Liz Bittner: Exploring Lifelong Learning and Unveiling the Power of Travel

In this captivating episode of the Tourism Academy's Business Class Podcast, we delve into the world of lifelong learning and the transformative impact of travel. Our guest, Liz Bittner, President & CEO of Travel South USA, is a seasoned traveler and industry expert; she shares her remarkable journey through roads less taken and bridges crossed.

We start by embracing the idea that we're all lifelong learners. Our guest highlights the beauty of connecting people to the unknown, fostering a continuous exploration of the world. This philosophy sets the stage for the stories that follow.

Our guest's earliest travel memory takes us from Dayton, Ohio, to Minnesota. Sitting in the front seat with a map in hand, she gained more than just geographical knowledge – she discovered the thrill of navigating the vast expanse of the United States.




From there, we fast forward to a recent trip to Montgomery, Alabama. This venture revealed a profound encounter with history and a connection to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail alliance. Walking the iconic Selma bridge and meeting foot soldiers who marched for justice painted a vivid picture of bravery and the magnitude of their actions. Visiting critical sites linked to Martin Luther King Jr.'s journey added layers to understanding how these moments changed the world, inspiring a continued path of exploration.

Reflecting on her journey, our guest unveils lessons learned. She shares how switching career paths from a legal aspiration to organizational communication led her through various roles, with the hotel industry as an anchor during economic downturns. Mentors played pivotal roles in shaping her trajectory, teaching her the power of promotions, data scrutiny, and embracing the courage to admit when you don't have all the answers.

Drawing parallels between her father's innate curiosity and her mother's kindness, our guest unveils her aspirations for knowledge and empathy. The conversation turns endearing as she gleefully brags about her children, each embodying different facets of her personality.

As advice flows freely, she emphasizes the beauty of the travel industry's diverse career paths. With the ability to adapt and evolve, this industry offers endless growth opportunities, ensuring that every stage of life can find fulfillment within its folds.

Our guest's current role involves promoting the southern United States globally. She passionately believes in the financial and diplomatic significance of bringing people together through travel. Through anecdotes of campaigns and ambassador gatherings, we uncover the authenticity of Southern hospitality and its unique power to forge connections and foster diplomacy.

Our guest addresses young women in a closing moment of wisdom, reaffirming that they can thrive in the hospitality industry while juggling motherhood. She advocates for a more substantial female presence in the industry, highlighting its potential for women from all walks of life to excel.

Join us in this insightful episode as we explore the profound impact of travel, the joy of learning, and the importance of embracing diverse paths in life. For more inspiration and to learn about the fascinating destinations discussed, visit and the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

Business Class is brought to you by The Tourism Academy - harnessing the power of science, business psychology and adult education to advance the tourism industry and build sustainable economies. Learn how to engage your community, win over stakeholders and get more visitors at

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