The Greeter Concept
Sherbrooke is the first city in the Province of Quebec to develop a Greeters network. The concept is very simple: pair volunteer citizens with visitors in order to allow the visitors to truly discover what Sherbrooke has to offer. The Greeter network allows the population to become ambassadors for their city by promoting collaborative tourism.
It is with great pleasure that Destination Sherbrooke joins the International Greeter Association. This partnership is an amazing window on the world and perfectly fits into Destination Sherbrooke’s vision to be the Eastern Townships’ flagship city and the number one urban destination for 2020.
What’s a Greeter?
Greeters are citizens between 18 and 80 years old that accompany visitors during their trip in Sherbrooke, the way they would welcome friends and family. They voluntarily offer their time to share their passion for the city. Greeters are not tour guides but citizens who wish to share what they love about Sherbrooke; the outing should last approximately two hours, but may be shorter or longer according to what the Greeter and visitors agree on.
Each outing is unique, genuine, free of charge and of course friendly. The goal of these visits is to forgo the usual guided tour sites and instead discover the hidden gems of the city; this discovery must absolutely be « off the beaten track », it must in no circumstances be a guided visit with a heritage theme.
We believe that the best way to discover a city is to meet a citizen who knows all about the spots that must be visited and points visitors toward his favorite restaurants and activities. The human experience plays a big part in the enjoyment of the city and the outing.
Each Greeter must be motivated, open, sociable and available at least half a day every month. Speaking a foreign language is not a prerequisite but it is imperative to be at least 18 years old (Although minors may accompany a greeter).
Who are the Visitors?
This type of visit can be tailored to individuals, families, couples or friends. A group may not be larger than 6 people and be comprised of at least 1 person older than 18 years of age.
The visitor will experience a unique and custom tailored trip through the city in order to learn more about its culture, its population and what makes the city vibrate. Tourism becomes a source of cultural exchanges both for the visitor and the Greeter.
How does a meeting with a Greeter work?
Before the outing
Before meeting a Greeter, visitors must fill out the Visit Request Form online, where the visitor will share his interests and what he would like to discover during the stay, for example: an immersion in a specific borough of the city, discovering the various parks and gardens, the best spots for jogging in Sherbrooke… The visitor is asked to fill out the form at least 4 days prior to his arrival in Sherbrooke to allow us to find the best Greeter pairing.
A meeting time and place is then arranged and Destination Sherbrooke will transfer this information, by email, to the visitor. This meeting place will be chosen for its proximity to the desired area to visit and its ease of finding for the visitor. The Visit Request Form will be given to the Greeter accompanying the visitor before the meeting so that the outing can be prepared following the interests of the visitor. The telephone number of the visitor will be communicated to the Greeter and vice-versa, if and only if, the visitor and the greeter both agree on this exchange of telephone numbers
During the Outing
Each outing is unique; it is « tailor-made » to fit in with the visitor’s request, the Greeter who is looking after the visitor and other factors such as the weather, how the visitor and the Greeter get on together, the languages spoken, etc.
The Greeter may welcome the visitor alone or with a person of his choice, depending on the visitors. For example, if the visitors are a family, the Greeter may wish to walk with his own family or one of his children but always respecting the maximum of 6 people per greeter.
The outing should last approximately two hours, but may be shorter or longer according to what the Greeter and the visitor agree on.
If any expenditure is incurred (food and drink, public transport tickets, entry tickets, etc.) each person pays his own expenses. The Greeter is under no obligation to pay for the visitor or vice-versa.
Visitors are made aware of the rules of the scheme and undertake to abide by them. If they fail to do so (considerable lateness for no reason, lack of respect, lack of interest in the walk, etc.) the Greeter is released from his commitment. If the Greeter does not respect the set of rules, Destination Sherbrooke has the right to remove his name from its list of Greeters.
Meeting a Greeter is totally free for the visitor; the Greeter should not accept any form of tip, payment or compensation in kind.
After the Outing
Following the outing, a satisfaction form will be sent by email to each visitor and Greeter in order to improve the experience of future outings.
Destination Sherbrooke commits to
- Hold a civil liability insurance ;
- Create and maintain the operation’s website;
- Ensure the advertisement of the operation through its communication tools;
- Assist in the recruitment of Greeters ;
- Ensure the pairing of visitors and Greeters ;
- Send a satisfaction form to both the visitor and the Greeter after the outing;
- Inform the Greeter of any pertinent remarks issued by the visitor;
- Guarantee the respect of the Greeter philosophy in order to prevent competing with professional tour guides ;
- Ensure the Greeters develop a network between each other by organizing activities during the year.
The Greeter commits to
- Respect the values of the Greeter initiative;
- Hold a civil liability insurance;
- Welcome visitors as a Greeter only when those visitors have been referred by Destination Sherbrooke (no offer of lodging or meals in his own home will be accepted);
- Upon reception of a request, confirm his availability to Destination Sherbrooke or recommend another day in case of unavailability;
- Allow Destination Sherbrooke to give his portable phone number to visitors once the meeting has been accepted;
- Welcome the visitor in a public space;
- Prefer a walking tour of the city instead of a driving tour;
- Notify Destination Sherbrooke of any incident that happened during the outing.
The visitor commits to
- Acknowledge that he may not hold Destination Sherbrooke or the Greeter liable, except in cases of proven misconduct directly related to his prejudice.
The Greeter is a volunteer. He is neither legally nor financially bound to Destination Sherbrooke; therefore, Destination Sherbrooke cannot be held accountable for the actions or opinions or the Greeter.
Non-compliance to the conditions of this Charter would allow Destination Sherbrooke to exclude the Greeter from the network.
Outings are free of charge and are held under the responsibility of the participants. Destination Sherbrooke cannot be held accountable for any incident, accident or dispute deriving from the outing.
Customer Experience Supervisor
(819) 821-1919 poste 2424