Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Management

Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Management

Certificate in Sustainable Tourism



Sustainable Tourism Certificate Details

The Certificate: We offer a professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Management, which is awarded jointly by TIES and the George Washington University (GWU). This program has been developed through a partnership with the GWU's International Institute of Tourism Studies, which has provided professional tourism education for nearly twenty-five years.


Courses Currently Offered: Click on the course title to review course description.

Sustainable Tourism Assessment and Development
Sustainable Tourism Destination Marketing
Ecotourism Management
Ecolodge Development
Environmental Management for Destinations
Tourist Guide Techniques
Coastal and Marine Ecotourism
Cultural Heritage Tourism
Community-Based Tourism

Taking the Courses Online: These courses, designed as a self-managed process, can be taken online, on your own schedule, in the comfort of your home or office. Whether you enroll in one course or complete the entire certificate program, each course offers you an excellent opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills needed to improve your professional standing. Each of the units in a course contains a course workbook which can be downloaded, and other online resources. Some units contain multi-media presentations for you to listen to. After completing all of the units, you will be asked to complete a short quiz. Once you successfully complete the quiz, you have passed the course. Online students usually finish a course (the equivalent of 12 hours in the classroom) in about a month.


Certificate Requirements: In order to receive a certificate, you have to complete three core courses and three electives. The core courses are:


1. Sustainable Tourism Assessment and Development
2. Ecotourism Management
3. Sustainable Tourism Destination Marketing


Registration Information: The cost for each course is $450, with TIES members receiving a $25 discount. You must register for courses with our education office and, while you may enroll in any number of courses at the same time, you must complete the three core courses and three electives to receive the certificate. Once you register, you will be given access to GWU's online distance learning platform, which include course outlines.



Course Descriptions

TIES 601 - Sustainable Tourism Assessment & Development


The rapid growth of tourism worldwide has created many challenges and opportunities for established and emerging tourism destinations. This course looks at how to conduct a tourism assessment to examine tourism potential, and how to measure the potential costs and benefits of a tourism development program.


Course topics include:


• Expand economic development in your destination
• Develop a community leadership model
• Compile visitor profiles and economic impact data
• Survey resident attitudes regarding tourism and its development
• Conduct visioning and goal setting activities with your stakeholders
• Assess tourism potential using a demand-driven marketing approach
• Conduct a preliminary competitive-advantage analysis, using attraction and facility inventory techniques
• Identify potential projects that contribute to economic development or investment promotion goals
• Implement social, economic, and environmental project analyzes
• Establish strategic alliances and partnerships


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TIES 603 - Sustainable Tourism Destination Marketing


A practical, intensive, idea-packed approach to marketing tourism destinations. Examine how and why tourists make destination choices, and learn how to develop a strategic marketing system that emphasizes your destination's distinctive appeal. The course features case studies, and practical tips for stretching marketing dollars through better monitoring, cost controls and evaluation.


Course topics include:

• Identify and attract profitable market segments
• Create appeals that resonate with visitor benefits
• Establish strategic alliances and public-private partnerships
• Prepare an action-oriented marketing plan
• Spot opportunities in tourist spending patterns
• Track preferences of target visitors
• Add value to natural and cultural attractions
• Create and link attractions together
• Benchmark and counter competitor strategies
• Measure the performance of your marketing campaign
• Determine your return on your marketing investment

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TIES 608 - Ecotourism Management


Ecotourism has proven to be an economically viable alternative for attracting tourism revenue without compromising local community values or degrading the environment. This course provides the tools needed by tourism planners, conservationists, businesses and communities to work together to develop ecotourism plans and products that will attract and accommodate the ecotourist while conserving natural resources and benefiting local people. Designed to help you understand the unique structure of the ecotourism industry, the course provides the most recent information on ecotourism marketing approaches and product development.


Course topics include:


• Understand the basic elements of ecotourism, the market and market trends
• Assess the potential of individual and group ecotourist specialty markets
• Use green guidelines for operating a successful ecotourism business
• Analyze and address the special needs of ecotourists and local communities
• Establish an ecotourism planning process at the local and regional levels
• Develop trip circuits and travel packages that are safe and offer a wide variety of experiences
• Understand the vital role of interpretation and education in adding value



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TIES 609 - Ecolodge Development


As ecotourism continues to establish itself in the global economy, the demand for well-planned, environmentally sound lodging facilities is at an all time high. Ecolodges are the answer to this demand. Ecolodges enable the visitor to interact with the natural and cultural surroundings of the region. The facility is created with conservation as a top priority. Innovative water, waste and energy systems lessen impact and promote conservation while planning, construction and operation are carried out in harmony with the natural landscape. This course will help sustainable tourism specialists, investors, resort developers, architects and landscape architects assess the financial feasibility and market potential for an ecolodge. Market research results and trends in this industry will be reviewed in order to more accurately project costs and potential revenue, and determine whether an ecolodge venture is economically viable.


