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Published on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Hangout on Holiday seeks volunteer ambassadors

Hangout on Holiday is seeking volunteers to become travel ambassadors for destinations in preparation for when the world starts travelling again.

The company, which connects travellers to places, events, offers and other travellers in resorts via Live Chat, hopes these 'Hangout Locals' will share news and local services updates in the places where they live to answer questions and help calm concerns among potential visitors.

CEO Paul Stanyer said: "It's a desperately sad time for the industry as things have literally ground to a halt. Without any sight of when travel will return to normal makes it even more difficult to plan for the future.

"Once people start travelling again (and we hope that is very soon), they will want to know what's going on and what's open - from a 'local'. This initiative is our way of trying to help travellers determine facts from fiction and we believe 'locals' are going to be that trusted source of information.

"It's ambitious, but our challenge will be to find a local in as many destinations around the world as possible. It's a pretty straightforward process - once we source a volunteer willing to become one of our Hangout Locals, we simply plug them into our app and they become immediately active for their resort or town.

"They can then deal with any live chat requests or can broadcast any relevant local updates to anyone who lives there or is planning to travel there in the future."

The company soft launched the recruitment campaign via targeted social media channels last weekend and said there's been a great initial response so far.

"We are now planning a series of broader social media campaigns over the coming weeks with the aim of plugging in as many locals in as many towns, resorts and cities as possible. We've already started adding locals in places as far apart as Bolney to Brisbane," said Stanyer.

"During lockdown, not unsurprisingly there may not be a huge amount of requests for information, but once things slowly start to return to normal, there will be a natural thirst for information, from 'locals' about what's happening, what's open and whether life is returning to normal."

The company, set up by the founder and former CEO of Holiday Taxis, will be rolling out a new release of its app in the coming weeks with several new features.

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