Southeast Tourism Society Recognizes 41 ‘Travel Marketing Professionals’

Three-year program recognized nationally for continuing education

Southeast Tourism Society honored its newest class of STS Marketing College graduates during a luncheon at its annual Spring Symposium. This year’s event took place at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Kinney Ferris and Katie Kaiser, both of Visit Oxford, were graduates of the 2017 Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College Class. Ferris serves as deputy director at Visit Oxford, and Kaiser serves as communications and partnerships manager at Visit Oxford.

STS Marketing College began in 1992, and it is a professional development program that, for one week each year, turns the University of North Georgia into its own campus for travel marketing.

Marketing College professors are industry-related professionals from across the U.S., noted as experts in their field, who bring a working-knowledge of current trends, data and implementation for tourism and travel. 

“STS Marketing College is the premier program for the tourism industry as there is no other program quite like it in the United States,” said Bill Hardman, president and chief executive officer of STS.

Tourism ranks as the first, second or third largest industry in the 12 STS member states that stretch from Virginia to Arkansas.

Course topics include special events marketing, media relations, tourism advertising, vacation research, crisis management, heritage tourism and community/rural tourism. After the classroom work, students also must complete two projects that relate to their employment.

“Our curriculum is practical. After each year, the knowledge students gain can be put to immediate use in their workplaces,” Hardman said.

The newest group of TMPs raised $11,000 to fund eleven scholarships for future STS Marketing College students.

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