Course topics include:


• Assess the market demand for ecolodge types and the experiences they provide Estimate realistic cost projections/revenue potential and develop pricing strategies
• Find the best locations and evaluate site development opportunities and constraints
• Establish regional planning cooperation
• Develop a master plan to incorporate sustainable development and green guidelines into the project
• Benefit from the use of renewable energy technologies, and proper water and waste management
• Launch a successful ecolodge, including scheduling, budgeting, staffing, "soft" opening, vendor selection, public relations, transportation, and customer service


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TIES 602 - Environmental Management for Destinations (currently not available)


This course focuses on sustainable tourism strategies and innovations, including Agenda 21 and the Green Globe Destination Program. It examines how destinations have improved competitiveness by creating environmentally friendly tourism products and services. The course emphasizes establishing policies and management plans to identify and reduce the environmental impact created by tourism facilities and services, and looks at how to create environmental management systems (EMS) with broad public/private support.


Course topics include:


• Identify consumer demand for environmentally friendly tourism
• Develop and maintain a unified environmentally sustainable theme for your destination
• Develop an EMS policy and strategy, situation analysis, visioning, priority definition, gap analysis, and strategy formation
• Plan EMS implementation steps using environmental performance indicators and action plans
• Incorporate the EMS process into existing management regimes and design EMS training programs
• Review ongoing EMS and make adjustments to reflect failures, successes, and/or changing requirements



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TIES 615 - Tourist Guide Techniques


This course provides tourist guides and new entrants into the industry with essential skills to deliver an exceptional tour experience. A focus on practical information related to interpretation, guiding techniques, tour logistics and mechanics.


Course topics include:


• Explore motivations for travel to develop profiles of travelers
• Understand cultural heritage tourism issues in relation to tour guiding
• Understand the way tourist guides interact with tourism industry organizations
• List the different types of tours available and identify the challenges faced by each
• Explore the significance of interpretation and interpretive techniques
• Establish methods for working with groups of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs
• Enhance methods for working with groups of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs
• Enhance interpersonal skills ? presentation, public speaking, and social skills
• Develop techniques for dealing with tour logistics


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TIES 610 - Coastal & Marine Ecotourism


As coastal areas and marine ecosystems (e.g., reefs, mangroves, beach/intertidal zones) in the more developed countries have degraded over time, tourists seek intimate contact with nature in more remote and pristine environments. This course assists destination managers, local resort managers, and government authorities in maintaining sustainable marine ecotourism and reef recreation activities while working with the local community to accommodate their needs and preserve the marine and coastal environment. It also shows how marine resorts in degraded areas must work with local authorities to rebuild marine resources to re-establish their place in the traditional coastal tourism and growing marine ecotourism market.


Course topics include:


• Integrate coastal zone management and marine/reef conservation into a sustainable tourism development strategy
• Identify the special characteristics of marine ecotourists
• Use innovative resource planning techniques and coastal zone management best practices
• Establish zoning and visitor tracking methods
• Educate visitors and staff about low-impact forms of recreation
• Monitor and assess more accurately the long-term effects of tourism on local resources
• Increase government's commitment in marine park protection and effective coastal management
• Anticipate marine tourists' expectations
• Develop effective educational programs including guest briefings, videos and demonstrations


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TIES 614 - Cultural Heritage Tourism


Cultural and heritage tourism is a major force in the tourism industry, but one that must balance visitor interests and needs against protecting cultural and heritage resources. This course examines the range of cultural and heritage assets that can become viable tourism attractions, and looks at ways of linking quality cultural heritage tourism to community development, from effective planning and marketing to community involvement and partnership approaches.


Course topics include:


• Develop cultural and heritage resources as tourism attractions
• Marry cultural heritage tourism and economic development
• Use collaborative techniques to ensure community objectives and heritage preservation are served
• Conduct a resource assessment
• Facilitate community participation in developing a community-based cultural heritage tourism planning process
• Market cultural-heritage-related tourism services
• Use proven techniques to enhance the visitor experience
• Assess the potential of festivals and events to produce low impact and high visitation results
• Create strategic partnerships for funding and resources
• Use accreditation and certification processes to develop and monitor the cultural tourism development and marketing process (e.g., Iowa's TEAM/CEPP process)


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TIES 625 - Community-Based Tourism (CBT)


Students will be introduced to the issues and challenges of CBT, and will learn the elements and basic steps of planning and implementing CBT.


