About CTA

Why CTA?

The Need for the Certified Tourism Ambassador™

Tourism is big business. Visitors spend money attending to business, touring attractions, or learning about the history of the area. This infusion of "new money" into the local economy often holds local tax increases at bay and gives the city extra money to enhance its infrastructure-making the destination more appealing over time.  As a result, destinations spend lots of money courting convention and leisure travelers.

But in reality, no amount of money will make up for the visitor having a bad experience, which negatively impacts the destination's brand and overall image.

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.


Benefits of the Ambassadors Program

The beauty of the CTA designation is that it provides frontline employees and volunteers critical training that helps improve their attitudes and their performance.  It gives them a chance to meet one another, learn from each others' experiences, and celebrate together.  All of this strengthens the program over time as the program matures.

The benefits are numerous and build on each other, which creates a Benefits Cycle, as follows: 

Ambassadors Program Benefits Cycle™

Benefits Cycle

This exciting, ground-breaking program has many features that translate into a wide variety of benefits that permeate, and elevate, the entire hospitality and business community.

Certification, unlike training, is ongoing and provides lasting value to the industry and the visitors and tourists it serves.

About the CTA Program

The Certified Tourism Ambassador™ Program

  • A ground-breaking nationwide certification program for your frontline workers and volunteers.  Accredited and licensed through the Tourism Ambassador InstituteTM, the Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM (CTA) Program is a certification program that goes well beyond basic customer service training.  It is designed as a lasting program that mobilizes a destination's frontline to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience.
  • To date, over 10,000 frontline workers and volunteers have earned the designation, Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM (e.g. John Smith, CTA).
  • Current Cities that have made the commitment to their frontline and their stakeholders.

            Anaheim/Orange County
            Columbia, MO
            Columbus, OH
            Corpus Christi, TX
            Dallas/Fort Worth Area, TX
            Door County, WI 
            Fort Collins, CO
            Galveston Island, TX
            Greater Houston, TX
            Journey Through Hallowed Ground (Regional--            Gettysburg to Monticello)
            Kalamazoo, MI   
            Kansas City Metro Region, MO, KS
            Greater Lansing, MI             
            Oklahoma City, OK
            Rochester, MN
            San Antonio, TX
            Sonoma County, CA                                    

            Stockton, CA

  • The Program is Highly Customized for each Destination through a proven, six-month build-out process:

     Phase One - Research & Planning (Focus Groups and Surveys of Management and Frontline)

     Phase Two - Defining the Body of Knowledge & Customized Program Development (History, Culture, Attractions, Resource Guide/Index, and   more)

     Phase Three - Field Testing

     Phase Four - Train the Trainer (Facilitator Guide, Facilitator Training)

     Phase Five - Program Launch

     Phase Six - Ongoing Program Management (Database software and web site -- CTANetwork.com)

The process of working through these phases involves key stakeholders in the development of the program's Body of Knowledge, thus, engendering critical buy-in to the program's success.

  • CTANetwork.com - The CTA Online Community:  Each Accredited Provider is provided with specially-designed database software and a special CTANetwork.com micro-site, to facilitate program administration and information-sharing with the frontline.  The online community becomes a motivated and connected frontline that is continually up-to-date!
  • The Tourism Ambassador InstituteTM (TAI) is the oversight body that ensures a high level of program quality over time.  The CTA designation is conferred by the TAI in cooperation with a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), which can be a DMO, CVB, Chamber of Commerce, or other entity.  These organizations agree to uphold certain standards of practice as a licensed TAI Accredited Provider in order to ensure the quality and integrity of the program and the CTA designation.                                                             
  • The program's certification component, with the requirement for annual renewal, strengthens the program in the eyes of the frontline workers and their employers and, as such, has lasting value over time to a city, region, and the nation as the program grows from destination to destination.