Fall 2018 Newsletter


Renew Your CTA Certification Now and Be Entered to Win!

UTF_Zoo.jpgIt’s CTA renewal time for anyone who became certified on or before December 31, 2017. This year we’re offering some great incentives to renew early! If you renew and pay before October 31, your renewal fee is only $15 versus the standard $25. Additionally, you will be entered in a drawing to win one of two autographed copies of  San Antonio the SAGA  (plus two tickets to the San Antonio Zoo), one of two copies of 300 Years of San Antonio and Bexar County (plus two tickets to the San Antonio Zoo), or the GRAND PRIZE—a two-night staycation at  Hilton Palacio del Rio plus a dinner for two at a downtown restaurant.


And there’s more! CTAs who have completed and paid for their 2019 CTA renewal by September 19th will be invited to a CTA Renewal Party at Howl at the Moon on Tuesday, October 9th. 


We have 125 seats for this private event including two cocktails, light snacks and dueling piano entertainment. Due to the limited capacity, RSVPs will be accepted first come, first served. Watch your inbox on September 20th for an email with a link to register! (Note: You must have renewed and paid to receive the emailed invite.)

To complete the renewal process, simply log into your CTA portal, click on the blue box labeled “Renew My Certification” and follow the steps. For more detailed renewal instruction, click here.


Renewal Dates and Fees:

  • Now through Sept 19 (Early Renewal with prize and renewal party eligibility: $15)
  • Sept 1- Oct 31 (Early Renewal with prize eligibility: $15) 
  • Nov 1-Dec 31 (Standard Renewal: $25)


*Please Note: Visit San Antonio employees, including PT/FT and any CSR are not eligible to win prizes or to attend the early renewal party.

Add “World Heritage Ambassador” to Your Resume

WHALogo.pngTake your tourism knowledge to the next level by earning your World Heritage Ambassador certification.  The online certification program is open to current CTAs in good standing and provides a deep dive into the San Antonio Missions that were inscribed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2015. The content provided in the World Heritage Ambassador study is the perfect complement to the foundational content provided in your CTA certification. As a World Heritage Ambassador, you will be equipped to offer more in-depth tours of the San Antonio Missions.

Click here  to learn more and to enroll in the certification program. For more information, contact Bianca Guevara at the World Heritage Office or 210-207-3901. 


MelvinObregon.jpgCTA in the Spotlight

Melvin Obregon, CTA

Creative Director - The Producer SA

We’re pleased to introduce a new column to highlight a CTA who demonstrates star qualities. You’ll get to know CTAs who go above and beyond for our visitors, who are engaged in their community and the tourism/hospitality industry, and who support the CTA program. If you know a CTA who should be in the Spotlight, reach out to Faith Green and tell us why this person is an outstanding CTA! 


This month we introduce you to Melvin Obregon:

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

“I wanted to work in showbiz as an actor and TV host.  I have always wanted to make people happy and create positive energy through self-expression.  It is important to have self-expression because it helps me to effortlessly provide entertainment to people and excite emotion.  I just have translated it over to the tourism aspect and it has helped me form a personal connection with visitors whether large crowds or one on one.”

How did you start/career path? Current Job/Role? How many years? 

“I graduated with my psychology degree from UTSA and started off as a sales coordinator at a local hotel.  I worked with great mentors who educated me on the industry.  Hotel lingo, networking, administration, sales, to food and beverage were many things I learned.  This initial window of opportunity exposed me to what ended up being a chosen career path.  Unfortunately,  I was laid off due to a change in management and decided to take a sabbatical.  I moved to New York for a period of time to broaden my knowledge and skills.  When I came back I started getting into the event side of the industry, such as master of ceremony duties, production, and logistics, which is what I currently do as Creative Director for The Producer SA.”

What is your favorite thing about San Antonio? 

“The history and interweaving of different cultures. The San Antonio Missions have been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  The missions are the first World Heritage Site in Texas!  Also, the people here and how the heritage has transcended through generations and the city is on the cusp of an innovative future with the new art and culinary scenes.”

