Bringing Tourism to the Classroom & Beyond : Official Travel Source

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Bringing Tourism to the Classroom & Beyond

Bringing Tourism to the Classroom & Beyond

Louisville, Ky., (April 29, 2019) – Nearly 100 students from Southern High School were celebrated for graduating from the nationally-recognized Certified Tourism Ambassador™ (CTA) program.

Ninety-two juniors and seniors from the high school received the certification during a special ceremony at the end of April.

The opportunity for Southern High School students to become Certified Tourism Ambassadors came about through the Academies of Louisville program, a public education initiative that brings together Jefferson County Public Schools, students, families, educators, businesses and community partners in an effort to prepare high school students for success in college, career and life. Academies are small learning communities within the high schools that allow students to connect what they’re doing in the classroom to the real world with a subject that interests them.

Southern High School offers a tourism academy track focused on hospitality, travel, tourism and recreation in its curriculum. Louisville Tourism partnered with the school to give students in this program the opportunity to further their local education in becoming CTAs. In addition, Louisville Tourism wanted the students to learn about Louisville’s growing hospitality infrastructure and career possibilities in the industry.

Louisville Tourism, in a regional collaboration with SoIN Tourism (Clark-Floyd Counties Convention & Tourism Bureau), has been involved in the national CTA program since 2017.

The Louisville Tourism Ambassador Program trains applicants using Louisville-specific curriculum during a half-day training session that covers local history, attractions, events, prominent figures and more. It culminates with an open-book exam. The goal of becoming a Certified Tourism Ambassador is to create consistently knowledgeable and positive interactions with every visitor to the city, thus encouraging repeat business, increasing new visitors and boosting visitor spending.

The CTA courses are open to all residents in Louisville and Southern Indiana and are being strongly promoted within the hospitality community. In addition to the students at Southern High School, other certified ambassadors include front-line employees and management teams from Louisville hotels, TARC coach operators, attraction personnel and volunteers and distillery teams.

Louisville is the 28th city to join the national CTA Network among Anaheim, Baltimore, Sonoma County, Cincinnati and Columbus. There are approximately 20,000 frontline employees and volunteers that are currently certified nationally.

More information on the program can be found at