Navnit Jogi – known as ‘Yogi’ – from the West Midlands has been shortlisted for his contribution as a Welcome Ambassador during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Created by the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) and delivered with The Welcome People, Yogi and his colleagues worked at a host of mobile information units between March and October at key locations throughout the West Midlands.

‘Yogi’ made every one of the team’s 50,000 recorded interactions with visitors a special moment. He took the time to chat and get pictures whilst dressed in his custom-made Peaky Blinders attire. Throughout his eight months as an ambassador, ‘Yogi’ travelled from his home in Wolverhampton across the West Midlands. His nomination is recognition of his infectious enthusiasm, which rubbed off onto colleagues and visitors alike.

Navnit Jogi, Welcome Ambassador and Tourism Superstar Top 10 finalist, said:

“It’s a privilege for me to be considered for this honour. After a tough couple of years for tourism due to the pandemic, this ambassador role helped me realise that my passion is to help people. Whether it was directions, helping people find a place to eat, or just a smile and wave to help them on their way, I loved every second of making someone’s day.

“This was my second time working at a Commonwealth Games. Being from Birmingham, as soon as it was announced that the Games were to take place in my home city, I had to be a part of it. Everywhere you went, the streets, squares and venues were busy and buzzing – it was brilliant to see people from around the world enjoying our region.

“If I won Tourism Superstar 2023, it would be an amazing achievement for the entire region, and another reason for celebration after having hosted the UK’s most successful Commonwealth Games.”

A record 1.5 million tickets bought tickets for Birmingham 2022 making it the most popular Commonwealth Games ever to be hosted in the UK. More than five million people visited Birmingham city centre during the two-week period of the Games.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“Navnit’s shortlisting for Tourism Superstar exemplifies the outstanding work that all our teams, and in particular the Commonwealth Collective of volunteers, delivered to bring the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to life.

“The Games were about so much more than world-class sport - they were about Birmingham and the West Midlands welcoming the world and when visitors came to the region, Navnit and our thousands of tireless volunteers made their trips an unforgettable experience. They’re one of the key factors that made the Commonwealth Games an unforgettable moment of collective celebration.

“It’s wonderful that Navnit has been recognised with this nomination and I would urge anyone who enjoyed a warm Birmingham 2022 welcome to vote for him.”

Now in its 11th year, the VisitEngland Tourism Superstar competition acknowledges the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry. Run in partnership with the Daily Mirror, the campaign celebrates those in the sector who go the extra mile to ensure tourists in England have an unforgettable visitor experience.

The winner of Tourism Superstar 2023 will be decided by a public vote, which is open now until 20th March 2023. The winner will be announced during English Tourism Week (17-26 March) on Saturday 25th March. The winner will be presented with their award during the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence ceremony in June.

To learn more about Tourism Superstar and to vote for Navnit, click here.

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