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Chantell LaPan - NCSU PRTM doctoral studentTourism Cares, the tourism industry’s premier charitable organization for preservation, conservation, restoration, and education, has awarded Chantell LaPan, a doctoral student in the NC State Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management,  the 2012 ASTA Holland America Line Graduate Research Scholarship from Tourism Cares.

The $4,000 award is a portion of $78,000 in academic scholarships awarded to 58 travel, tourism, and hospitality students attending colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada.

LaPan will use the scholarship to investigate tourism entrepreneurship in the Coastal region of Ghana, West Africa, including the process by which tourism entrepreneurs decide to go into business and factors that contribute to successful tourism enterprises. Ghana is a highly entrepreneurial society, with an interest in expanding their tourism industry. This study could have impacts for both tourism professionals and development workers in the region, as it will concentrate on the intersection of poverty, entrepreneurship, and tourism.

In addition to the monetary awards, the academic scholarship recipients are also invited to attend the Tourism Cares Experience the Industry Student Program at the annual NTA Convention, January 20 – 24, 2013 in Orlando, Florida. The program gives students the opportunity to shadow professional mentors and participate in tourism industry workshops.

The scholarships are funded jointly by Tourism Cares and by members of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN), and NTA and are awarded annually to students pursuing undergraduate or graduate travel, tourism, or hospitality degrees at accredited colleges and universities.

About Tourism Cares
Tourism Cares is an innovative nonprofit organization formed in 2005 through a consolidation of the National Tourism Foundation and the Travelers Conservation Foundation. The organization works to preserve the travel experience for future generations through a three pronged approach. We award grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites throughout the world.  In addition, we host unique volunteer restoration projects designed specifically for travel professionals. Recognized as the most innovative “give-back” program in the industry, Tourism Cares volunteer project and Volunteer Day draw thousands of corporate leaders and individuals together to share in the conservation and preservation of treasured cultural and historic sites. We also help assure a knowledgeable tourism workforce by granting academic and service-focused scholarships to hospitality and tourism students.