Amanda Lugenbell, Assistant Director of the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority (TDA), has completed the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College and earned certifications as a Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) and Festival and Event Planner (FEP).
For fifteen years, as Assistant Director of the Blowing Rock TDA, Lugenbell has worked her way up to manage Communications and Public Relations while also developing Social Media guidelines and strategies for the destination marketing organization. Lugenbell first came to the TDA in 2004 as an intern from the Hosptality and Toruism Management Program at App State. She is well respected throughout the High Country tourism community as well as in media circles across the country.
Mrs. Lugenbell was among 60 STS Marketing College graduates in the Class of 2020. The graduates were announced at the STS Connections conference in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Tuesday, September 28. The program began in 1992 and has produced 1,296 TMPs.
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 also must complete two projects that relate to their job while utilizing skills that were learned throughout the program.
Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority Director, Tracy Brown, said “We’re excited that Amanda was able to get these certifications and courses completed. With Covid going on, it’s been a tough couple years and I know she’s worked hard to complete the course work while handling her regular reponsiblities here at the office. These certifications verify her knowledge and understanding in all aspects of the industry. We’re very fortunate to have Amanda on our team here in Blowing Rock,” Brown remarked.
“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,” said Smith.
About Southeast Tourism Society (STS)
Headquartered in Roswell, Georgia, Southeast Tourism Society (STS) is an association that works to unite all segments of the travel and tourism industry through its four pillars of education, advocacy, recognition, and networking. Established in 1983, STS is an engaged network of 1000+ members from 13 states and the District of Columbia including Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information, visit SoutheastTourism.org.