About CTA

CTA Program Objective

"To increase regional tourism by inspiring front-lineweb columbus mayor1 hospitality employees and volunteers to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience."

CTA = Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM

Accredited through the Tourism Ambassador Institute® and administered at the local level, the Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM (CTA) program is industry-recognized certification. It's the only program in existence today that gives an official designation (John Sample, CTA) to individuals - from Mayors, to General Managers, to Drivers, to Waiters - people who care about their destination and want everyone who visits to talk positively about their experience.

With over 15,000 current CTAs, the program has proven success in aligning the destination's people infrastructure - its stakeholder businesses and front-line - to build tourism by Enhancing the Visitor ExperienceTM. Through its locally-customized curriculum, the CTA program focuses on the experience given to visitors, whether they are leisure travelers, business travelers, or attendees.

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Click here to read What CTAs Are Saying and Destination Success Stories from CTA Destinations of all sizes!

To enroll, click here.

To start a program in your destination, Contact Us.

Proudly Displaying the CTA Designation

Thousands of CTAs - in the U.S. and internationally - proudly wear their CTA pin and use the CTA initials behind their name (John Sample, CTA) on business cards, e-mail signatures, name tags, and company websites. Upon completion of all program requirements the designation is theirs to keep, as long as they renew their certification each year.

Being a Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM is a great achievement!

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Aligning the Entire Destination in Support of Tourism

CTAs from all parts of the industry are joining together as one big team. In destinations of all sizes, the CTA program has successfully aligned the following sectors. Why? Because they ALL benefit from a positive visitor experience!
• Airports
• Attraction & Activities (museum, cultural, gaming, sports, etc.)
• City/County/State Government (mayors, city council, police)
• Citizens / Volunteers
• Convention Centers / Conference Centersweb waterfront
• Downtown Merchants
• Economic Development / Workforce Development
• Higher Education (universities, community colleges)
• Hospitals
• Hotel / Lodging (hotel, motel, B&B, RV park, etc.)
• Lounges/Nightlife
• Realtors
• Restaurants (upscale, café, etc.)
• Shopping / Retail (malls, districts, etc.)
• Facilities / Arenas (sporting events, festivals, etc.)
• Transportation (shuttle, cab, limo, public transit, etc.)
• Tourism Entities (DMO, CVB, Chamber, etc.)
• Other (corporations, banking, etc.)


"Until the inception of this certification program, there was no consistent way to ensure that frontline employees and volunteers understood their role in increasing tourism by Enhancing the Visitor ExperienceTM."

Mickey Schaefer, FASAE, CAE, CTASuccessful Meetings
President, Tourism Ambassador Institute®
Founder, CTA Program
2006 Inductee, "Hall of Leaders", Convention Industry Council
2013 "Six Top Industry Leaders", Smart Meetings
2015 "25 Most Influential in the Meetings Industry", Meetings News/Successful Meetings