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Extension provides training for tourism professionals

Writer: Ms. Susan M. 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 is offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development in partnership with the Mississippi Tourism Association. The 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 coursework, the completion of a project and a presentation to the class.

“When it comes to tourism, it is important our communities have effective leaders with unique skills to facilitate positive and lasting change in vibrant and growing communities,” said Rachael Carter, an instructor with the Center for Government and Community Development. “This program will help communities build that capacity of community leaders by helping them gain the vision and skill necessary to make it happen.”

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.

The program begins Feb. 21. 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 Feb. 15. A tuition fee of $700 is due at the beginning of each certificate program for a total of $1,400.

The Excellence in Tourism Leadership Program is sponsored by the Mississippi Tourism Association. MSU experts and industry professionals will provide training.

For more information or to apply to the program, visit

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

Source: Extension provides training for tourism professionals

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