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About Us 

The International Institute of Tourism Studies (IITS) at The George Washington University is a world-class research and education center that has been a thought leader in sustainable tourism development and education for over 25 years.

Situated within the GW School of Business, the IITS is on the leading edge of tourism research and education, and is home to the renowned Masters of Tourism Administration program. The IITS is internationally recognized for its expertise in international tourism development at the national, regional, and local levels, and is recognized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as its first university-based Center for Tourism Education and Research. This includes tourism destination management, cultural heritage tourism, sports, meeting and event management, hospitality management, and the management of conservation, parks and protected areas. IITS has worked with numerous organizations such as the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Destination Management Association International (DMAI), USAID, and SAVE Travel Alliance.

The IITS is often commissioned to conduct research, which has led toinnovations concerning the economic impact of tourism, sustainable development policies and practices, and information and decision support studies. IITS staff and experienced faculty have also advised local, regional and national tourism entities around the globe on various tourism development and consulting projects.

Leadership Council

The IITS and the Masters of Tourism Administration (MTA) program are supported by distinguished Leadership Council members, made up of prominent tourism sector and association executives, policy advisers, and government officials.  These industry luminaries are committed to supporting the program and provide advice and development opportunities for our students and faculty

Current Leadership Council Members


To be recognized worldwide for creating and diffusing knowledge that fosters innovation in sustainable tourism development, and engenders a deeper understanding of tourism as a key pillar of the world economy.


To provide cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research and professional education solutions that support sustainable tourism development.

Our solutions assist tourism professionals and destination decision-makers from industry and government to bridge the gap between theory and practice in order to:

  • Improve long-term competitiveness of tourism businesses and destinations;
  • Enhance well-being of communities as healthy places to visit, live, and invest;
  • Preserve and conserve cultural, historical and natural heritage; and
  • Expand opportunities through freedom of travel and international understanding.


Connect with current IITS staff members.