PORT Elizabeth became even friendlier yesterday after a contingent of security guards were certified official tourism ambassadors.
Twelve security guards from Zama Security received a tourism certificate at a function in Central.
The guards will now patrol the city's tourism hotspots after completing a two-week course funded by the Madiba Bay Development Agency.
As they are equipped with a range of skills like historical and geographic knowledge, tourists and locals are set to benefit.
The guards will be putting their training into practice along Parliament Street, the Donkin Reserve and city centre precincts.
Speaking at the ceremony, Save Our City Campaign chairwoman Lyn Haller said she was delighted the project had come to fruition.
Haller is also a member of the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Guides' Association and a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Bay Heritage Trust.
"The guards underwent the course through the Shirley Naude Training Academy and are now tourism ambassadors for the city."
She said the guards would help boost the image of Port Elizabeth and all it had to offer.
The ambassadors will also be equipped with security knowledge to inform visitors about no-go areas.
The guards will be rotated, with six on duty at any given time.
"They will be wearing bibs which identify them as ambassadors so they can easily be seen by visitors."
Haller said she was thrilled with the venture.
"I am really hoping this initiative can be expanded going forward. There are obviously a wide range of benefits for the city and for the ambassadors themselves, who have now been empowered with more information about their city," she said.
Angela Watson of Zama Security said the guards volunteered for the training.