Q: How do you make a small team seem larger?
Developing an ambassador program of The Kentucky Wildlands will broaden the reach of our small team. Becoming an ambassador not only allows you to understand your role in an ever-evolving tourism initiative, but will also increase your knowledge of the region, which will enhance your skills to answer various questions from visitors and locals, and allow you to meet like-minded people to learn from their experiences.
This ambassador program exists to inspire our tourism partners, photographers, hikers and friends of The Kentucky Wildlands. We want to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience and grow new storytellers for eastern Kentucky.
Q: What is the role of a TKW ambassador?
Storytelling has always been one of the most effective ways to connect with people, especially in Appalachia. This desire to share one's story and be surrounded by listeners is what makes this program powerful. Exploring and building alliances with these “storytellers” will create longevity and a sense of united community across our region.
- Brand Awareness - Ambassadors represent The Kentucky Wildlands in a positive light online and in person to naturally establish brand recognition.
- Content Creation - Ambassadors are expected to assist TKW in providing online content other than personal social media posts, such as reviews, posts, and blogs. Ambassadors should be ready to assume the role of expert or opinion leader regarding the area they endorse. (i.e. conditions of the trails to the waterfalls)
- Feedback - As the face or real-life extension of The Kentucky Wildlands, ambassadors should facilitate communication by reviewing and listening to our visitors’ comments and suggestions and relay them to our team.
- Live Appearances - Ambassadors may be asked to be at an event that The Kentucky Wildlands organizes or becomes part of. Reimbursement for travel may be a consideration.
Q: What are characteristics of a good TKW ambassador?
- Understanding and appreciation of our region. We are 41 counties. Becoming familiar with the outdoor resources and amenities of these counties is encouraged.
- Established social media presence. Ambassadors need to be proficient in their platforms and have strong, positive content. Our followers may turn to them for trustworthiness and advice.
- Passion. To build excitement about The Kentucky Wildlands, ambassadors should exude enthusiasm that will attract others. Only a person who genuinely loves what our region has to offer can successfully convince others to do the same. Authenticity cannot be replicated.
- Communication. Ambassadors for The Kentucky Wildlands need to best express their passion through communication. We need people who are comfortable with getting their messages across clearly using the right words, body language, tone of voice and look, and can adapt their approach so that audiences of different types would want to listen. Not everyone understands our way of life in eastern Kentucky and Appalachia, so going back to the new storytellers: we need positivity!
Besides speaking on behalf of The Kentucky Wildlands, ambassadors also become a representative of our visitors. Their interpersonal skills allow them to effectively collect feedback—and give their own. Plus, they can share or report their findings and insights with our team in a way that will help us perform better and stay competitive in the world of tourism.
- Professionalism. The language, behavior, and attitude of ambassadors will reflect on The Kentucky Wildlands brand. Therefore, they must advocate positively and consistently in all messages, platforms, and even offline.
Being professional also means having strong self-leadership. It's being reliable and showing up at events (no last-minute cancellations!). Being team players who can collaborate productively when changes occur, especially during promotional campaigns.
They can spot and engage with potential visitors/customers without the guidance of the TKW team. Need to also be natural leaders who can relate well with new ambassadors.
Q: What is expected of a TKW ambassador?
- Stay active on social media
- Upload eye-catching photography and videography
- Write blogs
- Attend events in TKW attire
- Make connections with other tourism partners
Q: What are some benefits of being a TKW ambassador?
- Free TKW swag
- Notoriety on award winning website and social media accounts
- Meeting like-minded folks that you can teach and learn (Networking opportunities)
- Exploring new territories you may not have known existed
- Updates about the tourism industry
- Credential builder
- Potential volunteer opportunities across the 41 county region
- Possible career enhancement
Q: Why are tourism and ambassador programs important?
Tourism is a collection of activities, services and industries which deliver a travel experience comprising transportation, accommodation, eating and drink establishments, retail shops, entertainment businesses and other hospitality services provided for individuals or groups traveling away from home. - World Trade Organization (WTO)
- Tourism is the world's largest industry.
- Kentucky offers visitor experiences unlike anyplace else in the world.
- Visitors to Kentucky spent nearly $8.0 billion in 2019.
- Tourism-sustained jobs generated a total income of $3.1 billion in 2019.
- Tourism supports over 95,000 jobs.
- Tourism jobs include highly skilled, highly paid technical, managerial and professional positions; entrepreneurial opportunities; and employment for lesser skilled and young workers.
- Tourism in Kentucky generated $1.5 billion in tax revenues in 2019, with $8.23 million accruing to state and local governments.
- Tourism enhances Kentuckians’ quality of life.
- Kentucky tourism markets Kentucky products.
- Tourism and tourism marketing builds awareness of what is good and positive about Kentucky.
- Kentucky tourism is a thoroughly statewide industry that is large, diverse, and consists largely of small businesses.
- Tourism is a major Kentucky export.
- Kentucky is increasingly receiving media attention as a travel destination.
- International visitation is increasing.
- Kentucky’s tourism advertising is the lowest funded of all states in the southeast U.S. and among the lowest among all 50 states.
- Among prospective visitors there is limited awareness of what Kentucky offers.
- There is a significant need for more of our leaders to embrace tourism as one of the state's most important and valuable industries.
- In addition to limited funds, dedicated tourism funds are at risk of being diverted to non-tourism uses.
- Kentucky tourism is a sleeping giant.
Q: How do you get started?
Fill out this ambassador application. We will be in touch soon!