London Deploys Its Army of Street Sweepers As Tourist Guides

The city of London is preparing its army of bin men and street sweepers to offer information to tourists that get lost in the city or are unable to locate a place of interest during the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games.

An estimated one million international visitors are expected to land in London during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the city has been gearing up to offer an incident-free holiday to them all. Around 1,000 road sweepers and refuse collectors have been trained to offer directions and other tourist information to foreign visitors, in addition to their regular job responsibility of keeping the city clean.

Counsellor, Ed Argar, the UK cabinet member for city management and transport, said in an interview, ‘Our street sweepers and bin men are some of the friendliest faces in town. So much so, that as well as keeping the city clean, they often become the unofficial tour guides for London. This initiative will increase that engagement and make the millions of people expected this summer feel even more welcome.’

The street sweepers are currently being trained to improve their customer service skills, and will be asked to keep small maps to help out tourists that are in difficulties.

Jeremy Brinkworth, the head of business development at VisitEngland, said, ‘This is a great example of how England is pulling together to ensure all our visitors during this amazing year are given an outstanding welcome. We are sure that London’s road sweepers will help to form a great first impression for visitors from throughout the UK and overseas.’