Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Management

Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Management



We are proud to 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.


"At the same time that I began the Certificate process, I started what is now THE COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABILITY-RIVIERA MAYA, with more than 30 productive, social, academic, and governmental authorities. That would definitely not have been possible without all the magnificent information that I found through the course." - Beatriz Barreal Danel, Riviera Maya Sostenible




Sustainable Tourism Certificate Details

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


There are three certificates awarded with this program:


TIES Green 1 Certificate:


To receive this certificate, you must take and pass the course "Sustainable Tourism Assessment and Development"


TIES Green 2 Certificate:


To receive this certificate, you must take and pass the three core courses


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


TIES GWU Certificate in Tourism Destination Management:


To receive this certificate, you must take and pass the three core courses and three additional course electives.  


To be listed on TIES website as a certificate holder, you must have been awarded a certificate and be a current member in good standing with TIES.   You do not need to be a TIES member to hold the certification.  


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.

Register for TIES GWU Courses!

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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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 72 hours (except on weekends). Registration is available now


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


If you take the course "Sustainable Tourism Assessment and Development" and pass it, you will receiv the TIES GWU Green 1 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?
Yes.  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.


*$25 discount applied for Student, Professional, and Organization members only.



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, 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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