The Norman Transcript

Business

March 3, 2013

Initial reactions

NORMAN — When I arrived in Norman for my job interview more than four years ago, I stopped in a convenience store to freshen up and while I was in there, I asked the gal behind the counter if there was anything to do in Norman. 

Her reply? 

“I’ve been asking that for 24 years!” 

I stopped in another convenience store on the way out of town. Same question.

The response? 

“Nothin’.”

Research months after I took the position (despite those rousing welcomes) revealed half of the visitors to Norman were leaving not believing the city to be a friendly community. That’s when we began working with the Oklahoma City and Edmond CVBs to present the Certified Tourism Ambassador program to Norman and the metropolitan area. The program seeks to ensure that visitors to an area will have a positive customer experience.

How?

This national program trains and certifies people who work in front-line industries the skills to enhance a visitor experience to increase tourism, from hotel employees to convenience-store clerks to taxi drivers and museum guides. The CTA Program goes well beyond basic customer service training; it gives participants the opportunity to build upon their knowledge of the local region, enhance their skills in serving customers, increase their awareness of information resources and discover the power of tourism. Tourism after all is the second largest industry in Oklahoma generating $6.2 billion and employing 1 of every 9 Oklahomans.

The CTA training is available for all hospitality employees as well as retailers, restaurateurs, transportation drivers, convenience store employees and other front liners. Heck, if you believe you are going to have any contact with a visitor, consider the certification. Notice a family looking over brochures in a restaurant? You could offer assistance. See a couple parking a car with out-of-state tags? Welcome them and suggest something to do. Spot opposing football fans in their teams’ apparel? Smile and ask if they need guidance. For more information on the training and certification program, visit www.ctanetwork.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • Ideal Homes to dedicate Oklahoma’s first Home for HOPE

    Ideal Homes dedicated the company’s first Home for HOPE on Wednesday at 13209 SW 5th in Yukon....

    July 27, 2014

  • Todd Lamb to keynote luncheon

    Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb will provide the keynote address at the Norman Chamber of Commerce’s annual Legislative Lunch at 11:45 a.m. Aug. 6 at the National Weather Center. Lamb will speak on state issues that may impact local business and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma learns about storm water proposal

    The Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma invited Norman Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary to talk about the new storm water fee proposal at its luncheon Thursday....

    July 27, 2014

  • Backing up everything, everywhere, not as easy as it should be

    Though we may wish or believe otherwise, computing devices are still somewhat of a hassle to use. Some devices, like Apple’s iPad, come close to being fully realized machines, but even iPads have their clunky side....

    July 27, 2014

  • Is using E10 or ‘pure’ gasoline more economical?

    An analysis by AAA Oklahoma shows that at today’s prices, E10 motor fuel is cheaper to use than 100 percent gasoline, despite the fewer miles per gallon produced by E10, which is a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline....

    July 27, 2014

  • Appellate judge retiring

    The Honorable Charles A. Johnson retired from the Court of Criminal Appeals after 25 years on the bench. Johnson was appointed to the court on Oct. 31, 1989, by Gov. Henry Bellmon to fill the unexpired term of Hez J. Bussey. After 59 ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Candy Basket celebrates 25 years

    Perhaps it’s the chocolate covered blueberries whose deliciousness still lingers. Or maybe it’s the blood orange and wild honey white chocolate ganache that won’t soon be forgotten by your taste buds. At The Candy Basket there is decadence ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Bramlett & Associates adopts new name reflective of business

    Bramlett & Associates Multimedia LLC (Bramlett Multimedia), 215 W. Main St., announced this month that the company will change its name after 12 years in business and will do business as BOLD-Multimedia. The announcement, made first to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Toothpick holders convention coming to Norman

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collection in 1936,” Ryan said. Ryan was born in 1940, and she grew up crawling around toothpick holders, as have ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Protect your online banking, shopping with encryption

    In my free, one-night class called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win,” I teach everyday computer users how to stay out of trouble on the Internet. How to avoid virus infections, how to discern between the genuine and counterfeit, and ...

    July 20, 2014