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 UAS, 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 study away 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 • 12 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


This course introduces students to the most current practices, theories and issues related to destination management of different types of tourism organizations (at the local, regional, national and multinational levels). It focuses on the roles, structures, business models, governance, leadership and innovations of tourism organizations from multiple perspectives to help students understand the issues related to destination management.

Case studies and best practices of effective governance in sustainable tourism organizations are presented and students hear directly from guest speakers of industry professionals.  Students will develop solutions for addressing challenges faced by tourism organizations by conducting a strategic consulting project.

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.

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.


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.


Travel to a foreign country for study of 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.



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