Lake County CTA program conducts first focus groups; county, Marymount collaborate

Posted 01/29/2015
Lake County News

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. - On Dec. 9, the Lake County Board of Supervisors, upon the recommendation of the Lake County Marketing Program, purchased the Certified Tourism Ambassador Program to promote tourism in Lake County.

The new Lake County Tourism Ambassador Program is a formal certification program focused on increasing tourism.

The program serves to inspire local business owners, hospitality and service employees, and volunteers about Lake County's viability as a travel destination and ensure that every visitor encounter is a positive experience.

Travelers who enjoy their time in Lake County may make a return trip and will be more likely to share their great experiences with friends and family. Everyone benefits - visitors, business owners and the regional economy.

"CTA participants will become more familiar with what Lake County has to offer and how to create a positive impression on our visitors," said County Administrative Officer Matt Perry. "We expect that this will not just be a hospitality training program, but will go a long way in creating community pride."

More than 10,000 individuals have earned their CTA designation to date, and the program has been featured in USA Today, the L.A. Times and Business Week Online.

Designed by Mickey Schaefer & Associates, the Certified Tourism Ambassador Program is being adopted by Destination Marketing Organizations all over the United States.

Successful candidates who enroll in the program and complete the training will receive the designation Certified Tourism Ambassador (e.g. Joe Smith, CTA).

The first phase of the Lake County Tourism Ambassador Program began with several focus groups at Marymount California University's Lakeside campus on Jan. 15.

Marymount's campus Executive Director Michelle Scully, praised the county's foresight.

"Marymount's Lakeside campus is a great example of the way that Lake County collaborates and makes economic development a priority," Scully said. "The Certified Tourism Ambassador Program is an excellent way to showcase our county's assets and promote growth. We look forward to this summer when our classrooms will be available to host the CTA Program."

The Lake County Board of Supervisors purchased the Certified Tourism Ambassador Program as well as 200 membership enrollments for county employees and 200 membership enrollments for the private sector.

The cost to enroll will be $49 and participants will be expected to commit to four hours of classroom time and devote several hours of personal time to extracurricular activities.

Kickoff of this countywide program will begin in July.

For questions about the CTA Program, please contact Rebecca Southwick at Rebecca.Southwick@lakecountyca.gov or call 707-263-2822.

The Certified Tourism Ambassador Program is part of the Lake County Marketing Program.

The Lake County Marketing Program, in partnership with the Lake County Winegrape Commission and the Lake County Winery Association, is currently focusing on the upcoming April 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Lake County Destination section.

The Lake County Marketing Program is also creating a new, mobile-responsive visitor Web site to improve awareness of Lake County as a vacation destination.

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