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VACVB Duo Certified
Saturday, 29 March 2014

March 29--Two leaders at the Vidalia Area Convention and Visitors Bureau are now certified "Travel Marketing Professionals" according to the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Marketing College.

ImageExecutive Director Ingrid Varn and Events Coordinator Richard Williams have completed a three-year professional development course and were two of 57 tourism professionals recognized at the STS spring meeting in Lexington, Ky.  The Marketing College started in 1992 and has certified 804 people so far.

The STS Marketing College is a professional development program that for one week each summer turns the facilities of University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Ga., into a laboratory to teach tourism marketing.

Instructors are working professionals in the travel industry such as convention and visitors bureau executives, public relations practitioners, sales and marketing consultants and research experts.

“This is not another program like ours in the country; we are the envy of travel professionals in other regions,” said Bill Hardman, president and chief executive officer of STS.

Tourism ranks as the first, second or third-largest industry in the 12 STS states that stretch from Virginia to Louisiana.

Course topics include special events marketing, media relations, tourism advertising, vacation research, crisis management, branding  and community/rural tourism. After the classroom work, students also must complete a project that relates to their employment.

“Our curriculum is practical. What students learn can be put to use as soon as they get back to their workplaces,” Hardman said.

The newest group of TMPs raised enough to fund eight scholarships for future STS Marketing College students.


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