We published a blog post late in 2022 telling you that Tourism U, GRCVB's learning track for tourism and destination education, is back in session. Now we want you to know that the first classes of 2023 were held at RDU International Airport the last week of Jan. 2023.

Thanks to RDU’s Tara Glarum, guest experience supervisor, we were able to meet with and present Tourism U’s 100 Level to two groups of the airport's volunteer ambassadors. These are the people you will see manning the information desk, answering questions about airport amenities, circulating around to provide directions or letting passengers know about everything our destination has to offer.

These two Tourism U sessions were presented by GRCVB creative director Karen DeSollar. Karen is just one of a team of GRCVB staffers who are trained to present Tourism U 100 Level to all kinds of groups (for example, the staff at hospitality suppliers or stakeholder businesses/organizations and local civic or special interest groups.)

“We’re willing to take Tourism U to any group who is willing to hand us the mic for 30 minutes to talk about why tourism is important and why it matters to every person who lives in Wake County,” Karen said.

DeSollar quote

Here are a few fast facts we'd like you to know about Tourism U 100 Level:

  • Covers many of the basics of the business of tourism in Wake County 
  • Explains the cycle of tourism and why it's important 
  • Delineates what GRCVB does to promote tourism
  • Spells out how tourism generates funds for use throughout our county
  • Outlines examples of tourism assets in Wake County that benefit by tourism funding
  • Describes the broader community benefit of tourism
  • Addresses how tourism affects our quality of place in Wake County
  • Reinforces how vital hospitality jobs are to our local economy
  • Provides a summary of visitor profile information
  • And more.

“I always note two important takeaways that I hope attendees will take with them from Tourism U,” Karen said. “The first is a concept that is crucial to the work of the CVB and something that we want every partner, stakeholder and resident to understand, and that’s the cycle of tourism. How does the cycle of tourism work, how is it self-perpetuating and how does the CVB keep it moving.”

“And second,” DeSollar continued, “we want listeners to understand how tourism impacts each of us individually. It’s actually quite powerful if you understand it. We also hope that, after Tourism U 100 Level, every participant will be encouraged to advocate for tourism whenever they get a chance.”

The Tourism U staff “faculty” is ready to come to your business or organization in 2023. It's free to you and simple to schedule. Just contact either Karen DeSollar or Andrew Baker, CGSP®, in the GRCVB marketing and communications office to get your group on the calendar.