Baltimore Certified Tourism Ambassador Program

The objective of the Certified Tourism Ambassador® (CTA) program is to increase tourism by inspiring frontline hospitality employees and volunteers to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience. It's the only program in existence today that gives an official designation (John Sample, CTA) to individuals - from Mayors, to General Managers, to Drivers, to Waiters - people who care about their destination and want everyone who visits to talk positively about their experience.

Accredited through the Tourism Ambassador Institute® and administered at the local level the CTA program is a certification program that mobilizes a destination's frontline employees to make every visitor experience special through enhanced customer service and a detailed knowledge of Baltimore's and Maryland’s history & heritage, and Baltimore City’s neighborhoods, museums, attractions and other visitor appeals.

If frontline employees, volunteers, city employees and others who come into immediate contact with visitors provide accurate information and quality service to convention attendees, visitors, business travelers, etc., they are more likely to have a positive experience. The program has proven success in aligning the destination's people infrastructure - its stakeholder businesses and front-line - to build tourism by Enhancing the Visitor Experience™. Through its locally-customized curriculum, the CTA program focuses on the experience given to visitors, whether they are leisure travelers, business travelers, or attendees. As a result, visitors who have a positive experience are more likely to return at some point in the future. They will share their perceptions with their friends, because, as research shows, word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. Everyone benefits - the visitor, the hospitality industry, the local economy and the front line ambassador.

Requirements to earn a CTA designation include:

  • Complete reading and pre-class exercises
  • Active participation in four-hour classroom session
  • Pass exam
  • Demonstrated commitment to annual renewal of certification

Upon completion of all program requirements, frontline employees and volunteers are awarded the CTA designation and may use the initials CTA behind their names - i.e., John Smith, CTA.

For more information about the CTA program, please visit

Benefits to Becoming CTA Certified

There are many benefits to becoming CTA certified which include:

  • The CTA Program provides you with a meaningful credential (John Smith, CTA) that is visible to visitors and co-workers.
  • The program increases business, which may lead to more tips or pay increases.
  • The program builds skills you'll have for a lifetime.
  • Participation in the program shows your commitment to the hospitality industry, which may lead to career advancement.
  • Participation in the program provides you with opportunities to network with and learn from your peers in your city and region.
  • The program helps you stay "in the know" with regular CTA related email updates.