RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Everyone has that friend who always knows the best places in town to eat or the fun sites to visit, and now, that person can be you.
Right now, Richmond is a beacon on the national travel scene, having been recognized as one of the best places to travel in 2016.
The area has also been nationally recognized as the most artistic mid-sized city, home to an elevated dining scene that can please any foodie.
For years, Richmond Region Tourism helped hotel concierge staff steer their guests to the best attractions. And now, they're opening their doors so Richmonders can learn the secrets the hotel professionals have been taught.
The free "I am Tourism" class starts with learning how tourism dollars affect our economy. In 2014, tourists spent more than $2 billion during their travels.
"Tourism saves taxpayers $600 in their taxes a year and with more tourism coming to the destination, more ambassadors like the ones going through the class, that is even going to increase the amount it saves taxpayers locally," Richmond Region Tourism's Tamera Harris explained.
Afterward, attendees are then taught about all those places around town they may not be familiar with, many of which are free. Harris said a lot of those gems of the Richmond scene are off the grid.
That lesson is then followed by a bus tour, where they can actually go experience firsthand the spots they just learned about.
"They see how close and where the attractions are, how they're connected with the restaurants." Harris goes on.
When the class is over, attendees get reference materials that maps everything out.
Attendees also get an attractions pass that lets you visit these places for free on your own time, so you can speak from experience when you share your knowledge.
"Because of the wealth of things and events that are going on in this destination, people are proud to say they're from RVA." Tamera said.
Sign ups start Wednesday morning. Organizers say spots for the classes go quickly so signing up as soon as possible is the best way to ensure entry in the "I am Tourism" courses.
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