Melbourne’s beloved ‘red coat’ city ambassadors will return to the streets from tomorrow.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said 52 of the city ambassadors will return to Fed Square forecourt as well as key locations across the city.
“Welcoming almost half of our ‘red coat’ volunteers back to the city for the first time in 12 months is another incredible milestone in Melbourne overcoming the pandemic,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Having our bright and bubbly red coats back on our city streets will be another way we can encourage Melburnians and visitors to rediscover everything that is amazing about our city.
“Our volunteers have a passion for Melbourne. They’re excited to return to share their local knowledge and help people make the most of their time in Melbourne. They are also looking forward to reconnecting with their fellow volunteers.
“Our red coat volunteers being back on our city streets is another sign the buzz is returning to Melbourne.”
The Lord Mayor said four visitor hubs had been reopened over the past six months due to a steady increase in demand for visitor services since October, with 30,000 interactions with visitors in that period.
“We’ll continue to ramp up services as more people return and as our volunteers feel safe and comfortable to be back out and about,” the Lord Mayor said.
The Melbourne Visitor Booth has seen a 129% increase in visitor numbers since November, while the Queen Victoria Market Hub has seen a 50% increase since reopening.
City Activation portfolio Lead, Councillor Roshena Campbell said Melbourne’s weekly pedestrian activity was currently around 60% of its pre-COVID-19 levels.
“Pedestrian activity has been trending up in March and April as more workers have returned, and events, activities and the school holidays have enticed people back to the city,” Cr Campbell said
“While numbers are still down overall, the past three weekends have seen pedestrian numbers at around 80 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels, which is a strong sign of improvement.
“As more people return and become reacquainted with the city, support services like our city ambassadors are as important as ever.
“Everything we can do to make Melbourne more inviting and welcoming helps businesses to recover from the worst trading conditions in living memory.
“Our volunteers will be back on the streets in their vibrant red coats helping people find their way, discover new attractions and access tips and hints about what to do and where to go.”
Cr Campbell encouraged people who like to explore the city at their own pace to visit the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall and check out a new suite of self-guided ‘Melbourne Walks’.
“Our self-guided walking maps are a great way to explore hidden gems in the city and inner suburbs like Carlton, North Melbourne, Southbank Arts Precinct and Chinatown,” Cr Campbell said.
The City Ambassador program will operate from 10am to 4pm Tuesdays to Saturdays commencing from Tuesday 11 May.
Visitor hubs are open in Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne Town Hall, Fitzroy Gardens, and the Queen Victoria Market.
The City of Melbourne also offers virtual consultations with tourism staff through a new Virtual Visitor Hub introduced earlier this year via What’s On Melbourne for those who wish to plan ahead.