The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast and the
Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA) are teaming up to provide
a state certification program for tourism professionals.
Mississippi Tourism Association is very excited to be partnering
with The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast to
develop a tourism certification program for Mississippi's
tourism professionals," said Kathy Boutwell, executive
director of MTA.
the expertise of the faculty at Southern Miss Gulf Coast, we will provide
valuable opportunities for tourism professionals in the Mississippi
Tourism Association," she added.
Professional Certification program will be offered to MTA
members who have worked professionally in the field. Program
attendees will be required to attend a one-day orientation
and a three-day on-campus educational session at Southern Miss's Gulf
Park campus in Long Beach, followed by an examination.
started this program to increase our members' knowledge of
the tourism industry and to increase their level of credibility,
self-esteem, professionalism and image within the industry,"
said MTA member Ernie Wilson, associate chair and assistant
professor of hospitality management at Southern MissGC. He will direct
the MTA Professional Certification program.
management faculty at Southern MissGC will provide the educational training
and administer the examination.
partnership between MTA and Southern MissGC more closely links our hospitality
program with the industry," Wilson said.
educational seminar will focus on tourism research, planning
and development; determining economic impact; tourism marketing;
budgeting and business planning; boards and other governing
bodies; and funding sources.
you are looking for a new career or looking for advancement
position in the tourism industry, the certification program
will provide a full range of practical hospitality courses,"
Boutwell said. "Tourism is one of Mississippi's largest
and fastest growing industries, employing 93,000 people."
announcement of the MTA Professional Certification program
was made at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism, held
in January at the Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis.
at that time, MTA's annual Vicki Miller Scholarship recipient
was announced. Azlyn Ward, a senior hospitality management
major at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, won the award. Ward, 17, of Biloxi,
is the daughter of Nancy Ward.The $2,000 scholarship, named
after the founder of MTA, goes each year to a deserving Southern Miss
student majoring in hospitality management.
Certification applications will be processed next fall into
January of 2004. The first orientation session is scheduled
for January 2004, with the three-day on-campus educational
session scheduled for July of that year.
information on the MTA Certification Program, contact Wilson
at (228) 214-3240.