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Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTA)

Become a Grand Rapids Tourism Ambassador!

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

Grand Rapids Certified Tourism Ambassador Logo

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®.

Lisa Verhil, CTA

Visitor Services Manager
(616) 258-7388 ext. 3578

Learn More ›

Courtney, a Certified Tourism Ambassador in Grand Rapids

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

Armed with this training and professional certification, front-line personnel will better inform, impress and empower visitors, greatly enhancing their enjoyment of our city.

During the first 6 months of the year CTAs can also take advantage of free enhanced training on the following topics:

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Disability Advocates
  • Gender & Sexuality Ally Training
  • City Sneak Peek with the City Senior Planner
  • Human Trafficking
  • Emergency Homeland Security Training for Citizens
  • Navigating the Rapid & DASH Bus System
  • Be Nice Training

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!

2020 Open Class Schedule:

  • January 22 1-5 PM at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
  • February 10 4:15-8:15 PM at the GRCC- Secchia Culinary Institute
  • February 26 1-5 PM at the  Amway Corp.
  • March 26 8 AM - 12 PM at the Hampton Inn South
  • April 6 4:15- 8:15 PM at the GRCC - Secchia Culinary Institute
  • April 8 1-5 PM at the Towneplace Suites
  • June 15 1-5 PM at the Holiday Inn Downtown

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 prior to October 31. Please contact Lisa Verhil for assistance with your password or logging in to the website.