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Overview



MISSION The mission of the National Tourism Foundation is to benefit society through the support of education and research contributing to the values of travel and tourism. EDUCATION Designated by the National Tourism Foundation Board of Trustees as its top priority, education remains an issue that inspires passionate support from travel and tourism professionals at all levels. These individuals in the industry recognize the importance of the Foundation and its efforts to increase the quality of services available to the general public. The Foundation supports curriculum development in travel and tourism education programs, cultivates the study of packaged tour management and related travel curricula, promotes the professional career opportunities provided by travel and tourism, and enhances the basic education criteria that will increase the worth of tourism at all levels. SCHOLARSHIPS The Foundation heads up many efforts designed for students in post-secondary education, with many scholarships awarded annually to students from the United States and Canada pursuing careers in travel and tourism. Various states and provinces, private entities, and corporations sponsor these scholarships. To date, more than 400 students have received Foundation scholarships, valued at more than $1.5 million. The Foundation also supports outside organizations devoted to the betterment of the industry such as programs designed with travel and tourism curricula directed toward exceptionally gifted students. The Foundation is honored to offer scholarships and certificates of excellence to qualified students in these programs. As scholarship recipients, the students are recognized by the entire industry as exceptional, opening doors that may not be there otherwise. The Foundation is proud to say that a great deal of its past scholarship recipients now find themselves established in positions within the industry. In addition to the cash award, most recipients are given the opportunity to attend the National Tour Association's Annual Convention - an all-expense-paid trip that includes Convention registration, travel expenses, room and board. This benefit alone is valued at more than $3,000 per student. While at the Convention, the scholarship winners benefit from a full week of access to more than 3,000 of the industry’s leaders, attend educational programs, participate in professional development seminars and much more. It is here that they can make that one connection that propels them into their career. INTERNSHIPS Ever striving to enhance the educational opportunities of today’s students, the Foundation publishes and distributes a listing of internships offered by tour suppliers, tour operators and destination marketing organizations. These lists are available to students pursuing a future in the industry. Student interns are featured in Foundation publications to stress the values of internships. Every year hundreds of students and educators request the Foundation’s internship list of more than 200 positions nationwide. The Foundation is also proud to offer two internships. These positions are annual, fall semester, paid internships to students of travel and tourism who meet the application requirements set by the Foundation. Most of the Foundation’s interns go on to work for tour operators, hotels, and/or convention and visitors bureaus. VISITING SCHOLAR In an effort to continue to "educate the educator," the Foundation has formed a program whereby educators have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the National Tour Association, the National Tourism Foundation, and the overall packaged travel industry. An educator is selected from among his/her peers to visit NTA Headquarters for three days to meet with members of the NTA and the Foundation management teams and discuss areas such as conventions, marketing, education, industry and government relations and membership. The "visiting scholar" is also invited to attend NTA’s Annual Convention where he/she will participate in various programs. PRO/AM DAY The Foundation conducts annual Pro/Am conferences where students and faculty of the industry are invited to attend. Each conference, in which the Foundation hosts at least 50 students and educators, allows "amateurs" to meet the "professionals" in the tourism industry and gain firsthand knowledge of how the packaged travel industry operates. More that 100 schools across North America have participated in this event. CERTIFIED TOUR PROFESSIONAL (CTP) CERTIFICATE PROGRAM A certificate program has been established by the Foundation for educators to use when instructing students in travel and tourism programs. This program allows student to jump ahead of their peers by gaining up to one-half of the credits needed to become a Certified Tour Professional. This program is offered to students at the college level, specifically designed to educate the student about the packaged travel consumer and the travel industry in general. CAREER DAYS The Foundation is committed to publicizing career days for colleges and universities across North America. The Foundation provides this information through its publications and maintains a list on NTF Online. RESEARCH The National Tourism Foundation, supports research that is relative to travel and tourism, educational and scientific in nature, and of use to the general public, academic institutions, and the industry as a whole. This research is intended to enhance the quality of the tourism industry by improving the planning, development, and marketing of tourism products. Currently administering three research awards, the Foundation supports outstanding studies of the tourism industry. The Charles R. Goeldner Research Grant will be made available to students conducting research in travel and tourism once the grant reaches the minimum funding level, and on behalf of the Travel and Tourism Research Association, the Foundation sponsors a travel research award. It also administers the annual $2,500 Luray Caverns grant to a qualified graduate student conducting research on a thesis, dissertation or terminal project related to the industry. Topics covered include: "A Process for Developing an Environmental Code of Ethics for the Escorted Tour Industry," "The Tourism Satellite Account," and "Ecotourism--Attitudes of Tour Operators." From 1992 through 1995 the Foundation published the "Tour Traveler Index: A Profile of the Group Tour Consumer," a five-year study prepared by the research firm of Davidson- Peterson Associates, which identified trends, patterns, and preferences of group tour consumers in North America. Because of a grant from the National Tour Association, the Foundation also conducted a panel study of group leaders from across North America. Several topics included in the Tour Traveler Index were: tour travelers’ views of different tour features, the relationship between price and date of booking a tour, the interest in rail tour, and the importance of different tour selection factors. As part of the Certified Tour Professional program, the Foundation also maintains a file of research papers written by candidates of the program. These papers are timely and informative and are available through the Foundation’s Resource Catalog. DEVELOPMENT The National Tourism Foundation is at a crossroad. The Foundation, although celebrating its 20th anniversary, is still young; however, it has established a record of growth. Scholarships, fellowships, grants, and special events have fueled this growth. They have included:
  • Silent and Live Auctions
  • Rock The Foundation
  • NTF Golf Tournament
  • Cruise Giveaways
  • Luray Caverns Grant
  • Memorial Scholarships
  • State/Province Scholarships
The Board of Trustees must continuously focus on the Foundation’s future role and how to make the Foundation more effective. Naturally, greater resources are necessary to meet emerging needs. To maintain the Board’s vision of the future, the National Tourism Foundation has established corporate giving and planned giving programs. The corporate giving program, known as the Corporate Fund, enables businesses who share the vision an additional opportunity to participate in enhancing the travel industry’s future. Corporate giving includes sponsorships, patron gifts, cause-related marketing and grants. The planned giving program is for those individuals who recognize the importance of the long-term mission of the Foundation. Planned gifts include bequests, cash or appreciated assets, entering into a life income plan such as a charitable annuity and trust. Life income gifts often offer substantial tax benefits. Each gift ensures the future heritage of the Foundation. The National Tourism Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that the travel and tourism industry has the capacity to grow and prosper while serving the general public. The industry must be able to anticipate change, adapt to that change, and then educate and train our future leaders for a different tomorrow. Growth in development initiatives will fuel the Foundation’s ability to help the industry meet these future challenges.