From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Greeters are volunteers who welcome tourists in their city or region, and show them around for free as they would do with friends or family. It is a form of social tourism; the residents participate in the activities of the tourists, and tourists get to see the local life of the place visited. During a walk through the city, a Greeter will not only point out interesting or unknown places, but also talk about daily life in the city and listen to what the guests have to say about their hometown.

The term "greeter" may also refer to a person whose job is to greet customers entering a store, such as a Walmart greeter. Some other institutions have greeters, such as universities, although the title is not consistent.


The first Greeter initiative was New York's Big Apple Greeters, founded by Lynn Brooks in 1992.[1][2] It was hoped that the program, sponsored by Manhattan borough president Ruth Messinger, would improve New York's reputation as a "dangerous, expensive and overwhelming" place by letting tourists see it through the eyes of its residents.[1][3] This idea soon spread to a variety of tourist destinations across the world.

Participating cities and regions[edit]

The Global Greeter Network assists Greeter destination by helping them to establish. The Global Greeter Network is growing rapidly. Currently, more than 150 cities are offering Greeter services.

List is not complete.

Global Greeter Network[edit]

The Global Greeter Network (GGN) is an informal association of Greeter destinations around the world.[4]

Core values[edit]

The GNN has defined six core values that are shared across all participating Greeter organizations:[5]

  • Greeters are volunteers, a friendly face for those visiting a city or destination
  • Greeters welcome individuals and may serve small groups of up to six people
  • Meeting a Greeter is free of charge
  • Visitors are welcomed without any kind of discrimination.
  • Greeter programs support sustainable tourism. Programs respect natural and man-made environments, it brings both cultural and economical enrichment to the local communities. Programs aim for a lasting positive image of each destination.
  • Greeter programs create a mutually enriching opportunity for cultural exchange, create links between ordinary people in creating a better world.


  1. ^ a b "About". Big Apple Greeters. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  2. ^ Allen, Anne Wallace (August 1, 2010). "Volunteers give free tours in cities around the world". USA Today.
  3. ^ Levy, Clifford J. (September 13, 1992). "Take My Hand, I'm a Stranger in Pandemonium". New York Times.
  4. ^ Global Greeter Network Foundation
  5. ^

External links[edit]