Eric Zartler, senior vice president of sports at Visit Lake Charles, graduated from the Sports Tourism Learning Institute, an educational entity created by the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), earning the Sports Tourism Strategist (STS) certificate.  

Zartler was recognized at the association’s annual Sports Event Symposium in Portland, Oregon, alongside fellow Sports Tourism Strategist (STS) program graduates. 

“The opportunity to participate in and complete the STS program further reassures the commitment that Visit Lake Charles has made in the sports tourism world, and I am excited to share the knowledge gained with our sports team to continue to make big things happen in Louisiana's Playground,” Zartler said. 

The program provides a comprehensive education on various sports events and tourism industry topics such as crisis communications, event management, innovation, and sports business analytics. 

“In the past year, Eric and the sports team have made remarkable strides, bringing in new events like the American Junior Golf Association’s Lake Charles Junior Championship and an Annika Women’s All Pro Tour (WAPT) championship, with many more exciting opportunities ahead for Southwest Louisiana in the works,” said Kyle Edmiston, president and CEO of Visit Lake Charles. “This certificate equips Eric with new tools to continue boosting our sports sales, attracting more visitors, and showcasing Louisiana’s Playground.” 

The Sports ETA is the only nonprofit trade association for the sports and events tourism industry in the country. Throughout the year, the association offers resources, education, and networking opportunities for sports commissions, sports destinations, sports event owners, and industry partners. 


About Visit Lake Charles:     
Visit Lake Charles, the official destination marketing organization for Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, is the only organization in Southwest Louisiana providing advocacy, promotion, and education for the tourism industry. For more information on Visit Lake Charles and things to see and do in Louisiana’s Playground, log on to