Spotlight on Louisville’s Front-Line Hospitality Workers
National tourism program engages essential workforce to enhance visitor experiences
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 5, 2020) – As tourism begins a slow trickle back within pandemic regulations, customer service will be an important factor in sustaining business. Louisville Tourism is both celebrating and helping train the hospitality industry’s “front line.” A slate of fall and winter virtual Certified Tourism Ambassador™ (CTA) classes are planned just after the conclusion of National Customer Service Week October 5-9.
In recognition of National Customer Service Week, Louisville Tourism’s twitter social media channel will share stories and experiences from Louisville’s local front-line hospitality industry workers, similar to the Humans of New York project. Often these workers are in essential, behind-the-scenes jobs that are not customer facing such as housekeeping or kitchen staff. As the third largest industry (prior to Covid) in Louisville, tourism is at the forefront as one of Louisville’s key economic drivers. Louisville relies heavily on the $3.5 billion in visitor spending generated for the local economy.
In a regional collaboration with the Southern Indiana Convention and Tourism Bureau, Louisville Tourism continues its involvement in the nationally recognized Certified Tourism Ambassador™ (CTA) with the fall and winter schedule release of classes.
The Louisville Tourism Ambassador Program trains applicants using Louisville area curriculum, a half-day training session, and an open-book exam covering local history, attractions, events and prominent figures. The goal is to create 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. There is a one-time non-refundable, non-transferable application fee of $45 per person with a typical annual renewal fee of $30 per person. Renewal fees are waived this year due to COVID-19 restrictions on obtaining certification hours, saving participants and partner businesses $16,000 this year. CTA’s who were expected to renew in 2020 are automatically renewed until 2021.
Among the certified ambassadors are Louisville’s hotels from front line to management, TARC Coach operators, attraction personnel and volunteers and distillery teams. In addition, Louisville Tourism’s partnership with JCPS will continue in the spring, aiming to add the CTA class into the curriculum at Doss High School, giving students exposure to hospitality career opportunities as well as teaching them about Louisville.
“Visitors choose to spend time in Louisville for a variety of reasons, but it’s the high level of customer service that keeps them coming back. Participation in this program is key, now more than ever with the current challenges facing Louisville’s tourism industry,” said Karen Williams, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism. “This engaging industry program ensures our front-line hospitality workers are kept up-to-date on improvements being made to our tourism product and infrastructure and gives them the tools to provide guests an exceptional experience.”
How tourism affects Louisville (numbers prior to Covid):
- Louisville welcomes an average of 16.4 million visitors each year - which is the combined population of Michigan and Indiana
- Visitors spend $1.6 billion, which supports $3.5 billion in total economic impact
- Tourism supports 60,000 jobs in the Louisville MSA
- Tourism tax revenue benefits the 309,175 households in Jefferson County by generating $540 in annual tax savings
Upcoming virtual CTA schedule is below. More information on the program can be found at www.gotolouisville.com/cta.
- October 12. Web-based class; Go To Training
- November 17, Web-based class; Go To Training
- December 16, Web-based class; Go To Training