CHICAGO, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- There's nothing like a warm, personal greeting to make a good first impression. That's the idea behind the Global Greeter Network, with operations in Chicago and more than 120 other cities worldwide.
The brainchild of New York native Lynn Brooks, the Greeter Network began as a strictly local effort in 1992 as a way for communities to take a more intimate and personal approach to showcasing themselves. In the ensuing years, word of this new technique spread around the world, leading to the establishing of The Global Greeter Network in 2005. Since then, every day, in 37 countries, more than 3,000 private citizens volunteer their time to show tourists what makes the city they are visiting special.
Chicago's Greeter program began in 2002 under the Chicago Office of Tourism. In 2012, when the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau and the tourism portion of the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture merged, the Greeter Program became part of the city's newly named tourism organization, Choose Chicago.
Katie Law chairs the Global Greeters program and has been Choose Chicago's Greeter Program manager since the local effort's inception. "Last year, Chicago's 200 Greeter volunteers escorted about 10,000 visitors around city neighborhoods," Law said. "This year marks the Greeters' 25th anniversary. On September 9, cities around the world will be marking the occasion with special one-on-one opportunities for tourists to have an up-close-and-personal experience with the city they're visiting. We'll be doing the same in Chicago. We encourage people to come to Millennium Park and greet a Greeter."
Law says the city's Greeters will gather at Chicago's Millennium Park at 10 a.m. and will offer special tours of unique sites in four Chicago neighborhoods as well as the Loop:
The Mosaics and Murals of Pilsen
The Nine Dragon Wall in Chinatown
The mansions of the Gold Coast
The art, architecture, Riverwalk and Millennium Park in the Loop
Chicago's Greeter program caters to both domestic and international visitors. Sixty percent of the tourists that use the local Greeter service are international. The top countries represented are Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, China, Germany and Spain. Domestically, the top U.S. states with visitors that use the service are Illinois, California, Texas, New York, Florida and Michigan.
Anyone interested can sign up for a greeter at Chicagogreeter.com. To find out what countries/cities that have a Greeter service go to globalgreeternetwork.com.
About Choose Chicago
Choose Chicago® is the official destination marketing organization for Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to bring regional, national and international business and leisure visitors to Chicago for the economic benefit of the city, the community and its membership.