Winter 2019 Newsletter

The theme for our first quarterly CTA Newsletter of 2019 is “Show the Love!”  The articles highlight people and things we love about San Antonio.  So read on and enjoy.

Partners Show the Love to CTAs in the form of Freebies and Discounts!

Are you guilty of earning your CTA certification but never logging into the CTA Network except to complete your annual renewal application?  Did you know that you are missing out on many special offers extended by San Antonio businesses?  This includes, free (or discounted) admission to attractions; discounts/offers at restaurants; and special savings on theater tickets, tours and more!  
Be sure to read each offer for redemption instructions.  Most simply ask you to show your CTA ID card, but some require a printed voucher or special code.  Be sure to check this list often as it grows throughout the year.  
These generous offers make it easy explore (and share) San Antonio!  We would also love it if you would share the love and post photos and a “thank you” on the Partner’s Facebook page as well as on the San Antonio Certified Tourism Ambassadors Facebook page when you visit.  And if you would like to extend an offer to CTAs to encourage them to visit your business, please contact Lorie Kennedy.   Log in and check out the discounts!  


The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum Offers Free Admission for CTAs

 CTA in the Spotlight


This quarter's CTA in the Spotlight is Miki (pronounce Mike-EE) Gravely.  Find out what she loves about San Antonio and why we love her! In the meantime, if you know a CTA who should be in the Spotlight, reach out to Faith Green and tell us why this person deserves to be featured!
1. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be an Oceanographer or Veterinarian.
2. Job/Role?
I have been a Client Service Representative (CSR) at VCA Castle Hills Companion Animal Hospital for two years.
3. What is your favorite thing about San Antonio?  
During the holidays, the decorations downtown and in Windcrest. Regularly though, it's all the historic areas and parks that are now available.
4. Your “go-to” recommendations for first time visitors: 
a. Restaurant? Mi Terra (Mexican), Pho Ha Long (Vietnamese), Teppanyaki (Chinese buffet), or Suck-It, The Restaurant (Asian)
b. Thing to be sure “not to miss”: Tour of the Governor’s Mansion, Bike Tour of San Antonio, River Walk boat tour or taxi (GO RIO Cruises)(I always recommend the taxi especially during the holidays to see the lights)
c. Insider “secret”: Dead Tree Books. It's the only bookstore of the south side of San Antonio. It is family run and cozy. They have a large selection of books and they have authors that visit to give talks and sign books.
5. Word of advice to someone starting out their career in tourism/hospitality? 
Even on your worst day, smile! When working with our guests and visitors, it's about their experiences. Don't be afraid of mistakes. Learn from them. Find out the answer if you don't know! Changes happen all the time, stay informed. 
6. How has the CTA certification benefitted you the most?
I have had the opportunity to meet so many people. I also became aware of DreamWeek because of my CTA certification, for which I have volunteered at several presentations. I love to go to new places, so it has given me the opportunity to do both, meet new people and volunteer my time. It provides me with knowledge of new places to share with all who might want to know!

 Nominate a Colleague for CTA of the Year!

nominateCTA.pngIn our business, we are fortunate to work with many highly engaged colleagues who love San Antonio and love what they do.  But, do you know a CTA who truly stands out from the crowd?  If so, nominate them for CTA of the Year.  The most recent winners include Amy Sanchez, David Uminski, and Jeff Quin.  Each brings their unique style, overwhelming enthusiasm and passion to work every day!  Who would you recommend joining the ranks as CTA of the Year?
Per the Tourism Ambassador Institute, “This award is presented to a Certified Tourism Ambassador ™ who exemplifies excellence in hospitality and customer service.  This individual consistently exceeds customer expectations, possesses a strong knowledge of the region and its attractions, and promotes the ideals of the San Antonio Certified Tourism Ambassadors and the Tourism Ambassador Institute®.”
Your nomination must be a current CTA who became certified on or before December 31, 2016.  Please provide as much detail as possible to support your nomination.  The selection committee needs this to select the San Antonio CTA of the Year.  The local winner will also be nominated for International CTA of the Year which carries with it a travel prize (airfare and hotel). 
The deadline for applications is March 9!  Submit your nomination.

Did You Know these Alamo Facts?

If you read your CTA pre-read REALLY carefully, you may remember these facts.   Test your memory!
1. Founded as Mission San Antonio de Valero in 1718, it was home to both revolutionaries and royalists during Mexico’s struggle for independence. Best known as the site of the Battle of the Alamo 1836, in which a small group of Texian volunteers fought a large Mexican Army led by General Antonio López de Santa 
Anna for 13 days. When it was over, all of the defenders, including Jim Bowie and David Crockett, had been killed. 
2. The former mission’s church is now a Shrine to its defenders and houses exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of the battle. The church is the most well-known image of the Alamo. Note: Photography is not allowed in the Shrine or other Alamo buildings.  
3. The Long Barrack Museum houses exhibits on the Alamo’s evolution from mission to shrine and the Clara Driscoll Theater where visitors may view a 17-minute film on the Alamo, produced by The History Channel. The Alamo Gift Museum contains exhibits on the Alamo and Texas history, including Mexican military artifacts, long rifles, bowie knives, and Alamo archeology. Gifts and books on the Alamo are available for sale inside the Gift Museum. The Alamo grounds contain a manicured garden and the Wall of History that depicts 300 years of San Antonio and Texas history.  
4. The Alamo is part of the UNESCO San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site.
5.  Two members of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas fought to save the Alamo from demolition in 1903.  Who were they?  
Be the first to post the answer on the San Antonio Certified Tourism Ambassadors Facebook Page and win complimentary dinner for two at Rita’s on the River.   Not member of that Facebook Group yet?  Log into Facebook and send us a request!

Indulge in a Day Date!


Enjoy a day on the River Walk with that special someone. Wander our historic streets. Admire our Spanish Missions. Visit the San Antonio Museum of Art. Then a grab a bite at a favorite hot spot.  Get the inside scoop.



Discover All That’s New To Do in San Antonio

discover.pngCheck out what’s new and exciting in San Antonio. Like San Pedro Creek Culture Park, including murals, ceramic art, tiled benches and historical text and poetry all along the transformed creek. The Joker Pendulum Ride at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Enhancements to Pearl and more.   Take a look.


It’s Time for World Heritage Ambassadors to Renew


For those of you who have been a World Heritage Ambassadors for a year or more, it is now time to renew.  To be do so you must complete an online training module, have conducted at least two tours of the Missions in the past year and also be a current CTA.  
Bonus:  your WHA renewal is worth 20 points toward your 2020 CTA renewal.  To record the points, enter “WHA Renewal” four times in the “Readings, Events, Volunteering, Education” section of the renewal application.   Click to renew.


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