Sustainable Tourism Professionals (STP) Program 
Certified Sustainable Tourism Professionals

The travel and tourism industry earns $6 trillion, or 9.5% of the global GDP, and employs nearly 260 million people around the globe. Endorsed by George Washington University, Sustainable Travel International’s Sustainable Tourism Professionals program is designed to give you the skills and knowledge necessary to facilitate professional growth and maximize your career opportunities in this diverse, exciting and expanding industry.

Designed with travel and tourism professionals of all experience levels in mind, from entry-level to executive, the Sustainable Tourism Professionals program provides successful applicants with a formal credential and a dynamic professional development opportunity. The cutting-edge self-paced courses utilized in the program feature United States Agency for International Development (USAID) developed content.

Board of Regents

Oversight for the Sustainable Tourism Professional programs is provided by Sustainable Travel International’s Board of Regents. This distinguished committee of sustainable tourism thought leaders has general supervision over the quality and integrity of the program.

  • Dr. Louise Twining Ward (Chair), Sustainable Travel International, USA
  • Dr. Kristen Lamoureux, George Washington University, USA
  • Dr. Salvador Anton, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
  • Dr. Bob Billington, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, USA
  • Dr. Ernie Heath, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Oliver Hillel, UNEP Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada
  • Dr. Bernard Lane, International Journal of Sustainable Tourism, UK
  • Steve Noakes, Pacific Asia Tourism, Australia
  • Keith Sproule, World Wildlife Fund, Namibia
  • Michael E. Colby, Ph.D., USAID, USA (Alternate, Megan Hill, USAID, USA)


Sustainable Tourism Professionals (STP) Certificate  

The STP Certificate is a formal credential designed for tourism professionals who would like to gain applicable expertise or enhance current skills in selected areas of sustainable tourism.

Fee: $450


  • One (1) core overview course on Global Tourism – Achieving Sustainable Goals
  • Three (3) dynamic courses of your choice
  • Timed examination for one core and three selected courses
  • Verification of experience in sustainable tourism, including evidence of practice
  • Digital Sustainable Tourism Professionals Certificate upon completion

Qualifications: Applicants for the Certified Sustainable Tourism Professionals program must have worked in sustainable tourism for a minimum of two years, actively engage in sustainable tourism practices and demonstrate a detailed knowledge of sustainable tourism.

Time Requirement:  6-10 hours per course (totaling approximately 24-40 hours for all 4 courses) for participants who want to be thoughtful and consider the possible applications of the material to complete each course, including exercises, quizzes, an introductory presentation, and an examination.

Additional Requirements: Participants must sign a code of ethics, complete a timed examination for one (1) core course and three (3) courses of their choosing, provide two (2) professional work references, and demonstrate two (2) years of experience within the tourism industry. As its sole discretion, Sustainable Travel International may require an additional assignment.


Course Descriptions

Global Tourism — Achieving Goals: This course is an introduction to the sustainable tourism movement, as well as how tourism can be used to accomplish sustainable development objectives from a local to a global scale.

Sustainable Tourism Project Development — A Step by Step Approach: In this course participants will learn the approach and steps needed to create an outline for a sustainable tourism project.

Tourism Destination Management — Achieving Sustainable and Competitive Results: This course examines how destinations have improved competitiveness by creating environmentally and socially friendly tourism products and services. The course emphasizes establishing policies and management plans to identify and reduce negative impacts created by tourism facilities and services, and looks at how to create public-private sector management systems with broad stakeholder support.

Tourism Investment and Finance — Accessing Sustainable Funding and Social Impact Capital: In this course students will learn how to successfully promote and facilitate private investment and financing for sustainable tourism projects.

Sustainable Tourism Enterprise Development — A Business Planning Approach: This course describes how to establish and develop a tourism business enterprise. General business principles are discussed and then tailored to the tourism industry.

Tourism Workforce Development — A Guide to Program Assessment and Design: In this course students will learn about the high rates of unemployment among youths in developing countries, as well as how to create and implement tourism workforce development programs and assessments, which can increase the competitiveness of a destination while also providing jobs and economic growth.

Powering Tourism — Electrification and Efficiency Options for Rural Tourism Facilities: Powering Tourism provides information to help tourism professionals understand and evaluate the range of options for meeting their off-grid energy needs, highlighting efficient and sustainable use of energy. The guide provides a seven-step approach to guide the reader through the process of creating a reliable and affordable energy system by working with staff and visitors, equipment vendors, installers, financial institutions, and energy service providers.

Scientific, Academic, Volunteer & Education (SAVE) Travel Network Development: This course describes the steps necessary for designing a SAVE travel and tourism development strategy. It provides guidance for the development of a SAVE center, an entity with a mission to enable the destination to create travel and tourism products that service the SAVE travel market and to link those products to their respective markets.

Tourism and Conservation—Sustainable Models and Strategies: Direct linkages between sustainable tourism, biodiversity conservation, and community development are described as six conservation models. In addition, this course includes the TNC publication, “The Threshold of Sustainability for Tourism within Protected Areas: A Quick Guide for Protected Area Practitioners”.



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