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What is a Tourism Ambassador and how is this program certified?

The Tourism Academy offers its Tourism Ambassador Certificate to increase visitation and empower front-line employees, volunteers, and advocates in the hospitality industry with a common goal to create positive visitor experiences for every visitor.

First impressions matter and your destination needs to provide every visitor with a positive, welcoming experience! That's why your destination needs well-trained, engaged, and empowered tourism ambassadors. 

RELATED: Tourism Ambassador Training & Certification

How is it certified?

Provide front-line volunteers and hospitality employees with the knowledge, skill, and tools they need to deliver consistently positive and memorable experiences. 

Authentic Experiences: Visitors (leisure travelers, meeting attendees, convention goers, etc.) are looking for authentic local experiences. They are looking to build memorable moments with the people who make places worth visiting. Those on the front-lines and able to make the biggest impact on each visitors' experience are key to providing quality service and creating memorable moments. Visitors who have a good time in your destination are likely to return, recommend visiting to their friends, post positive messages on social media, and bring their meetings, conferences, conventions and events to your destination. 

Individuals who complete all of the training requirements are awarded a Tourism Ambassador Certificate for the given destination. This Certificate of Completion verifies that the front line employee or volunteer has mastered required skills and knowledge, identified by The Tourism Academy in conjunction with a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), or similar regional tourism authority. These organizations maintain a working relationship with The Tourism Academy to uphold program standards, engage ambassadors in a fruitful way, recognize those who have achieved their certificate, and deliver high-quality training over time. Those who have achieved their certificate will be prompted to refresh their skills annually, thereby maintaining their certified status. Certification brings value to the front-line worker, their current and future employers, contributing positively to the overall value-perception of the CVB or DMO within the destination.

Tourism Ambassador Benefits

Ambassadors stretch your budget further

Unlike one-off, short-term influencer partnerships, ambassador programs secure more loyal, long-term alignment with community stakeholders. Tourism ambassadors are more likely to volunteer their services and/or incorporate your messaging into the work they already do, serving visitors and creating travel experiences. 

Ambassadors amplify brand awareness

Thanks to your visitors' enormous social media following, tourism ambassadors can create moments that compel new social posts, stories & experiences. Therefore, driving awareness about your destination, making it a household name among people who plan conferences, and those who love to travel but never considered your area before. They also promote brand awareness faster than traditional advertising.

Ambassadors improve your brand's image

Did you know that visitors prefer authentic local experiences rather than the same things to see, do and eat they can get back home. Who better than a local tourism ambassador to bring humanity to an otherwise faceless brand? Tourism ambassadors can help promote your destination image and help it stick to each visitor's memory. Ambassadors also help improve your destination's image by attaching positive experiences to it.

Ambassadors protect your reputation

Imagine your destination making headlines in the press for all the wrong reasons. Without trained and certified ambassadors, your visitors would most likely believe the misleading headlines. Each tourism ambassador comes in handy on such occasions to defend your destination against defamation or derogatory statements that might hurt your reputation with your target audiences and future visitors.

Ambassadors offer unmatched publicity

No more making huge investments in paid ads to promote new product releases, upcoming events, or destination news. Each brand ambassador can overdeliver on all of these and at a budget that’s more attractive than traditional marketing tactics.

Ambassadors are advocates for your DMO or CVB

Aside from boosting your destination awareness, tourism ambassadors also spread positive word-of-mouth about your work, improving stakeholders' opinions about your destination marketing organization and increasing your convention & visitors bureau affinity.

Share news about important issues or public initiatives with your tourism ambassadors to rally support for your cause.

Ambassadors can grow your destination's social accounts

Picture this: thousands of visitors arrive in your destination; each a social media following of hundreds, thousands or more. If they are repeatedly posting about your destination with hashtags or a link to your destination’s pages, that’s MILLIONS of people being exposed to your destination EACH DAY. That will definitely gain new followers for your destination's social accounts. Additionally, you can recruit influencers to become tourism ambassadors to do a “live take over” of your destination’s account to grow your following even more.

Ongoing Presence

Tourism ambassador programs have been around for a while. Cities and destinations of all sizes have created some form of program for ambassadors. This could be a customer service training for cab drivers, safety or cleanliness training for a downtown alliance crew, or even training for those staffing the welcome desk at a convention center or airport. 

What makes The Tourism Academy's Tourism Ambassador program different from the others?

  • We are educators. Each course and certificate offered through The Tourism Academy is created by instructional designers and business psychologists with input from seasoned tourism professionals.
  • We create transformations. Each course and certificate comes with clearly defined learning objectives and measurable goals. By the end of each course, the student will be able to DO something they were not able to at the beginning of the course. 
  • We thrive on engagement. We apply the latest scientific data and research to ensure that each person who learns at tourismacademy.org is engaged with the content, the instructor and their screen. 
  • We offer accessibility. Our training programs are available 24/7 - online and on demand, giving your partners and community members access to your program whenever and wherever they are most motivated to participate. We've removed the obstacles of time, place, and staff availability to make your program available to all who want to participate.
  • We believe in diversity, equity & inclusion. Our training programs, courses and certificates reflect the diverse communities we work with. Our educators come from around the globe, representing all backgrounds, dozens of languages, and that makes us stronger.
  • We maintain your program. We create, deliver, update and verify completion of your program for as long as its running.
  • We bring stakeholders into alignment. Our programs create value for the DMO, community, business, government and average citizens. We get your stakeholders focused on a common goal. 

Creating Community Alignment

The Tourism Academy's Tourism Ambassador Certificate program brings together various stakeholders to support the mission of their local convention & visitors bureau (CVB) or destination marketing organization (DMO). Here's how:

  • Get more visitors. Better visitor experiences lead to better word-of-mouth, more positive social posts, more frequent visits and a greater desirability of the destination for meeting, convention and tourism business.
  • Volunteer & Front-line Support. Brings ambassadors together for a common goal, shared with the DMO - providing better visitor experiences.
  • Local Business Collaboration. Every tourism business must train their employees. By offering this on demand and online training as a service of the convention & visitors bureau (CVB), you've created a tremendous value for local businesses. Plus - more visitors bring more spending to nearly every business sector.
  • Rallies Government Support. More visitors, longer stays, more convention business equal a stronger tax base. Plus - each of those community volunteers and front-line ambassadors is now a constituent advocate for the work of the destination marketing organization (DMO). 
  • Creates Positive Brand Associations & Lowers Acquisition Costs. With each positive visitor experience, your destination shines. This makes it easier for you to land new business, impress meeting planners, win over tour operators, and wow boards of directors. With every wow moment, you've reduced your cost to acquire new business. 
  • Brings Stakeholders Together. Tourism ambassadors represent every possible front-line touch point from the airport and taxi to the hotel, restaurant, attraction, and local merchant. Focusing these stakeholders on a single goal makes true economic development easier.
  • Develop Better Product & Hasten New Product Rollout. Provide visitors with a better experience today while empowering your tourism ambassadors to talk up new initiatives and features that are coming soon. 

To sum it up, Tourism Ambassador programs (done well) create a solid set of benefits that help to strengthen communities, build tourism and support the hospitality community.

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