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Extension provides training for tourism professionals

By Susan Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. — Volunteers, employees and board members of the tourism sector or related organizations can get training and build networks with other tourism professionals in an upcoming certificate program.

The Excellence in Tourism Leadership Program will help tourism professionals learn how to market and increase tourism while gaining insight about leadership, advocacy, public policy and administration. The two-year program offers the opportunity to earn two separate certificates — an associate certificate and a master certificate.

In the first year, participants will complete coursework and attend in-person events to earn an associate certificate. More advanced training is available in the master certificate program, which requires additional course work, the completion of a project and a presentation to the class.

“Mississippi tourism stands at the threshold of unprecedented growth, but it will require leaders with vision and skill to make it happen,” said Rachael Carter, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development. “This program will help them understand how the various pieces — economics, marketing, community relations and government support — must all fit together to make a program work.”

Coursework will be both online and in person. Some sessions will be held in conjunction with Mississippi Tourism Association seminars in various locations. Participants will tour current tourism programs across the state.

Seats are limited, and program entry is competitive. Participants must submit their applications along with a letter of recommendation from an employer or tourism organization by Sept. 15. A tuition fee of $700 is due at the beginning of each certificate program for a total of $1,400.

The MSU Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development partnered with the Mississippi Tourism Association to offer the program. MSU experts and industry professionals will provide training. The Mississippi Tourism Association sponsored the program.

For more information or to apply to the program, visit https://bit.ly/3mXvclx.

MSU Extension is an equal opportunity institution. For disability accommodation, contact Carter at 662-325-3141 or rdm1@msstate.edu.