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VCVB’s Ashley Gatian earns travel marketing professional certification



Ashley Gatian (photo courtesy VCVB)
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Ashley Gatian, sales manager at the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, has earned certification as a Travel Marketing Professional after completing the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College. Gatian was one of 65 new TMPs recognized at the STS Connections Conference in Little Rock, Ark.

The STS Marketing College is a professional development program that for one week each summer turns the facilities of North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga., into a laboratory to teach tourism marketing. Instructors are working professionals in the travel industry such as convention and visitors bureau executives, public relations practitioners, sales and marketing consultants, and research experts. The program began in 1992 and has produced 1,296 TMPs.

“Our Marketing College program is designed to provide applicable tools and working knowledge that our travel and tourism professionals can immediately implement when promoting their destinations, attractions, hotels and events,” said Monica Smith, Southeast Tourism Society’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

“Since its inception almost 30 years ago, Marketing College has elevated the level of service and professionalism visitors receive when traveling to the Southeast and has supported efforts to increase economic development through tourism.  We’re proud to be a part of that positive impact throughout the region,” Smith said.

Gatian has worked at the VCVB since February 2012 and is responsible for group tours, recruiting meetings and conventions, international sales and facilitating travel media.

“We are very proud of Ashley for completing this program to earn her certification as a tourism marketing professional,” said Laura Beth Strickland, VCVB executive director. “This accomplishment is highly respected throughout our industry, and she has worked diligently to complete her projects and coursework.”

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