Since everyone else is heading back to school, we figured it was time for us, too, so we are bringing back live and in-person Tourism U classes, GRCVB's award-winning learning track for tourism and destination education.

We launched Tourism U 100 Level in 2019 and tested several in-person classes that year. In 2020, when we could not meet in person, Tourism U continued virtually, and we met with myriad partners/stakeholders through 2020 and 2021.

We are ready to hit the road again and bring the Tourism U presentations to you. Tourism U is at most a one-hour session that explores why tourism matters in Wake County. Aimed at educating workers and residents countywide to help grow advocacy and industry support, a class outlines the cycle of tourism in Wake County, breaks down recent numbers and economic impacts and explains why visitors affect the lives of each individual in our area.

“After starting these sessions in person, we were thankful to be able to pivot to a virtual setting during a time when advocating for tourism was so important,” said Andrew H. Baker, CGSP®, GRCVB’s marketing manager and one of the Tourism U presenters. “Frankly, I prefer the in-person meetings because it allows for better interaction and questions. I’m excited to get back out there.”

Tourism U is not only aimed at educating hospitality partners or suppliers in Wake County. The learning track is also a great way to inform other locals (e.g., civic or volunteer/hobbyist groups) and newcomers about the value of tourism to our area, whether leisure, transient business, convention or sporting event tourism.

We would love to bring Tourism U to you, your staffers/volunteers and stakeholder advisory boards this fall and winter. If you would like a member of the GRCVB team to come to your organization and present, contact marketing manager Andrew H. Baker, CGSP®, at 919.645.2684 or, for scheduling of a session. The earliest available in-person sessions of Tourism U 100 Level will be mid-October of this year.

(To carry the school theme a bit further) we're big cheerleaders of tourism around here, and we want all of our partners, neighbors and stakeholders to understand why tourism and hospitality industry businesses are so valuable, especially for our area's economic recovery now.