International Institute of Tourism Studies

International Institute of Tourism Studies The International Institute of Tourism Studies (IITS) at George Washington University is committed to being first in tourism and hospitality management education and research worldwide. Check out our blog: http://blog.gwutourism.org
We are a world-class research and education center that has been a thought leader in sustainable tourism development and education for more than 20 years. Situated within the GW School of Business, the IITS is on the leading edge of tourism research and education, and is home to the renowned Masters of Tourism Administration program. GW’s IITS is internationally renowned for its expertise within international tourism development at the national, regional, and local levels. This includes tourism destination management, cultural heritage tourism, sports, meeting and event management, hospitality management, and the management of conservation, parks and protected areas. IITS has worked with such organizations as the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), USAID, and SAVE Travel Alliance.

Each year, hundreds of mountaineers climb Mt. Everest, and in their wake, have left piles of trash. "Since April 14, New...
05/03/2019
World's highest mountain is covered in 30 tons of trash

Each year, hundreds of mountaineers climb Mt. Everest, and in their wake, have left piles of trash. "Since April 14, New Year's Day on the Nepalese calendar, teams of volunteers have picked up an estimated 6,600 pounds, most of it simple trash or human waste. But more than a ton of non-biodegradable waste— oxygen canisters, torn-up tents, plastics and left-over mountaineering gear—has been flown to the capital of Kathmandu by Nepali Army helicopters for disposal." It's an ambitious response to a problem but not a strategic solution to irresponsible tourism and overtourism. Around the world, travelers are destroying the places they love most.
https://abcnews.go.com/International/mount-everest-tackles-60000-pound-trash-problem-campaign/story?id=62773297

According to the Everest Summiteers Association, which has, in recent years, taken tons of debris off the mountain, there are still about 30 tons of trash left.

We travel for so many reasons, among them to enjoy and celebrate architectural icons. The devastating fire at Notre Dame...
04/15/2019
Spire atop Notre Dame cathedral in Paris collapses in fire

We travel for so many reasons, among them to enjoy and celebrate architectural icons. The devastating fire at Notre Dame—one of the world's great cathedrals and historic landmarks— is heartbreaking.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/15/world/notre-dame-cathedral-fire/index.html

The spire atop the iconic Notre Dame cathedral collapsed amid a devastating fire at the Paris cathedral on Monday that has been burning for the past two hours.

Sustainable tourism is not only the right thing to do, it can be highly lucrative. Increased concern for the environment...
04/04/2019
Intrepid Sails to Significant Growth on Wave of Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism is not only the right thing to do, it can be highly lucrative. Increased concern for the environment and demand for authentic and adventure travel experiences have fueled the growth of Intrepid Travel. The world's largest certified B Corp travel business saw a 17 percent increase in revenue in 2018 globally and 29 percent growth in North America. The increase brought the company’s global revenue in 2018 to $280 million.
https://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Intrepid-Sails-to-Significant-Growth-on-Wave-of-Sustainable-Tourism

The adventure travel provider is seeing bottom line gains resulting from its dedication to practices of responsible tourism.

If Central Asia and the old Silk Road is not yet on your travel radar, that may soon change. Dr. Larry Yu of GW's Master...
04/01/2019
GW PLAYS LEADING ROLE IN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN CENTRAL ASIA – International Institute of Tourism Studies

If Central Asia and the old Silk Road is not yet on your travel radar, that may soon change. Dr. Larry Yu of GW's Masters of Tourism Administration program recently returned from Kazakhstan's Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University, where he spoke at a conference about the potential for tourism development. “While the Kazakh economy has relied on oil and gas exports, tourism has increasingly been recognized as key to economic diversification in the region, which has been hard hit by the fall in the prices of natural resources over the last decade or so," said Yu.
Read more on our blog.
https://blogs.gwu.edu/gwsb-iits/2019/03/29/gw-plays-leading-role-in-tourism-development-in-central-asia/

GW PLAYS LEADING ROLE IN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN CENTRAL ASIA Author GW IITSPublished on March 29, 2019Leave a comment on GW PLAYS LEADING ROLE IN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN CENTRAL ASIA For 3000 years, camel caravans crossed the golden sands of Central Asia along a route known as the Silk Road. Establis...

