500th Sonoma County Tourism Ambassador Certified

Posted 04/12/2013

SONOMA COUNTY, CALIF. - Sonoma County Tourism certified its 500th tourism ambassador, six months ahead of schedule.

Randy Johnson, owner of Getaway Adventures, SC 500th CTAearned the 500th Sonoma County Certified Tourism Ambassador designation during the program's April 4 class. He learned of the honor during a broadcast of Steve Jaxon's The Drive, KSRO, on Thursday, April 11.

"I'm so thrilled to be the 500th CTA," Johnson said. "We love showing Sonoma County off to people. The CTA program was a great learning experience."

Johnson and Getaway Adventures have introduced hundreds of visitors to Sonoma County through outdoor experiences like "sip and cycle" tours, kayaking down the Russian River, or hiking through the back country.

Joining Jaxon in congratulating Johnson were culinary expert Clark Wolf, Tim Zahner, Sonoma County Tourism, and Mo McElroy, who heads up the CTA program for Sonoma County Tourism. All in attendance went through the program and are certified tourism ambassadors.

"SCT began offering the program in October 2012, with the goal of certifying 500 CTAs in the first year," McElroy said. "We met that goal in six months, which shows the dedication and excitement of hospitality professionals throughout Sonoma County."

The aim of this national professional program is to showcase Sonoma County and improve visitation by inspiring front-line hospitality employees and volunteers to work together to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience.

The premise is simple: If front-line employees and volunteers (those who come into immediate contact with the visitor) provide quality service, visitors are more likely to have a positive experience.

"Visitors who have a positive experience are more likely to return," McElroy said. "And they will share their perceptions with their friends. Everyone benefits - visitors, hospitality workers and their employers, and the local and regional economies."

For more information about the Certified Tourism Ambassador Program, contact Mo McElroy, mmcelroy@sonomacounty.com, or visit www.sonomacounty.com/articles/partners/sonoma-county-cta-program.