Volunteer FAQs

1. Who is Tourism Vancouver?

Tourism Vancouver is a not for profit business association representing approximately 1,050 members in tourism and related activities. Our purpose is to effectively market Metro Vancouver as a destination for leisure, meeting and event travellers. Our goals are to attract visitors to the region, encourage them to stay longer or to return for many more visits.

Tourism Vancouver is the Official provider of travel information to visitors of Vancouver. In addition to operating its flagship Visitor Centre in Downtown Vancouver at 200 Burrard Street, Tourism Vancouver also operates satellite Visitor Centres at convention and special event locations throughout the city.

2. How long has Tourism Vancouver been around?

Tourism Vancouver first came to be in 1902, under the name of the "Vancouver Information & Tourist Bureau". Over the years our name has evolved to the current name of Tourism Vancouver - The Metro Vancouver Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

3. How long has Tourism Vancouver's volunteer program been around?

Tourism Vancouver's volunteer program was established in 1996 with the first group of 13 volunteers at our downtown Touristinfo Centre. Since then Tourism Vancouver's volunteer program has expanded to over 200 volunteers at multiple Visitor Centre and Hosting/Greeting locations.

4. What types of volunteer positions are offered at Tourism Vancouver?

Tourism Vancouver offers one type of volunteer position in a variety of settings: Volunteer Visitor Experience Specialist. Volunteers contribute to Tourism Vancouver's Experience Vancouver department by significantly increasing its ability to deliver industry leading travel counselling and experience promotion. Tourism Vancouver Volunteers play an essential role in maintaining the service excellence that is expected by visitors, members and industry partners. After completing a comprehensive training and orientation program volunteers are relied upon to respond to visitor inquiries and whenever possible promoting Tourism Vancouver member experiences.

5. When does Tourism Vancouver recruit volunteers?

Tourism Vancouver's volunteer recruitment usually takes place in February/March every year or less often, depending on operational needs.

6. Who is Tourism Vancouver looking for?

The outstanding reputation of our exciting industry is due to the quality and calibre of our people. We are seeking local residents with a special interest in assisting visitors to our beautiful city, who bring with them a sound knowledge of Vancouver and British Columbia. Customer service, sales, information counselling, fluency in other languages are some of the beneficial skills and experience, among a few other specific qualifications that are desired for the volunteer positions at Tourism Vancouver:

  • Ability to communicate fluently in English, second language a definite asset;
  • Enjoy meeting people and interacting with other cultures;
  • Excellent knowledge of Metro Vancouver and British Columbia;
  • Good knowledge of Metro Vancouver Transit system;
  • Great interpersonal & sales skills, engaged, enthusiastic, and friendly;
  • Be a permanent resident, Canadian citizen and have lived in Metro Vancouver for more than one year;
  • Comfortable volunteering in a busy, energetic, fun environment;
  • Be able to make a commitment to completing the training program;
  • Commit to volunteering 4.5 hours a week for at least one year;
  • Comfortable standing and/or walking for lengthy periods of time;
  • Basic internet search and other basic computer applications knowledge

7. What type of volunteer training and orientation is provided?

All volunteers are required to complete a mandatory 2+ day provincial certification training program called Tourism Visitor Counsellor training.

During this training, volunteers receive an introduction to Tourism Vancouver's customer service expectations, a review of a variety of travel counselling tools and an orientation to the various aspects of the visitor centres and hosting/greeting. Following this classroom style training volunteers receive additional on-site shadowing and coaching. After the completion of 40 hours of on-site counselling experience volunteers receive a performance evaluation which is the final step in completing the requirements of Tourism Visitor Counsellor Certification.

In addition to the initial training, in-house workshops and member product familiarization tours are organized as part of Tourism Vancouver's commitment to on-going training and product knowledge development.

8. What is the length of volunteer commitment with Tourism Vancouver?

Tourism Vancouver is committed to exceeding expectations and invests a significant amount of resources into recruiting, training and supporting its staff & volunteers. To provide the best travel information services and create unsurpassed experiences for all visitors to Vancouver, Tourism Vancouver requests the following volunteer time commitment.

  • Commitment to attend training and orientation and
  • Minimum of 4.5 hours/week volunteer commitment on regular basis

9. Is the volunteer uniform provided by Tourism Vancouver?

A uniform and a nametag are important indicators of consistent, professional service. As part of Tourism Vancouver's commitment to professionalism and superior customer service a personal brand color and logoed shirt and a nametag are provided. The volunteer is responsible for providing their own black cardigan, black dress pants/skirt and closed toe black shoes.

10. Are the meals and public transportation provided by Tourism Vancouver?

Water, coffee, tea, milk or hot chocolate is always available for volunteers to enjoy during their break at our main office. In addition surprise treats are offered from time to time as a way of appreciation. As a not for profit organization, Tourism Vancouver is currently unable to offer free transit fares or meals for volunteers.

11. What are the benefits of volunteering with Tourism Vancouver?

The volunteer program has various activities and rewards to show Tourism Vancouver's appreciation for the volunteers' professionalism, passion and time commitment. The following are some of the rewards and opportunities offered at Tourism Vancouver:

  • Welcome and interact with visitors from around the world;
  • Share your passion for the city and province you live in;
  • Enjoy being part of an exciting organization and industry in Vancouver;
  • Give back to your community and help others;
  • Gain further professional experience and knowledge;
  • Tourism Visitor Counsellor training and provincial certification;
  • Length of service awards;
  • Tourism privilege pass & member familiarization tours;
  • Annual volunteer appreciation events and more

12. How can I apply to become a volunteer at Tourism Vancouver?

You may fill out our on-line Volunteer Application form in advance. Volunteer applications are kept on file for next recruitment. Volunteer recruiting for Tourism Vancouver is selective. Candidates must complete an application form, followed by a personal interview to determine their knowledge, enthusiasm, availability, commitment and interest in promoting Metro Vancouver and Tourism Vancouver members.