The Greeters concept was invented on the other side of the Atlantic. In 1992, Lynn Brooks decided to do something about New York’s negative image as a scary and sprawling city. She wanted people to get to know the city she loved. So with a band of friends, she started to offer tourists original walks round the different neighbourhoods of the “Big Apple” organised by local residents. The first Greeters organisation was born.
This new tourist experience would enable visitors to get a better understanding and appreciation of a tourist destination: its environment, its population, its culture and its values. The Greeters concept took people off the beaten track and reinvented the meaning of hospitality based on meeting, sharing and exchanging between tourist and local volunteer.
In 20 years, it has become a global “brand”. The Greeters concept therefore spread to many other cities and districts, and the different Greeters destinations then decided to group together and form an international network: the Global Greeter Network (GGN).
Saint-Étienne’s greeters are part of the Fédération France Greeters and the Global Greeters Network. Discover all of them on the website www.globalgreeternetwork.info/
The definition of the Greeter:
I greet, you greet, we greet… but what is a Greeter?
We use the English term “Greeter”, but it has been translated into French by “hôte” (host) or “comité d’accueil” (welcome committee).
Greeters are local volunteers who are passionate about their home town or region and who enjoy welcoming visitors as they would friends. They give their time to introduce visitors to places they love, tell them story of their neighbourhood or village and share their daily lifestyle.
A Greeter is not a professional guide. The aim is not to provide historical knowledge of the places visited. The Greeter welcomes visitors into his or her everyday environment and explains it with passion. Come alone or in group of up six people.
Become a Greeter – the Charter
Join the adventure!
Are you a Saint-Étienne native, passionate about your city, your neighbourhood, your district? Would you like to share that passion, share your daily environment, get to know new people from all over the world? Join the Saint-Étienne Greeters network and share your experience of Saint-Étienne.
To become a Greeter, first you need to read and accept the Greeters Saint-Étienne Charter, then contact me directly by e-mail, by clicking on the button below.
Oh yes, and there are a few conditions you will need to meet to become a Greeter. You must:
- Want to share and help people to get to know your city and region, on a voluntary basis.
- Be aged between 18 and 180.
- Be willing to give a few hours of your time over the year to some exceedingly nice people.
- Enjoy meeting people, sharing.
- Send me a short e-mail explaining why you want to join us.
- I’ll organise a meeting with you so that I can answer your questions and find out more about what motivates you.
- I’ll explain that you don’t need to have studied the history of art to be able to show people the place where you live: every inhabitant of Saint-Étienne and its region can be a Greeter if they want.
- You don’t necessarily have to speak a foreign language either, because lots of visitors speak or understand French.