Students will become familiar with:


• The concept, principles, and aims of CBT
• The various actors involved in CBT
• The critical importance of participation when developing and implementing a CBT venture
• The planning and implementation stages of a CBT venture
• The positive and negative impacts, and challenges of CBT.


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Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a deadline for registration?
No. You can register any time throughout the year.


What are the steps I need to take to register? Do I receive confirmation for my registration?
Follow the online links to sign up for classes and make payment. Yes, you should receive an email confirmation.


What is the cost per course?
Each Course is $450 with TIES members receiving a $25 discount.


Can I pay one course per time or should I pay for all six courses at once?
It is suggested that you pay for all six courses at once, but you can register for all or just the three core courses if you wish.


Is refund available?
No, there are no refunds on distance learning courses.


Is there discount for taking more than 6 courses?


Is there discount available if two or more people from one organization sign up for the program?


How soon after I register will I be able to start the courses?
Your log in information will be provided in the registration confirmation that you will receive. Your registration is usually processed within 24 hours (except on weekends). Registration is available now, and the courses will start after April 20th


What kind of certificate will I receive upon completion of all certificate requirements?
You will receive a professional certificate in Tourism Destination Management issued by the GW School of Business. The certificate is signed by the Dean of the School, carries a GW golden seal of and looks a lot like the certificate shown on the image on the right.


Do I get a certificate if I take only one course?

GWu Certificate

To achieve the Certificate in Tourism Destination Management (DM), you must register and complete 6 courses. Each time you complete a course you will receive a Letter of Completion.


Where will my certificate be mailed? When?
It will be mailed to the address you provide to us. Certificates are issued twice a year, in June and in January. You will receive your certificate shortly after it is completed either in June or January.


Could these courses be counted as credits if I start a Master in Tourism Program at GWU?


Is there a deadline for completing one course or the 6 courses for certificate? Are extensions available?
Each course must be completed within one year. The entire certificate program must be completed within 2 years from the date you enrolled in your first course. Extensions can be granted in extraordinary situations.


Is there a certain pace I have to follow while in the courses? Are there deadlines for logging in and out and completing the sections within courses?
No, you can cover the course materials with your own pace. There are no log in requirements as long as you complete each course within one year.


Should the three core courses be taken before the electives?
We recommend that you take the core courses first as they provide the base of knowledge for the program, however, you are not required to take the courses in any particular order.


Who do I communicate with if I have questions during the course?
The courses are self-managed courses. There is a distance coordinator (dmpdl[at]gwu.edu) that is available to answer any questions you might have. If there are questions that the distance learning coordinators can not answer, they will facilitate communication with a content expert.


Is any material mailed to me or everything is accessible online?
All of your material is available on-line. Nothing is mailed to you.


If I score less than the required 70 on my quiz can I retake it?
Yes, you may retake the quiz one time after a 7 day waiting period. To do that, please contact your distance learning coordinator (education[at]ecotourism.org) to reset your score.


Do I need to buy any textbooks?
No, all of your materials are included in the on-line course. Any readings that are mentioned throughout the courses, but not provided to you are just recommended readings.


What are the career opportunities for me after completion of the certificate? Are there any networks of job/internship opportunities that I can access?
Career opportunities in the travel and tourism fields are varied. We suggest you investigate whether this industry is a good fit for you and considering to join TIES as an individual member.


Is this program accredited and if yes, by whom? Is it recognized in Europe, is there any European authority that has accredited it, or what accreditation does GWU have in Europe?
The GW Destination Management program is certified by the UN World Tourism Organization's TedQual System. To find out more about this please go to http://www.unwto-themis.org/en/programmes/tedqual.


Is the program completely online or at some point I have to travel to another country to take the exams for example?
The entire program is taken on-line.


What happens if my e-mail changes?
You are required to alert the distance learning coordinator if your email changes.


Can I reset my password or I have to use the one sent to me?
You must use the one that you are sent. Attempting to change your password will lead to blocking your account.


Who do I contact in case of technical problem with my access to online course materials?
If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the access to your course contact your distance learning coordinator at education[at]ecotourism.org. Please note that the regular GWU helpdesk might not be able to assist with your questions because it is prepared to work mainly with on-campus students enrolled in academic programs. If you gave questions related to your registration, student records or proof of course completion contact our registration office at education[at]ecotourism.org


Do I get access to other GWU resources like library, etc.?
Certificate students can use the GWU Gelman library if they are in the DC area, but you must contact the DL coordinator to receive the needed pass. Certificate students are not eligible to use the on-line library resources at GWU.


About TIES

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, and sustainable travel.


> The International Ecotourism Society


The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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