Sustainable Tourism Destination Management

Professional Certificate

The George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies is pleased to announce that we are revising our Sustainable Tourism Management Certificate program. The re-launch, scheduled for the Spring of 2017, coincides with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development, as declared by the United Nations.

Each online course will offer participants the opportunity to improve their professional standing and deepen their comprehension of tourism’s potential to achieve environmental, socio-cultural and economic goals. The new online program will provide participants with a strategic overview, along with practical applications for sustainable destination management. Coursework will feature workbooks, presentations, reading, online mentoring, discussion boards, and guest lecturers.


Click a course title for more detail:

This course provides an overview of the ways in which tourism can contribute to sustainable development in tourism destinations. Participants are introduced to a range of tourism products and services and learn how they can be applied to help alleviate poverty, stimulate economic growth, conserve natural resources and mitigate climate change. Participants will gain insight into niche tourism markets that promote sustainability and gain a solid foundation on the issues that surround tourism development.

The rapid growth of tourism worldwide has created both challenges and opportunities for tourism destinations. This course explores policies and planning strategies that are helping to generate socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable benefits for people who depend on tourism. Participants will be introduced to the resources and tools used in conducting sustainable tourism assessments, land-use planning, project development, and monitoring and evaluation initiatives.

This course provides an introduction to destinations that have become increasingly competitive through the creation of environmentally and socially-friendly tourism attractions, products and services. Students will learn about new models used in destination management, including successful public-private management approaches, which include broad stakeholder engagement and support. And they will study ways of establishing local destination management organizations(DMOs) that successfully coordinate a various tourism activities including product development, marketing and quality assurance.

Critical to the success of tourism destinations is the quality and variety of the attractions, accommodations and activities they offer. This course equips participants with the tools needed to develop sustainable tourism products and services that will attract and accommodate visitors while conserving natural resources and benefiting local people. Participants will learn how to turn sustainable tourism assessment information and concepts into full-fledged business plans.

Sustainable tourism products and services ultimately need well-targeted marketing efforts that convey consistent messages to potential customers. This course will cover sustainable destination marketing with a particular focus on e-commerce, internet marketing, and social media. Participants will learn about key marketing, branding and positioning strategies for sustainable tourism products, including web-based tools.

Access to finance is a major barrier to economic growth in most regions. This course introduces participants to the ways in which international development agencies, NGOs, governments, banks, impact investors, and the private sector identify, evaluate, and invest in sustainable tourism projects that stimulate growth and meet sustainable development objectives. It also includes lessons on ways of facilitating sustainable investment and financing. Participants will learn how to package and present tourism investment opportunities to potential funders.

Register for Courses

Registration Information

To preregister, receive updates on the program, or to get more information please email [email protected].