Given the conference we're planning for mid-November, these findings are very timely: Research released Thursday by the ...
03/25/2019
Indigenous offerings becoming focus as 2018 breaks tourism record in Canada

Given the conference we're planning for mid-November, these findings are very timely: Research released Thursday by the The Conference Board of Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Canada shows a significant increase in the direct economic benefit of Indigenous tourism. Those results came as Destination Canada released figures showing the country’s tourism industry had its second consecutive record-breaking year in 2018 with 21.13 million visitors. Stay tuned in the coming weeks and months for more info.

https://www.timescolonist.com/business/indigenous-offerings-becoming-focus-as-2018-breaks-tourism-record-in-canada-1.23642199

Canada was a hot destination for tourists in 2018, and according to new research, a growing number of visitors are coming for the country’s expanding Indigenous tourism offerings. Research . . .

Our team recently returned from the white sand beaches of Roatan, where we've been working with local businesses and NGO...
03/20/2019
Helping the Caribbean Island of Roatán Prepare for a Healthy Future – International Institute of Tourism Studies

Our team recently returned from the white sand beaches of Roatan, where we've been working with local businesses and NGOs like the Coral Reef Alliance and the Bay Islands Conservation Association Roatan to facilitate planning for a sustainable future. Roatan is a quintessential Caribbean island, and so far, its distance from the mainland has kept it safe from problems plaguing other parts of Honduras. Learn more about what the people of Roatan are doing to keep their island clean, safe and welcoming to visitors.
https://blogs.gwu.edu/gwsb-iits/2019/03/15/helping-the-caribbean-island-of-roatan-prepare-for-a-healthy-future

Helping the Caribbean Island of Roatán Prepare for a Healthy Future Author GW IITSPublished on March 15, 2019March 15, 2019Leave a comment on Helping the Caribbean Island of Roatán Prepare for a Healthy Future White sand beaches and colorful coral reefs have made Roatán an increasingly popular de...

GW's Masters of Tourism Spring Colloquium on wellness tourism will feature panelists including:Theresa Belpulsi, VP of T...
03/18/2019
GW TFT Tourism Colloquium 2019

GW's Masters of Tourism Spring Colloquium on wellness tourism will feature panelists including:

Theresa Belpulsi, VP of Tourism, Sports & Visitor Services at Destination DC
Andy Schwarz, VP, Content & Communities for The Incentive Research Foundation
Patty David, Director Consumer Insights, AARP
Paul Klinger, Director of Sevenoaks Retreat Center
Erin Hosler, General Manager of Eaton Workshop
Concluding Keynote Remarks by Julie Haines, CEO of the Lightwell Center

March 25th, 3PM to 5PM

REGISTER HERE:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gw-tft-tourism-colloquium-2019-tickets-58030633186?utm_term=eventurl_text

This year's Colloquium theme is Wellness Tourism. Join MTA students, alumni and faculty for an engaging conversation about a leading component of the future of the tourism industry with industry experts, researchers and practicioners, including: Overview of the Industry from Ophelia Yeung, Sr. Resea...

Our team has been spending quite a bit of time and effort working on contributing to sustainability in Jamaica. The coun...
03/07/2019
How Jamaica Is Changing the Global Conversation on Sustainable Tourism

Our team has been spending quite a bit of time and effort working on contributing to sustainability in Jamaica. The country is taking the lead on sustainable tourism research and planning with its new Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center, recently opened at the University of the West Indies in Kingston. The center is designed to educate and inform destinations around the world on how to rethink tourism amid increasing global disruptions, from climate change to pandemics, and how to study and track new ways to address and recover from them. As Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says “tourism resilience” is about going beyond “sustainable” tourism. It’s not just about sustaining. It’s about “thriving.”

https://www.caribjournal.com/2019/03/03/jamaica-sustainable-tourism/

Jamaica is looking to change the conversation from beyond sustainable tourism to resilience tourism, to being able to thrive in the face of disruptions.

New airport in Peru promises to expand opportunities for tourism. But at what cost? Critics of the project— including ...
02/28/2019
Airport construction threatens unexplored archaeological sites in Peru

New airport in Peru promises to expand opportunities for tourism. But at what cost? Critics of the project— including archaeologists, anthropologists and historians—are concerned that the airport and resulting surge in development will destroy archaeological sites and the very cultural riches visitors come to see. Same old story. How do destinations encourage sustainable development? Find out in our professional development courses or by enrolling in the Master of Tourism at GW program.

