Since I launched the Brisbane Welcomes the World training program in May this year, we’ve seen considerable interest from the Brisbane tourism and hospitality industry, keen to brush up on their skills ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit this November.

Brisbane Welcomes the World is one of the city’s six major G20 initiatives to leverage the benefits of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to promote the city globally.

The free training program is delivered via face-to-face sessions and online modules, and invites anyone within the local tourism industry who plays a role in welcoming and hosting visitors to participate.

More than 500 people from 50 organisations have now completed the free training program which is about ensuring the city welcomes the world leaders, 4000 delegates and 3000 media representatives with open arms, a friendly smile and plenty of local knowledge.

It’s encouraging to see how industry has embraced this opportunity, and the number of concierges, taxi drivers, retail staff, tourism operators and volunteers who have taken part in training to date and have booked for future sessions between now and G20.

Service industry organisations which have already taken part or are committed to future training sessions include: Black & White Cabs, Yellow Cabs, Emporium Hotel, Queensland Museum, GOMA, River City Cruises, Brisbane Airport Ambassadors and Newstead House, and it’s expected around 2000 people will have completed the program before November.

Members of our local tourism industry already do a fantastic job welcoming people to our city but Brisbane Welcomes the World will ramp it up!

It’s all about giving our visitors a personal connection with our city, culture and events that will stay with them forever.

One of Brisbane’s best assets is its friendly, caring community and envious lifestyle and the Brisbane Welcomes the World program encourages participants to think about what makes the city special and how they can share it with visitors.

Destinations that consistently extend a warm welcome reap social and economic benefits long after tourists have visited or major events have been staged.

It’s about working together to lay out the welcome mat for Brisbane.

To find out more about the Brisbane Welcomes the World program, go to: