University partnerships strengthen tourism programming at national conferences

Faculty from several universities partner together and represent National Extension Tourism at National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals Conference in Burlington, Vermont this June.

Faculty from Michigan State University Extension, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and West Virginia University Extension will present a dual theme program titled, How your work impacts tourism: connecting with colleagues and resources”

This interactive session will help Extension professionals understand how their jobs are often connected to tourism and recreation, whether they realize it or not. Organized by the National Extension Tourism Design Team, the session will introduce colleagues from across the country who can provide support, resources and networking opportunities. The proposal will help Extension colleagues from around the country understand tourism’s importance.

“Have you ever thought about working in tourism? Perhaps you already do! Did you know tourism accounts for 1/11 of all jobs and nine percent of the world’s GDP? The USA is in the top five for international arrivals receiving approximately 75 million visitors annually with a three to five percent projected increase per year. Counties and communities across the country seek to leverage tourism as a community economic development strategy, but many still aren’t quite sure where to begin. Communities seek Extension programs to ultimately foster the development of healthy communities, which are often locations people tend to visit. Extension professionals working in community development and natural resource management may not consider tourism a component of their jobs despite being involved in many aspects of tourism, whether they realize it or not. Collaborating with Extension tourism professionals across the country can strengthen your work and its relationship to tourism. 

The mission of the National Extension Tourism (NET) Design Team is to enhance Extension tourism programs nationally by providing relevant information, useful resources, and networking opportunities for Extension professionals and others working in the broad area of tourism and recreation. The National Extension Tourism Design Team was originally created in 1994 as one of four national Extension foci under the Communities in Economic Transition Initiative. Since 1995 the National Extension Tourism Design Team has hosted nine conferences across the country introducing Extension professionals and partner organizations to a broad range of Extension tourism programs. These programs have proven to be a successful means for Extension faculty, researchers, community leaders, and tourism practitioners to collaborate on many initiatives including community development, marketing and promotion, risk management and economic development using tourism as the central focus.

This interactive session will help Extension professionals better understand how their work may relate to tourism and introduce them to the National Extension Tourism Design Team. Discussion will include conference outcomes and new initiatives planned for 2016 to share tourism programs and promote collaboration among Extension faculty.”

This session will be delivered during the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Conference in June 2016. For additional information on the event or for a list of programs please visit the NACDEP website.

Michigan State University Extension helps communities learn how to improve their social and economic appeal to create and retain jobs. Community leaders are given the tools they need to have a positive effect on their cities, villages, townships, counties and the whole state.