community in addition to really enhancing the experience that our guests have when they arrive in Fernie,” said Program Facilitator Cristine Grimble. “The more people that share and enjoy and experience in Fernie, then the healthier the economy.”
Grimble added that more than 500 people participated in the program since it began in 2015.
“Tourism is a significant part of our community,” Grimble said. “We want to ensure that for the community and Elk Valley that people are leaving with a sense of enjoyment, that they’ve had the opportunity to experience things they may not have otherwise, that they feel welcomed. For the individuals working in our community, the more vibrant our tourism industry is, it ensures the employment of staff year-round, and a vibrant economy for our businesses as well.”
Students not only gain interpersonal skills, they also learn about the Fernie area to help give visitors a better understanding of what they can do in the Elk Valley.
Last year, the Fernie Ambassador program spread beyond the College campus.
“We started an initiative with the Fernie Secondary School, and they incorporated it as part of their career courses,” Grimble said to MyEastKootenayNow.com. “We had grade seven and eight students that were taking the program which gave them a good foothold as they start to enter into their career.”
Courses are offered year-round but are more frequent as skiing season approaches.
Upcoming courses and enrolment can be found here.