The first Greeter initiative was founded in 1992 as the first “welcome visitor” program of its kind.
Big Apple Greeter in New York City grew from friendly exchanges founder Lynn Brooks had with people she met.
Lynn wanted the world to know New York City as she did: a great big small town with diverse neighbourhoods, mom-and-pop stores, fun places to dine, and friendly residents who go out of their way to help an out-of-town feel welcome.
The concept was a big success and has spread all over the world.
As the number of programs grew, the Greeter initiative was formed as a voluntary association of independent welcoming programs.
All the program are free, offer greater services as an individual or small group experience, and are characterized by enthusiastic, local residents who love their home city and volunteer to conduct these visits.
All Greeters and Greeter destinations share the same core values:
1- Greeters are volunteers, a friendly face for those visiting a city/destination
2- Greeters welcome individuals and may serve small groups of up to six people
3- Meeting a Greeter is free of charge
4- Visitors are welcomed without any kind of discrimination
5- Greeter programs support sustainable tourism. Programs respect natural and man-made environments, it brings both cultural and economic enrichment to the local communities. Programs aim for a lasting positive image of each destination
6- Greeter programs create a mutually enriching opportunity for cultural exchange, create links between ordinary people in creating a better world