Big Apple Greeter was founded in 1992 by Lynn Brooks as the first “welcome visitor” program of its kind in the United States. On her extensive travels around the world, Lynn realized that almost everyone she met wanted to visit New York City, but some were a little intimidated. She wanted the world to know York City as she did: a great big small town with diverse neighborhoods, mom-and-pop stores, fun places to dine, and friendly residents who go out of their way to help a visitor feel welcome.
Today, Big Apple Greeter’s 300+ volunteer Greeters bring approximately 7,000 visitors a year to more than 100 neighborhoods throughout the City. Since its launch, Big Apple Greeter has welcomed visitors from all 50 states and 124 countries, with visits conducted in over 20 languages.
Big Apple Greeter’s mission is to enhance New York City’s worldwide image and enrich the New York experience by connecting visitors with knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers. The mission was created to accomplish the following goals:
- Promote a friendly, inviting, manageable image of New York City.
- Bolster tourism and foster economic development.
- Create opportunities for New Yorkers to show pride in their city and give back to their city through volunteering.
Big Apple Greeter builds bridges between people and cultures, and promotes cross-cultural understanding. Greeters welcome visitors from all over the world, and visitors go home with a better appreciation of the diversity of New Yorkers and all Americans.