Experience More...


Newsletter Signup

Sign-up for the Experience Grand Rapids newsletter, The Travel Link.


Online Visitor's Guide

2015 Visitors Guide

Chock-full of information to help you plan your trip... more

Grand Rapids Insider

Grand Rapids Insider

view all posts

Founders Brewing Company: The 18-Step Blueprint For Michigan Brewing Success

July is "Craft Beer Month" in Michigan, and there can be no better way of acknowledging this occasion than by interviewing Dave Engbers, one of the key figures responsible for Michigan's ascension to ...more

Posted July 1, 2015


Certified Tourism Ambassadors

Become a Grand Rapids Tourism Ambassador!

Grand Rapids Certified Tourism Ambassador LogoYou can help make Grand Rapids an even more enjoyable experience for visitors - and advance your career at the same time!

If you work or volunteer in the local tourism or hospitality industry, you can become a Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM (CTA). This official industry designation is presented by Experience Grand Rapids on behalf of the nationwide Tourism Ambassador Institute®.

Why Become a CTA?

The goal of the CTA program is to increase tourism - by inspiring front-line employees and volunteers to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience.

Through reading assignments and a half-day of in-class participation, front-line personnel will learn:
• their role in increasing tourism
• the best practices for creating a good experience
• specific features of Grand Rapids and West Michigan
• how to utilize local resources
• how to exceed customer expectations

Courtney, a Certified Tourism Ambassador in Grand RapidsArmed with this training and professional certification, front-line personnel will better inform, impress and empower visitors, greatly enhancing their enjoyment of our city.

Download the Grand Rapids Tourism Ambassador brochure for more information.

Front-Line Benefits

The Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM designation is a nationally recognized measure of excellence and a great résumé enhancer. It can lead to increased business, higher tips, career advancement and more.

Employer Benefits

Research shows that Certified Tourism AmbassadorsTM on staff improves customer service ratings, employee satisfaction and team morale. All of which helps encourage repeat business.


There is a one-time application fee of $35.00 per person and an annual renewal fee of $10 to participate in the CTA program.

Sign Up!

View a class schedule and enroll in a session at ctanetwork.com.

Already a CTA?

If you are currently a certified tourism ambassador, be sure to login to the CTA Network to record your points and to renew your certification! You will need 50 points to renew along with a small fee of $10. Please contact Lisa Verhil for assistance with your password or logging in to the website.

Nominate a CTA for Star Award

This award is presented to a Certified Tourism Ambassador who exemplifies excellence in hospitality and customer service and can be nominated by anyone. This individual should consistently exceed customer expectations, possess a strong knowledge of the region and its attractions, and promotes the ideals of the Grand Rapids Tourism Ambassador Program and the Tourism Ambassador Institute.  If you would like to nominated someone, please complete the online nomination form. The CTA Star of the Year award winner will be announced at the Impacting Hospitality Celebration on November 20, 2014.

Top 10 Reasons to Visit

Art Aplenty

Great art is everywhere you look in Grand Rapids – in museums and galleries, lining streets and spilling out of parks. Every fall, we host the world’s largest art competition. Discover our Hot Art and find art events that match your trip dates. More

Farm-Fresh Food

With restaurants that use fresh, local ingredients and markets that offer a tremendous variety of just-picked produce, Grand Rapids is one delicious destination. Explore our Hot Eats and find a restaurant that tickles your palate. More

Lively Live Music

Grand Rapids is alive with the sound of music – every kind of music, every day of the week. Learn why this is a great city for Hot Tunes and find music events that suit your taste and your trip dates. More

Best Beers

America’s best brewpub. The world’s third best brewery. Two of the planet’s top 10 beers. No wonder Grand Rapids was named Beer City U.S.A. in 2012 and 2013! Check out all the ways to enjoy our Great Beer. More

Natural Wonder

Wherever you go in Grand Rapids, you’re never more than a few minutes away from a park, lake, river, golf course or hiking/biking trail. Every season offers endless opportunities for recreational fun. Explore our Grand Outdoors! More

Beach Bounty

There are 18 amazing Lake Michigan beaches just a short drive away from downtown Grand Rapids – and one very popular in-town beach at the center of one of the nation’s largest urban greenspaces. Browse our Beaches. More

Retail Therapy

From mega malls stocked with brand names to mini boutiques full of unique treasures, Grand Rapids offers a complete range of shopping experiences. Stores are close, convenient and friendly. Scan our Shopping options. More

Museum Magic

Explore the unique culture of Grand Rapids at a series of first-rate museums and historic sites. Learn about art, nature, presidential history, planets, childhood discovery and more at these Museums. More

Hospitality Plus

Grand Rapids offers big-city amenities without the big-city attitude. We cling tight to our small-town values – so expect friendly hellos, attentive service and pay-it-forward hospitality everywhere you go. More

Connecting Point

Location, affordability and all-ages appeal make Grand Rapids a great place to connect with your favorite people. Get together for a friend meetup, family reunion, girls’ getaway, or men’s weekend. More