Creating A Great Impression
Since starting at The Rocks markets I’ve had far more international customers and it’s been quite fascinating getting to see from their experiences.
One of the most enjoyable and interesting perspectives is how we, as Australians, are seen. We give a really good impression to our visitors.
I think this is great. We all value the good hostess and host. We all appreciate being warmly welcomed and greeted. And apparently we, as a community and as individuals, are good at this with our visitors.
We are seen as being friendly, laid back, sharing and welcoming. Initially I was taking these sort of compliments as nothing too serious, not having much value but I’ve thought more about it.
I think well of Washington DC after being rescued by taxi driver from a potentially risky situation. I was trying to be brave and not scared, fibbing away trying to make time for myself with this guy who had spied a young female tourist on her own as an easy target. One of my fibs was that a taxi was being sent for me and I really couldn’t go off with him with the car coming. Then all of a sudden a taxi pulled up, called out a girl’s name to me, I looked stunned, sleaze bag looked stunned and I ran off to the taxi.
The taxi driver had seen a young female tourist in trouble so stopped to save her – bless him. He took me back to my hotel, refused payment and wanted me to have good memories of his beloved DC. And I do. I think DC is amazing and it’s people good.
So it is important what tourists think of a place. They go home and tell everyone. They blog, they skype, they have dinner parties, they promote our country for us.
So when we’re looking at our personal values – what matters in our lives, what compass do we live by, what do we compare ourselves to and how others perceive us, I think being seen as good hostesses is a really valuable thing.
Our good attitudes make life better. I think they are also coming through how we’re getting through as a community with the financial crisis. Yes, we have people going through hard times and hopefully, we’re looking after our friends and family who are looking for new jobs.
We’ve certainly proved to ourselves with the immediate and continuing support for bush fire and flood devastated communities and individuals that we’re completely capable of showing our deep hearted compassion and support.
So think of this next time you’re at risk of being drawn into a conversation about whinging about how crap our communities are. Do we really need those conversations or actions? I doubt it.
I think showing support for the values and actions that are most rewarding are self perpetuating. What you believe in comes true, what you do makes a constant difference.
So if in doubt about whether to ask a tourist if they need help with that map they are quizzing is alright, just do it because even if they are good for directions they’ll still think you’re fantastic and you’ll be rewarded with a big smile.
For me, tourists also come from other cities and regional areas and it’s great to say ‘welcome’ to them and have a chat about their experiences – then they’ll think Sydneysiders are fantastic!
So take joy from the idea that we, as individuals, are treating tourists well and they think our country and people are something special. Take heart that we are and keep it going.