MTA in Sustainable Tourism Management

The Sustainable Tourism Management concentration is designed to prepare students for management-level careers in tourism destination development, management and marketing. It equips students with the tools they need to develop a sustainable industry that balances the needs and interests of visitors with the economic and environmental realities of destinations worldwide. Sustainable Tourism Management focuses on the comparative advantage and competitive positioning of tourist destinations enhanced by their commitment to sustainable development principles and practices.

Distinctive advantages of enrolling in the MTA program’s Sustainable Tourism Management concentration include:

  • Access to internship and job opportunities at multiple development banks such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank; major travel companies such as United Airlines, Marriott International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and G Adventures; industry associations such as the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the U.S. Travel Association, and Destinations International; international conservation organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Conversation International, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature; destination management and marketing organizations such as Brand USA, the National Travel and Tourism Office, the Anguilla Tourism Board, and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company; international organizations such as the Organization of American States and the UN World Tourism Organization; and consulting firms such as Solimar International and Chemonics
  • Opportunities to learn through applied client-based projects, experiential learning activities, lectures, interactive discussions, guest speakers and field visits and through our innovative off-campus study programs offered in top tourism destinations around the world, including intensive tourism development consulting projects in Peru, the Dominican Republic, Myanmar, Cuba and Indonesia
  • The chance to contribute to consulting projects and research being conducted by the International Institute of Tourism Studies
  • Participation in exciting events and activities with our close-knit MTA family as well as our wider GW School of Business and university communities

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Concentration Courses • 9 Credit Hours

In addition to the Core Curriculum, the Sustainable Tourism Management Concentration requires the following concentration courses and electives:

Tourism development approaches, contexts, and consequences for local, regional, and national destinations; evaluation of tourism as an economic activity; and economic aspects of strategic options in tourism development. Recommended background: a basic understanding of macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Systems and models for tourism planning at regional, national and local levels. Policy review and analysis tools for current and emerging global tourism issues.

Prerequisite: None


Concepts and techniques employed in marketing tourism industry services and development of the annual marketing plan.

Prerequisite: None


Suggested Electives • 9 Credit Hours

Suggested electives are designed to complement your concentration. However, students may pick nine credits from any available electives or courses not on this list with the approval of their academic adviser.

Theories and methods of planning, introducing, and coping with change in management through the helping process. Intended both for managers seeking an understanding of the consultative approach to planned change and for persons in staff or consultative roles seeking understanding of the consultative process. Same as SMPP 6214.

The study of multinational hospitality operations, with emphasis on U.S. corporate involvement in and planning for overseas expansions. Political, economic, cultural, financial, and legal aspects inherent in the international business environment.

Prerequisite: None

Risk and liability issues that may arise in the planning and management of events, meetings, conventions, and exhibitions. Preventative and responsive measures designed to minimize adverse impacts on event stakeholders.

Prerequisite: None

An introduction to the theoretical and practical foundations of event management. Fundamentals of planning, budgeting, and evaluating events. Restricted to students in the MTA program or with permission of the instructor.

Management of Destination Organizations

Travel to a foreign country to study specific topics. May be repeated for credit with approval of advisor.

Current digital marketing strategies including social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, and paid search marketing.


International marketing strategy formulation, including market entry, local market development, and global market integration; strategic challenge of global marketing formulation and local market adaptation, with attention to market conditions in mature, new growth, and emerging market environments; emerging trends.

The nature and sources of conflict and interdependence in social and organizational dynamics. Various means of resolving conflict, including the use of competitive and collaborative negotiations and mediation. Case discussion, exercises, role-playing, and simulation. Managers as mediators and negotiators.

The ubiquitous nature of advertising and promotion. How and from whom consumers get information and their level of trust in different information sources; concepts, analyses, and activities related to advertising; assessing and solving challenges.

Jobs, Internships and Careers

A Master of Tourism Administration degree from the GW School of Business offers you real-world learning opportunities throughout your program through projects, internships and research that prepares you for a career in the events, hospitality and tourism fields. Our strong network of MTA alumni are employed in leadership positions around the world, including at the following organizations:

  • World Bank Group
  • IMF
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • China Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Google Travel
  • Marriott International
  • Hilton Hotels and Resorts
  • G Adventures
  • Adventure Travel Trade Association
  • U.S. Travel Association
  • Destinations International
  • Destinations D.C.
  • Brand USA
  • National Travel and Tourism Office
  • Anguilla Tourism Board
  • Japan Tourism Board
  • Puerto Rico Tourism Company
  • Chemonics
  • Solimar International
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of the Interior – National Park Service
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • UN World Tourism Organization
  • CBRE Group
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises
  • Disney World
  • Frangipani Beach Resort Anguilla
  • Shanghai Disney
  • Marriott International
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • HotelBeds
  • Jones Lang LaSalle China
  • KSL Resort
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotels
  • Sol Melia International
  • Sonder
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • TripAdvisor
  • Trump International Hotels
  • Watergate Hotel
  • Actavis Pharmaceutical
  • Abercrombie and Kent
  • American Bar Association
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American Express
  • CES Exhibition
  • Destination D.C.
  • Disney World
  • Equal Justice Works
  • Event D.C.
  • F&W Media
  • The GW School of Business
  • Little Bird Told Media
  • Marriott International
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • Monticello
  • Occasion, Inc.
  • Puerto Rico Convention Bureau
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Travel Association
  • World Bank Group

Off-Campus Study Programs

At the GW School of Business, learning and networking occurs far beyond the classroom. Students in the MTA program choose from several for-credit domestic and international opportunities, which include consulting in developing global destinations, domestic case studies, and immersion into local commercial and cultural environments. Below are a few examples of past and future programs.

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