Your “go-to” recommendations for first time visitors:

  • Restaurant:  "My go-to is Casa Azul de Andrea. A women owned/women run house restaurant featuring eclectic Frida Kahlo art, making it a Southtown hidden jewel.”
  • Thing to be sure not to miss: “Southtown,  this area is true to the San Antonio culture.  You can visit The Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex,  a venue that showcases local artisans and music.  If you want coffee visit Halcyon, a beer you can visit Blue Star, a glass of wine visit Stella,  if you want to eat,  great restaurants like La Fruteria or Burgerteca.  Also,  you must visit Mission San José or Mission Concepción.  Mission Concepción because it is the oldest unrestored mission in the country.  It is built on bedrock and limestone and is still standing after all these years.  The thing with Mission Concepción is it is a self-guided tour. You will need to know the backstory to appreciate what you are looking at.  I recommend Mission San José because it has a headquarters and visitor center and it gives you more information on the Missions and their backstory.  And of course, you cannot forget the Alamo and River Walk!”
  • Insider secret: “As locals we should never underappreciate what we have here.  Tourists come all over the world to see what we have to offer.  What is old to you, is new to them.  Always appreciate what we have here in our city.”

Word of advice to someone starting out their career in tourism/hospitality?

“Stay humble.  In this industry, customer service is everything.  And it’s not so much as a responsibility,  as much as it is a dedication.  A commitment to share your positivity and knowledge to anyone you encounter.  Love it and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

How do you relax/unwind when you are not working?

“The outdoors is my second home. I  enjoy running through the city and sightseeing -- from the Alamo and the River Walk,  all the way to the Pearl Brewery and Mission Reach.  Our city has beautiful sceneries.  Why not take advantage of them?”

Favorite food?

“That’s the hardest question of them all. For sure, a breakfast taco. Especially if it’s chorizo & egg or barbacoa. Not necessarily with a big red, but with a delicious house coffee.”

How has the CTA certification benefited you the most?

“The people that I’ve met through this program is unbelievable. In fact, they’re not just people, they are friends. The CTA community is constantly pushing programs, allowing members to know about each other and grow together. This is besides the fact that I LOVE knowing so much about this historical city now.”


Save The Date!

We don’t want you to miss the Visit San Antonio Annual Meeting on Friday, November 30 at the Henry B. Gonzaléz Convention Center. Please mark your calendars. More detailed information will follow!


What's New?

Experience all the new things San Antonio has to offer! From the new San Pedro Creek Culture Park that features impressive murals to the "must-visit" expansion of Hemisfair, there is something new around every corner. Discover more >


What’s Happening?

Sept. 1 - 16

SeaWorld's Bier Fest

Enjoy the excitement of this all-new, two-week brew fest, featuring over 100 beers from around the world, including several local favorites.


BotanicalGarden.jpgSept. 1 - Dec. 31

Nature Connects at San Antonio Botanical Garden

Connect with nature during a special exhibition featuring 13 nature-inspired displays created with over half a million LEGO® bricks.


Sept. 6 - 9

World Heritage Festival

Join us for this five-day festival celebrating our Spanish Missions - a UNESCO World Heritage Site with family friendly entertainment, live music and more.


Sept 14-Oct 28

Fright Fest at Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Enjoy thrills and activities for the whole family throughout the day and come back for a truly frightening evening of fun after the sun goes down.



Sept. 21 - 22

Jazz'SA Live

Enjoy San Antonio's Official Jazz Music Festival in historic Travis Park.



Rockfest.pngSept. 22

Bud Light River City Rockfest

Get your jam on as top rock acts take the stage for an amazing evening of live music. Acts include Nine Inch Nails, Primus, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush and more.


For even more event listings, click on the events page on

Experience Dedicated Destination

EDHelp us to continue to find out how San Antonio is doing in the eyes of our visitors- now and over time – by being part of the Experience Dedicated® Destination (EDD) program. We are currently in our second year of the program and have collected valuable research and data to help improve the guest experience. By joining in the program, you will receive reports on challenges identified and how we collectively work together to solve them. We encourage all partners to commit to the program. To sign up for ED®, click here.


Facebook Page

FacebookDon’t miss out on last-minute invites and special offers! Be sure to join our private CTA Facebook group, where we post upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, last-minute Freebies & Discounts and exclusive CTA giveaways. This helps reduce the number of emails we send and serves as a platform for you to connect with fellow CTAs. To join the group, go to