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Airport program to welcome Alaskans

Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010

Friendly local faces have been helping guide summer visitors to the sights of Juneau for a few years, but now business professionals, politicians and other travelers will be greeted by locals in winter as well.

The Juneau Convention and Visitor's Bureau is organizing winter volunteers for its Airport Ambassador program.

"This is more towards the Alaskans coming to Juneau during the winter-time for business, government," said JCVB services manager and volunteer coordinator Kristine Johnson. "... There will be more of a focus on our friends and neighbors coming to the Capital City from mid-January to mid-April."

Greeters will be at the airport throughout each week, with three shifts running around Alaska Airlines schedules.

Currently, about 10 people have signed up for the winter edition of Airport Ambassadors.

"We could probably use 20-25," Johnson said.

Those who sign up will undergo a two-day training on Jan. 5 and 6, with an airport tour on Jan. 8. With the airport construction, the JCVB has a new booth from which to assist travelers.

Johnson said the goal is for visitors to have a place to get their questions answered.

"Being able to answer their questions and being able to facilitate coming into our city and make it as enjoyable as possible," Johnson said. "They can take full advantage of everything Juneau has to offer in the winter-time. It really is a fun job. You never know, every time you come to volunteer, who's going to walk up to your desk. It could be the governor, someone from Australia or someone you went to school with. It can be really fun, but it can also be really important for someone who comes in."

Johnson views the winter program - which will be its first run - as a demonstration in Alaskans helping Alaskans.

Joan Brown has volunteered with the summer visitor's booths and has signed up to be an Airport Ambassador.

"It's fun to talk about Juneau to folks and help them plan their day or their time," she said. "Juneau has a lot to offer."

Brown recommends volunteering with JCVB and the visitor's booths.

"I think it feels good to help other people," she said. "It was just so rewarding. Everybody was just so appreciative of the information they received from the information sites. ... It really makes you learn more about your town."

Johnson said this is not only an effort to make Alaskans feel welcome and enjoy Juneau in the winter, but also to promote Juneau as a year-round destination.

Volunteer shifts will be daily from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m.-2:15 p.m., and 7 p.m.-8:15 p.m. Individuals may volunteer to work single or multiple shifts on any or all days of the week.

For more information or to sign up call (907) 586-2201.

For more information on JCVB, go to www.traveljuneau.com.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.



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