McKinney CVB staff receives hospitality certification via national program

Posted 11/19/2009

North Texas E-News 

McKinney, TX, Nov. 19, 2009 - The McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau staff recently completed training through a national hospitality program, earning all four staff members the designation as Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTAs). 

"The Certified Tourism Ambassador program is a national program designed to better equip those working and volunteering in the hospitality industry when welcoming and assisting visitors to their communities," said Diann Bayes, executive director of the McKinney CVB.  

Bayes and Tourism Sales Manager Dee-dee Villanueva were the first MCVB staff members to complete the program, completing CTA certification and additional training over the summer that allows them to function as facilitators for future CTA training sessions. The remaining two staff members, Communication Services Manager Beth Shumate and Tourism Services Representative Vanesa Baggett, completed the program in late October. 

"The hospitality industry involves more people than most realize. After all, one in eight non-farm jobs are related to the hospitality industry. This includes not only hotel and lodging partners but also those working in restaurants, as tour guides, attraction employees, and anyone involved in transportation. The hospitality business is huge in this area, as the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is the #1 tourism destination in the state of Texas," Bayes explained. 

The North Texas version of the national Tourism Ambassador Institute program is being offered through the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Tourism Council (DFWATC), an accredited provider.

"DFWATC is offering this program now in part because of the Super Bowl coming to the area in 2011, but it is a national program in which we would have participated regardless. It's a valuable program for anyone involved in the hospitality industry," Bayes said.  

Bayes and other community leaders have been working in conjunction with DFWATC and the Super Bowl Host Committee to explore opportunities for bringing visitors to McKinney during the January 2011 event. 

"We hope that other area officials and tourism partners will complete the CTA program as well as volunteers helping at our attractions," Bayes said. "Travel and tourism generate roughly $18 billion in economic impact to our area annually, so the more people who understand how to help visitors in our area, the better." 

This hospitality program is an ongoing one, as CTAs work to accrue credits by attending events, visiting attractions and completing other educational tasks in order to renew their CTA status each year.

Any organization, business or individual in the McKinney area who would like more information about the CTA program should contact Tourism Ambassador Institute at

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