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10/01/12 Cabbies To Get The Olympic Knowledge - Surrey County Council
Taxi drivers will be trained with the Olympic 'knowledge' to provide tourists with information on where to go and what to do during the 2012 Games.
Cabbies will learn about Olympic and Paralympic sporting events, venues and celebrations to make sure visitors don't miss out on what is going on.
The drivers will also provide information on the best tourist attractions* and other places to explore away from the Games, as they chat to passengers. In-car television screens will show images of Surrey landmarks and beauty spots.
The initiative is being run by Surrey County Council, Visit Surrey and the Roadrunners Gatwick taxi company, in a bid to make sure tourists enjoy their visit and use local businesses. It was announced on Monday, 9 January, which is the 200 day countdown to the Olympic Games.
The firm's army of 200 drivers carries 120,000 passengers every month. They’ll be particularly busy on 28, 29 July and 1 August, when Surrey hosts the Olympic men's and women's cycle road race and time trial events.
Denise Saliagopoulos, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for the 2012 Games, said: "Chat and banter with a British cabbie is a great source of information for tourists and a part of the holiday experience for many visitors. Britain’s cabbies are renowned for their wealth of local knowledge so it makes sense to tap into this for the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Anna Tomkins, project manager at Visit Surrey, said: "Roadrunners Gatwick are going to be fantastic ambassadors for Surrey which will help the tourism industry across the county. The skills and knowledge the drivers will gain will not only help visitors during the Games, but in the months and years afterwards as well."
Denis Bone, HR Director at Roadrunners Gatwick, said: "With 200 days to go to the Olympic Games this week, our 200 drivers will help to make sure every visitor picks up the Olympic spirit. At Road Runners Gatwick we are delighted to join up with Visit Surrey in offering every one of our passengers the opportunity to get the very best from their visit to our country.
"Our vehicles will be equipped with on-screen scenes of the best of Surrey and our drivers will be equipped with enthusiasm and knowledge to maximise every visitors' trip."
* Five of the top attractions in Surrey that taxi drivers could recommend include:
- Epsom Racecourse
- Thorpe Park, Chertsey
- Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking
- The Lightbox art gallery, Woking
- Loseley Park house and estate Guildford
For more information on Surrey's involvement in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, visit www.gosurrey.info
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