Beginning today and continuing through the summer tourism season, visitors to some of Tacoma’s most popular attractions will be greeted by experienced visitor information specialists who can answer questions and give advice about how to best experience Pierce County.

The team of roving Travel Tacoma + Pierce County staff and volunteers, called Team Ask253, will begin hitting the streets this afternoon for National Travel and Tourism Week, spending about an hour each day welcoming visitors at locations such as the Dale Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Tacoma’s Museum District (near the Museum of Glass) and the Broadway Farmers Market. As tourism season kicks off after Memorial Day, the team will increase their presence around the city for the duration of the summer until Labor Day.

“We have a well-equipped Visitor Information Center at the Convention Center in Tacoma, but when visitors are here, we found that we’re much more likely to find them sightseeing in the sun,” said Lisa Barker, Travel Tacoma + Pierce County Visitor Experience Manager. “So we’re meeting them where they are and taking that experience to them. We want to connect them with the experiences that they might not have heard of, but that make sense for them. If they’re a family from out of town, they’ve probably heard of Tacoma Art Museum, but maybe they didn’t know that Kids’ Trek at Northwest Trek just opened last month and that’s perfect for them.”

Team members will be recognizable by their bright blue t-shirts with the Team Ask253 name. They’ll carry backpacks with attraction and dining information, as well as an iPad loaded with images and maps to help visitors learn about other nearby attractions and to help them plan the next part of their trip. Each team member will also carry a Polaroid-style instant film camera to let visitors capture their special moment in the city, and get a free, unique keepsake to take home with them. Team Ask253 members will also respond to questions asked on social media via the #Ask253 hashtag.

During the first week of May, Team Ask253 will be operating on a limited schedule to try out different locations and gauge visitor volumes. When they’re not out and about, the knowledgeable team at Travel Tacoma is available through email at; by phone at 1-800-272-2662 and in person at 1516 Commerce St. in downtown Tacoma at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.

Last year, Pierce County welcomed 5.9 million visitors to the area, and Travel Tacoma + Pierce County served about 2,500 visitors through our Visitor Information Center.