Nearly 200 researchers sign letter opposing project

Fantastic news that Jamaica, which had one of highest per capita uses of plastic bags in the world, is banning single-us...
02/19/2019
Banning Plastic: How Jamaica Moved To Save Its Environment

Fantastic news that Jamaica, which had one of highest per capita uses of plastic bags in the world, is banning single-use bags, thanks to leadership of young parliamentarian Matthew Samuda. Our students are supporting the development of a comprehensive tourism plan for one Jamaican parish. Very exciting...lot of potential. Stay tuned.

Jamaica is introducing a ban on single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam in a bid to reduce the impact plastic is having on the environment. In this interview with Senator Matthew Samuda we discuss how the ban was implemented.

02/14/2019
Going to the Galápagos Is Easier and Cheaper Than Ever. That Might Not Be a Good Thing.

Even the magnificent Galapagos Islands are being loved to death. While it's great that so many people are inspired to see these magnificent islands, the Ecuadorean government has to come up with a more effective strategy for balancing the competing interests of tourists and businesses with the need to protect the wildlife living in this fragile ecosystem.

Some conservationists and travel experts are worried about the environmental impact of a growing number of visitors on the fragile, otherworldly archipelago.

Our graduate students have worked with tourism students in Indonesia on various consulting projects. Encouraging to see ...
02/11/2019
Government to boost sustainable tourism in small villages

Our graduate students have worked with tourism students in Indonesia on various consulting projects. Encouraging to see that the government is taking a strategic approach to using tourism as a development tool—a way to alleviate poverty and protect nature.

Tangkahan village near Mount Leuser in North Sumatra and Pemuteran village in Bali are two of many villages in Indonesia that offer unique ecotourism attractions. 

02/04/2019
CCRA PowerSolutions National 2019 | Global Travel Industry Conference

We'll be at the CCRA Travel Commerce Network conference for travel professionals February 6 thru 8. Stop by our booth and join Seleni Matus, International Institute of Tourism Studies executive director and program manager Talia Salem on the 8th for the panel Globally Responsible Travel at 11:30AM.

Join hundreds of travel agency owners and decision makers for 3 days of inspiration, information, and innovation. With the world's elite travel suppliers, thought leaders, and industry experts at your side, you'll turn your goals into a plan at the 2019 CCRA PowerSolutions National Global Travel Ind...

Fewer people than anticipated stayed home last year. According the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), there were 1.4 bi...
01/24/2019
International tourism hits 2020 forecast two years early

Fewer people than anticipated stayed home last year. According the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO),
there were 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals in 2018, a figure the organization had slated for 2020. "The growth of tourism in recent years confirms that the sector is today one of the most powerful drivers of economic growth and development," said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, in a statement. Find out how GW's Masters and Professional Certificate programs can help you prepare for and advance your career in this growth industry.

Last year was a very good year for international tourism, according to a new report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Throughout North America, tribal communities are finding that tourism is key to providing an alternative source of incom...
01/15/2019

Throughout North America, tribal communities are finding that tourism is key to providing an alternative source of income, to maintaining their cultural and natural heritage and to sharing traditions with visitors. Through our professional certificate program, offered in collaboration with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), tribal representatives are learning how to develop tourism programs. Read about the native village of Chickaloon, Alaska and its new tourism program.
https://blogs.gwu.edu/gwsb-iits/2019/01/10/the-path-to-putting-the-alaskan-tribe-of-chickaloons-native-village-on-the-tourist-map/

In September, we brought together thought leaders from around the world to address the growing problem of overtourism. S...
01/10/2019
Venice to charge tourist entry fee

In September, we brought together thought leaders from around the world to address the growing problem of overtourism. Since then, more European cities have begun imposing tourist taxes as a way to reduce congestion and protect resources. Venice's mayor Luigi Brugnaro recently tweeted that visitors will now pay up to $11.50 to enter the World Heritage site. The tax will be used to meet the costs of cleaning and maintaining the city. What are your thoughts on solving the overtourism problem?

Day-trippers will pay up to €10 each as the city struggles to cope with mass tourism.

