From Staff Reports
The Yellowstone Business Partnership and Sustainable Travel International will co-host up to 30 tourism professionals at Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming for a hands-on educational experience designed to advance best practices in sustainable tourism.
The course runs from Nov. 27 through Dec. 2 and is designed for tourism and hospitality professionals, sustainability consultants, professional and aspiring auditors, and environmental planners and managers, according to a statement released by the partnership.
The Assessor and Consultant Training will provide participants with in-depth information about the Sustainable Tourism Education Program and its eco-certification standard, including best practices and case studies that demonstrate the return on investment associated with sustainable operations.
This professional course includes three days of technical training followed by a three-day hands-on site assessment. By the end of the course, attendees will be fluent in the navigation and implementation of the entire STEP program.
Participants who successfully complete the course will become STEP-accredited assessors, affording them the opportunity to provide consulting services or certify travel and tourism businesses in the greater Yellowstone area and beyond.
The Yellowstone Business Partnership is providing the training through a grant from USDA Rural Development’s Montana office. The training is open to anyone. Tuition scholarships in the amount of $1,600 are available as a result of this grant.
To qualify for scholarship consideration, small businesses registering for the training must operate in a community of less than 50,000 residents and have gross annual revenues of less than $1 million.
STEP is among the first global standards to be recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The program complements the Yellowstone Business Partnership’s UnCommon Sense program, a 2-year leadership program focused on helping businesses become more sustainable in all aspects of their operations. Graduates of this program are immediately eligible for STEP eco-certification.
Additional information and enrollment forms are available online.