A hotel general manager, a bus tour arranger and a convention expert are the first Utahns to receive the designation of certified tour professional by the National Tour Foundation, the highest level of professional recognition in the escorted tour industry.

They are Joseph O. Cotton, general manager of Hornes' Howard Johnson Hotel; Keith Griffall, president of Western Leisure; and Daniel A. Dearden, director of conventions for the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau.With others who have received the same recognition, the three will be honored during a reception Tuesday, Nov. 13, during the National Tour Association's annual convention in Montreal.

The certified tour professional program was started in 1985 to recognize the professional skills of those candidates who earn academic credits and provide service to the escorted tour industry and the NTA. More than 800 escorted tour professionals are enrolled in the certification program and nearly 300 have achieved the CTP designation.