Great to see sustainable travel is in Vogue. But it's high time to shift the conversation and general perception of sust...
01/07/2019
6 Ways To Travel More Sustainably in 2019

Great to see sustainable travel is in Vogue. But it's high time to shift the conversation and general perception of sustainable travel. It's no longer niche. All tourism needs to be sustainable and contribute to local economies and protect cultural and natural heritage. GW's Masters of Tourism Administration and the International Institute of Tourism Studies offer professional certificate programs that prepare students to become sustainable tourism leaders, whether they want to work in boutique eco lodges or the mainstream hospitality industry.

While we all want to be travelling smarter, fairer and more aware, how do we go about it?

12/22/2018
The Adventure Travel Index 2018, a publication of the The George Washington University and the Adventure Travel Trade As...
12/20/2018
GW COLLABORATES ON NEW ADVENTURE TRAVEL INDEX – International Institute of Tourism Studies

The Adventure Travel Index 2018, a publication of the The George Washington University and the Adventure Travel Trade Association is now live. Check out our blog post to learn which destinations are most ready to host thrill-seeking travelers. Hint if you like ice climbing, snorkeling, whitewater rafting, hiking and spelunking you may want to look into Iceland. Also learn about the new social netnography our team conducted, which was an analysis of hiker reviews of Mont Blanc, the INCA TRAIL and the Mount Everest Base Camp.

GW COLLABORATES ON NEW ADVENTURE TRAVEL INDEX Author GW IITSPublished on December 20, 2018December 20, 2018Leave a comment Snow-capped mountain peaks, untrammeled wilderness trails and crystalline waters all feature in the world’s most winning adventure travel destinations. But according to expert...

Hilton has been a sustainability leader, driven not only by guest preferences but by employees explains a recent Forbes ...
12/18/2018
Sustainable Travel: Young Travelers Drive Hilton's Latest Effort To Cut Carbon Footprint In Half

Hilton has been a sustainability leader, driven not only by guest preferences but by employees explains a recent Forbes article. "We have 400,000 team members with 50% of them being millennials. It's important for them to work for a company that's doing the right thing," said VP of Corporate Responsibility Max Vestraete with Hilton Hotels & Resorts. The Master of Tourism at GW and our certificate program prepares tourism professionals for leadership roles in the field. Visit our website to learn more.

Hilton's latest sustainability efforts are driven by customers looking for eco-friendly hotels.

The third cultural tourism conference organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and UNESCO recently wrapped up...
12/11/2018
Professional Certificate in Cultural Heritage Tourism | School of Business | The George Washington University

The third cultural tourism conference organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and UNESCO recently wrapped up in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants declared their support for cultural tourism as a driver for safeguarding living heritage, catalyzing creativity, and contributing socioeconomic benefits. In partnership with American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), we offer a professional certificate program in cultural heritage tourism. Visit our website to learn more and register for the Fall 2019 semester.

Increasingly, travelers are interested in authentic experiences that will allow them to witness firsthand the lives and traditions of indigenous people. And for these communities, which are often marginalized and struggling to find alternative ways to increase their livelihoods, tourism can provide....

Good Condé Nast Traveler interview with Leigh Barnes of Intrepid Travel who spoke at our recent conference Overtourism:...
11/30/2018
Innovators: Leigh Barnes of the Intrepid Group on Being a More Conscious Traveler

Good Condé Nast Traveler interview with Leigh Barnes of Intrepid Travel who spoke at our recent conference Overtourism: Seeking Solutions. Not only is Leigh a thought leader in our field, but his title, Chief Purpose Officer, says it all.

The adventure group's Chief Purpose Officer says it starts with taking responsibility.

Wondering what can be done about overtourism? See what industry thought leaders from around the world shared at our rece...
10/22/2018
Overtourism Forum Draws Thought Leaders From Around the World – International Institute of Tourism Studies

Wondering what can be done about overtourism? See what industry thought leaders from around the world shared at our recent forum Overtourism: Seeking Solutions. Don't forget to sign up for the RSS feed on the blog.

Overtourism Forum Draws Thought Leaders From Around the World Author GW IITSPublished on October 18, 2018Leave a comment In collaboration with our colleagues at the Center for Responsible Travel, on World Tourism Day—September 27th—the International Institute of Tourism Studies gathered industry...

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