International Institute of Tourism Studies


For more than 30 years, the International Institute of Tourism Studies (IITS) at the GW School of Business has been a global leader in tourism education and research. At IITS, we're putting tourism on a path to social good — protecting places, creating opportunities, and increasing livelihoods in low-income communities. As thought leaders in education and research, we are:

Collaborators: In partnership with leaders in government, business, academia and nonprofits, we're building a sustainable industry that balances visitor interests with destination well-being.

Educators: Our professional certificate programs in destination managementevent management, and cultural heritage tourism are preparing the next generation of doers, leaders and thinkers in these growth fields.

Researchers: We offer students enrolled in the Master of Science in Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management (MSTHEM) program access and opportunity to participate in hands-on consulting projects. Indonesia, Mexico, Cuba... we provide graduate students with the opportunity to go beyond the confines of the classroom and make a difference.

Explore Our Programs

Professional Certificates


Specialized Courses and Workshops



Our specialized courses and workshops offer access to experts and facilitate discussions on the latest best practices for navigating a host of complex challenges within the tourism industry. Connect with professionals from around the globe, engage in peer networking, and share success stories while addressing common hurdles.

Explore our current offerings to enrich your practical knowledge, expand your skill set, and equip yourself with the latest tools to maximize your destination's potential.

Visitor Management Strategies for Destinations
Learn how visitor management strategies for destinations can transform your approach to tourism management. This course is designed for destination managers and delves into key tactics to optimize visitor experiences, minimize negative impacts on local communities and environments, and preserve cultural and natural heritage. Participants gain the tools to ensure tourism contributes positively to destination well-being while minimizing adverse effects. Join us to unlock the potential of effective visitor management strategies and elevate your destination's approach to sustainable tourism.

In this course, students will:
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of essential concepts and emerging trends in visitor flow management.
  • Acquire knowledge of best practices and tailored strategies for visitor management across various destination types.
  • Learn to develop effective visitor management plans through participatory planning processes, ensuring alignment with community needs and sustainable tourism principles.

Learn More and Register for Visitor Management Strategies for Destinations


students in a classroom listen as one student engages in discussion with a professor



Training Programs



Our training programs offer tourism entrepreneurs and suppliers the opportunity to expand their skill sets, enhance the customer experience, and implement strategic marketing and sales approaches for their businesses.

Cultural Tourism Enterprise Training Program

The Cultural Tourism Enterprise Training Program is a training series for Native American tourism entrepreneurs, operators and suppliers throughout the U.S. The program was developed by the George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies in partnership with the Native American Development Corporation and Triia, and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency. This training program is a non-degree, non-credit-bearing program.

This self-paced training series is designed to be flexible and meet the needs of Native entrepreneurs — such as campground operators, guides and artisans — who are interested in sharing their cultural heritage with tourists and travelers who want to experience all that Native communities have to offer.

The program provides 12 hours of training in 15 modules, split across two levels:

Level 1: Visitor Readiness and Shaping the Customer Experience

  • Introduction to Module 1: Why Tourism Matters
  • Module 1: Legal Business Operations
  • Module 2: Tourism Business Liability
  • Module 3: Authentic Visitor Experiences
  • Module 4: The Customer Experience
  • Module 5: Customer Communication & Service Recovery
  • Module 6: Five Phases of Travel
  • Module 7: Online Presence

Level 2: Marketing and Product Development; Operations, Distribution and Sales

  • Introduction to Module 2: How Tourism Works
  • Module 8: Customer Segmentation
  • Module 9: Product Development
  • Module 10: Pricing Your Tourism Product
  • Module 11: Financial Considerations and Tourism Business Policies
  • Module 12: Good Practices in Operations Management
  • Module 13: Establishing Distribution Channels

Learn More and Register for the Cultural Tourism Enterprise Training Program


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IITS publishes blog posts detailing the ways we've recently contributed to a more responsible and resilient future for the people and places that depend on visitors. Visit the blog to learn more and read all about our recent work!

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International Institute of Tourism Studies
The George Washington University School of Business
2201 G St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20052