(Editor’s Note—Taylor Beard Stanley, a graduate of Grand Lake High School and McNeese State University, began her career at Visit Lake Charles in October 2016 as Sales Manager.)
Taylor Beard Stanley, senior director of convention sales at Visit Lake Charles, completed the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College to earn the Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) certification.
Stanley was among 29 STS Marketing College graduates in the Class of 2022 with seven individuals also receiving the Festival and Event Planner certification. The program began in 1992 and has produced 1,323 TMPs since its inception.
“I feel fortunate to work in an industry that encourages continuing education, networking, and sharing best practices. The experience enriched my outlook on what is possible in the tourism space, and I am looking forward to putting some of what I learned into practice,” said Stanley.
STS Marketing College uses facilities at the Mercer University campus, located in Macon, Ga., to teach travel marketing for a week each summer. Instructors are travel industry professionals such as convention and visitor’s bureau executives, public relations practitioners, sales and marketing consultants, and research experts.
“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.
Study topics include online marketing strategies, creating an eye-catching and engaging tourism brochure, social media content planning and distribution, Google analytics, travel and tourism research, community engagement, economic impact studies, and budgeting. In addition to classroom work, students must complete two projects that relate to their job while using the skills they learned throughout the program.
STS celebrated 30 years of Marketing College this year. “The longevity of this program and the 1300+ TMPs to date are a testament to the quality of education, leadership development, and networking that are the cornerstones of Marketing College,” said Smith.
For more information on the Southeast Tourism Society, log on to www.southeasttourism.org.