Visit Loudoun has launched Virginia’s first Certified Tourism Ambassador program to extend the tourism organization’s reach and enhance the visitor experience.
The internationally recognized Certified Tourism Ambassador program was developed by the Tourism Ambassador Institute and launched in 2006. Since then, more than 50,000 people have been certified in 18 states and Bermuda. Loudoun will be the only program destination in Virginia.
The Loudoun County Tourism Ambassador Program seeks to increase tourism by inspiring front-line employees and volunteers to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience—with the goal of encouraging visitors to return and share their experience with others.
“By community members sharing what they love about Loudoun, the role of tourism in our economy is elevated,” stated Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson. “As a Loudoun CTA, I can share that the virtual class focuses on what makes Loudoun a welcoming destination and how to ensure that visitors have a great experience. Part customer service training and part Loudoun tourism product knowledge, it’s fun and helps answer the question, ‘What’s there to do in Loudoun?’”
Visit Loudoun ran a soft roll-out of the program in late 2020, certifying its staff and board members, and has now opened it up to all members of the tourism industry and volunteers from the community.
The $45 virtual classes are held the second Wednesday of the month and cover the value of tourism, the history of Loudoun County, and its numerous local tourism assets. The goal is to provide the tools hospitality professionals need to answer questions, recommend Loudoun attractions and provide a welcoming experience to every visitor.
“As program facilitator, I love seeing members of our industry learn from each other as well as get inspired when they discover something new about their community,” stated Visit Loudoun Industry & Project Coordinator Jennifer Bodamer. “This program also creates a sense of camaraderie among participants as they become part of this unique group that is the face of Loudoun County to visitors.”
Once the one-time class is complete, participants receive the official CTA designation and are encouraged to visit Loudoun attractions yearly to stay up to date on places to direct visitors. For more information or to sign up, go to visitloudoun.org/cta.