Looking for a way to align your destination's stakeholders and demonstrate your convention & visitors bureau relevance to the community? If so, you need tourism ambassadors. But what is tourism ambassador training?
Here are just a few benefits of having certified your tourism ambassadors:
They protect your destination's reputation
They humanize your brand
They publicize for you
They create positive visitor experiences
They advocate for your destination marketing organization (DMO) or convention & visitors bureau (CVB) READ MORE >>>
Here's a little video we put together...
Tourism Ambassador training and certification is an invaluable tool to rally your community behind the mission of your DMO or CVB. It's used to create more consistent messaging, improve the visitor experience, and reduce your cost to acquire new visitors and convention business.
As with any marketing or visitor service initiative, you've got options. Who's going to teach your tourism ambassadors? How are you going to train your tourism ambassadors? Does your program need to be certified? When will you offer your ambassador training? Etc.
Here are a few things you should be looking for when deciding how you'd like your tourism ambassador training program to run.
There's no shortage of individuals willing to "assert" their expertise. Are they educators? Are they qualified to create and deliver effective training for adult learners. Are they members of the Association for Talent Development? Have they been responsible for talent development beyond the needs of a single workshop? Do they have experience in business psychology and/or instructional design? Do they understand the unique needs of adult learners and the data on how individuals learn?
Will your ambassadors be trained in person or online? If you're looking to include as many of your community members as possible, you'll need to deliver your training in a way that allows stakeholders to learn when, where and how it is best for them. Yes, we are talking about empathetic leadership applied to training.
Will all of your stakeholders be able to attend a program on a specific day, at a specific time, in a specific place? Probably not. Working with adult learning and training experts, they'll create a program that incorporates the best of both scenarios so that your training can be available 24/7 while also incorporating the human element that comes from live interaction.
First, what does it mean to be certified? To become certified, individuals must complete an assigned set of lessons and demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter. Tourism is not rocket science, brain surgery or tax accounting - it's about providing great service and creating positive visitor experiences. Your ambassadors need to know the essentials and how to find solutions to common visitor inquiries. That is why a certificate of completion from your tourism ambassador training program is a sign that they have the knowledge necessary to represent your community and DMO well. The Tourism Academy provides these certificates to those who complete each course successfully and we make it possible for sponsoring organizations to view, measure and track their students' progress in real time, from anywhere.
At last check, there was no ANSI (American National Standards Institute) classification for Certified Tourism Ambassadors. Besides, every community has its own unique needs. Each tourism ambassador program has its own desired outcomes and it is important that the individual/organization you work with understands your DMO/CVB's needs and create a learning track that produces the desired results.
Productivity isn't just crucial to company bottom lines—it's vital for our economy as a whole. The higher it is, the more output that each person can generate using a given amount of input—something that ultimately drives higher living standards. If the product is software and the input is programmer time, then higher productivity would mean writing more software for a given amount of programmer time. IBM found that even though eLearning was costly, it led to substantial improvements in productivity. For every dollar spent, the company claims that it saw $30 in increased productivity . It wasn't just a function of workers being able to return to their desks faster, either. IBM showed that productivity gains came from the ability of employees to apply their newly acquired skills straight away. It's important to be able to apply newly-learned skills quickly in any role.
The notion that eLearning is a powerful learning tool is not widely contested. Most companies and educational establishments accept that it has a role to play. But what is less understood is just how powerful eLearning can be as an intervention. IBM is famous for its implementation of eLearning courses at its headquarters and across its global workforce. eLearning makes a lot of sense for a company like IBM that has to continually update and upskill its employees to deal with changes in the marketplace and technology. The company wanted to find out whether it was spending its money wisely or whether it should return to more traditional styles of training, such as face-to-face. To the shock of company execs, IBM found that those enrolled in eLearning courses learned more than five times as much material compared to traditional lessons, allowing the company to make significant cost savings . The reason for the success of eLearning appears to stem from how it presents materials. eLearners consume information in smaller, more digestible chunks, making it easier to consign things to memory and understand how concepts interact with each other. IBM employees could get back to their work faster, saving the computing giant money.
Deloitte, a professional services and research company, estimates that the average employee needs to dedicate around 1% of their time per week to training. Doing this, according to Deloitte, enables the worker to stay up to date with best practices and developments in their industry. 1% of the working week isn't much time at all. It translates to 24 minutes per week or 4.8 minutes per day, assuming a 5-day working week . Arranging 4.8 minutes of training per day face-to-face would be impractical. But thanks to "microlearning"— a popular buzzword in the eLearning industry—companies can now take this approach. What's more, microlearning may be even more effective than regular learning because people are better at absorbing lots of small chunks of information than they are a few larger ones. You can imagine a worker sitting down at their desk in the morning, taking a five-minute eLearning class, and then carrying on with the rest of their work for the day.
It should come as no surprise that eLearning is a far greener and more efficient method of training than face-to-face. Figures from an Open University study suggest that eLearning cuts energy consumption by 90% and slashes CO2 by more than 85% . eLearning courses are, therefore, an essential pillar in the global fight against climate change. The world needs a new generation of people with the intellectual and educational capacities to take on the challenges of tomorrow. Building that capacity takes energy, but it could be a lot less if there's greater use of eLearning courses, especially among educational institutions and companies. Cutting carbon dioxide emissions is a priority for companies and educational institutions. Companies, in particular, need to protect the environment to make sure that they have a functioning, wealthy customer base to buy their products in decades to come. Climate change puts that at risk.
The notion that a training program could lead to a threefold increase in the revenue per employee seems a little far-fetched. But this is no idle finding, it's the conclusion of the American Society for Training and Development after a study of more than 2,500 firms . It was a serious study. Companies that offered comprehensive training across a range of subjects experienced dramatically improved revenues compared to those that didn't. And it wasn't just revenues that were higher either. Data suggests that when employers spend $1,500 per employee per year on training, they achieve improvements in profit margins of around 24% . Furthermore, for every additional $680 a company spends, shareholder return rises by 6%. Investing in the knowledge capital of a company, therefore, is just as important as investing in the physical capital . Traditionally, companies have been reluctant to train their employees. Most managers know that investing in people yields positive returns, but few are aware of the fact that eLearning affects both the numerator and the denominator of the calculation of the performance. eLearning is more effective than most managers believe at boosting the revenue or profit per employee (the numerator) and it's also less costly than commonly perceived (the denominator), increasing the total return per unit spent.
Bring destination stakeholders into alignment to support tourism:
Tourism Ambassadors from all possible market sectors come together to create a full visitor experience. Destinations, both big and small, can align these sectors successfully because each benefits from a positive visitor experience! Here are just a few of those who are positively impacted by your credentialed tourism ambassadors (CTA).
Need help aligning your community, finding tourism ambassadors or designing your tourism ambassador program? Contact us today and our expert team will be happy to help you get the results you’re looking for. Cheers!