For more than a decade, Tourism Cares has established a strong reputation for the quality of our mentoring program. This program has been successfully matching students and young professionals with industry professionals to help them broaden their perspective of career opportunities, to educate themselves on the industry and to establish their individual professional networks. This is accomplished, in partnership with the NTA Travel Exchange, where students shadow their mentor through their business appointments. These mentors make introductions as well as provide insight into the industry. Additionally, students participate in informational sessions and panel discussions with travel and tourism industry professionals to further their education.

In a survey of the 2017 Mentoring Program participants:

  • 100% of the mentors responded that they would either directly hire or recommend their student to someone within their professional network
  • 100% of the students confirmed that the conference broadened their perspective of the career paths open to them in the tourism industry
  • 100% of students felt that the contacts gained during the conference would benefit them in their future careers
It is truly a privilege for me to be able to spend part of an Exchange day introducing NTA and the package tour industry to students engaged in hospitality studies. I feel in some small way I am contributing to the education of someone who in the next decades will be leading our industry and maybe even my own company.
— John Shaffer, Director of Marketing and Sales for Luray Caverns (Luray, Virginia)
I learned more in the eight hours of shadowing my mentor than in a whole semester’s worth of coursework.
— Jared Dial, George Washington University
"It was an absolutely amazing experience and I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to attend! I think that the scholarship program by Tourism Cares is not only a fantastic program but an extremely educational one as well, and I learned a great deal over the course of the week."  

- Madalyn Pearson, Washington State University