Sonoma County, CA (June 4, 2021) – To help enhance the training of the county-wide hospitality workforce and elevate the visitor experience, Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) announced today the launch of  its new Accredited Hospitality Professional (AHP) program. Designed to teach hospitality skills and share its positive impact on communities, the program will be available to local hospitality and tourism professionals as well as residents.

Steve Jung, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country points out, “As times change, so do the needs of those within the hospitality and tourism industries. The Accredited Hospitality Professional (AHP) program was developed by the team at Sonoma County Tourism with destination stewardship top of mind. Members not only benefit from expert industry and destination education; they develop an appreciation for the importance of this vital economic sector.”

Program registrants will complete a comprehensive curriculum designed with the help of industry experts and incorporates hands-on experience. The curriculum will consist of five foundational topics, known as the “Foundational Five,” customized to the destinations’ key areas that make Sonoma County unique. The combination of topics allows for more authentic engagement with visitors. Topics include:

  • The power of tourism
  • Customer service and visitor safety
  • Wineries and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)
  • Natural environment and sustainability
  • Art, history and culture

Upon completion of the program, accredited members have access to resources to continue their education with supplementary material. They can also take advantage of networking opportunities hosted throughout the year at local tourist spots and businesses.

Adjunct faculty member of the Business Department at the Santa Rosa Junior College Michael Von der Porten expresses “Sonoma County Tourism’s endeavors to help ensure the hospitality community can provide outstanding customer service has benefits for visitors and residents alike. The opportunity to bring new employees and volunteers ‘to the table’ with industry experts reminds us all of the importance of hospitality.  The networking and personal connections built through SCT provide great benefits.”

The AHP program is one example of how Sonoma County Tourism and partners are deeply committed to providing outstanding service that increases visitors’ overall satisfaction and destination loyalty.

Classes begin July 8 and registration for monthly classes will be ongoing. The cost of initial accreditation is $45.00 per person. The annual renewal fee will be $20.00. Most of the continued education events and networking opportunities will be included with the accreditation fees.

For more information on the Sonoma County AHP program, contact the program manager Tracy Koch at [email protected].

For registration see here or visit the website at


 Sonoma County Tourism is the region’s official Destination Stewardship Organization. Through a multi-channel sales and marketing program, the organization promotes Sonoma County as a global visitor and meetings destination, where diversity thrives, and everyone is welcome. Leveraging the region’s unmatched assets, wine, culinary, wellness and sustainability continue to define its character. Pre-pandemic, tourism generated $2.3 Billion in visitor spending, $194 Million in tax revenue and employed more than 23,000 Sonoma Countians. Post-pandemic, SCT will work with partner businesses to rebuild the tourism economy, regain critical revenue and reestablish a vibrant workforce. For more information, visit


Birgitt Vaughan
Director of Global Media Relations
Sonoma County Tourism
[email protected]

Anna Yan
Public Relations Manager
Sonoma County Tourism
[email protected]