The Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (ARCVB) exemplifies its dedication to providing the best service possible through continuing education for employees.
At the annual conference of the American Bus Association (ABA) Jan. 11-16 in Nashville, ARCVB sales manager Sissy McClain graduated from the ABA Certified Travel Industry Specialist (CTIS) Program. The certification represents a stamp of approval for the highest quality of skill levels required for servicing motorcoach and tour companies in the United States and Canada.
The group travel industry represents one of the niche groups serviced by the ARCVB. The staff represents the tourism partners of the region as a destination for motorcoach groups, which includes group tour operators, receptive operators, church groups, school groups and other social groups that bring visitors by the busload. As sales manager, McClain identifies these groups, makes connections, sells the destination at tradeshows, creates custom itineraries and receives the groups once they arrive here. In 2013, 122 domestic and international motorcoach groups chose the Alton region as a destination to visit, bringing 4,985 visitors and an estimated economic impact of $398,800.
McClain annually attends the ABA National Conference as a means of meeting with group tour operators and tour planners to sell the Alton region as a travel destination for these groups. The American Bus Association represents approximately 1,000 motorcoach and tour companies in the United States and Canada. In fulfillment of ABA’s commitment to continuing education of its members, the Certified Travel Industry Specialist Program was developed exclusively for motorcoach and group travel industry professionals.
The CTIS courses were administered by Indiana University-Purdue University Indiana and intended to be completed within 12 months. The certification requires enrollees to complete eight education seminars at the ABA conference, three required courses and two elective courses. The courses include: Customer Service, Promoting Your Business, Business Grammar and Writing, Personal Organization and Effectiveness and Ignite Your Effectiveness by Improving Your Sales Skills.
McClain graduated from the program at the ABA Conference Jan. 14 in Nashville. The certification is a mark of excellence carried with a person wherever they go. It represents a widely respected stamp of approval for the highest quality skill levels for servicing groups. A designation such as this helps industry planners to identify the most desirable professionals in the industry to build business relationships.
The Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau is the destination marketing organization serving northern Madison, Jersey and Calhoun counties. The bureau is dedicated to educating visitors about the great things the region has to offer by providing information regarding the area’s history, unique landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels. The Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau is certified by the Illinois Bureau of Tourism.