Have you ever wondered how to broadcast your knowledge of Dublin and get a free beer or coffee in the process? Lee Eustace has the information that you need.
Okay, so it may be 99 thousand welcomes short of Céad Mile Faílte, but the ‘City of a Thousand Welcomes’ programme certainly fosters the spirit of hospitality synonymous with the Irish nation of old. 
 
For those of you wondering what exactly the programme involves, you are not alone. Coordinated by The Little Museum of Dublin, at the heart of St Stephen’s Green, the programme allows tourists to sign up and be matched with an‘Ambassador’ from Dublin. 
 
Meetings take place twice daily and the number of Ambassadors enlisted is approaching 3,000.
 
Since its inception in 2011, the programme has gone from strength to strength. It is sponsored by organisations such as Fáilte Ireland, KPMG, Luas Cross City and Dublin City Council, and is designed to provide tourists with an authentic view of Dublin, free of charge. 
 
Having been mentioned by Lonely Planet in November in their guide to Dublin as a ‘must see’ city for 2016, interest has soared in the ‘City of a Thousand Welcomes’, that’s according to Chantal Browne, a spokesperson for the Little Museum of Dublin. 
 
“We’ve had a renewed interest from existing Ambassadors as well as a number of applications from prospective volunteers.”
 
So what is an Ambassador exactly? An Ambassador is generally a native of Dublin who meets the tourist for a cup of tea in a café or a pint in a pub as part of the programme. Many of the Ambassadors are retired and semi-retired professionals; however, many working businessmen are involved in the programme as are a small number of students. 
 
So why can’t students get more involved? The programme stipulates that Ambassadors must be over the age of 21 and have certain knowledge of Dublin city. If, however, you tick both of those boxes, then this is the programme for you! 
 
In order to gauge a prospective Ambassador’s level of knowledge, the Little Museum requires that you take a short online quiz which tests your basic knowledge of the city with questions such as what is the name of the library of Dublin Castle?Which main road goes through the Phoenix Park?
 
If successful, prospective Ambassadors are invited for an informal interview in the Little Museum of Dublin, where a representative of the programme will assess the candidate’s suitability, as well as asking for some basic information about the person.T
 
his information is used later when matching Ambassadors with tourists, with every effort made to have the Ambassador and tourist within a similar age group and range of interests. 
 
So as students why not take the time to get involved? For those born and reared in Dublin, this is the perfect chance to promote your city. For those students living in Dublin over the past number of years, this could be the perfect opportunity to show off what you have learned about Dublin city. 
 
It is, after all, an opportunity to meet a new person, have a chat about something you’re passionate about and enjoy a free beer or coffee in the process! 
 
And for those students who study languages, although not stipulated by the programme itself, there is an opportunity to practice your language skills if paired with a suitable tourist. 
 
With Dublin city set for a tourism boom this year, the Little Museum of Dublin expects the campaign to be in high demand from inquisitive tourists and prospective Ambassadors alike.
 
With the help of more energetic and knowledgeable students, it may edge a little closer to that Céad Mile Fáilte after all.  
 
 
Daniel Dudek-Corrigan/ Flickr