International Tour Management Institute (ITMI)

The Premier Training Institute for Tour & Travel Professionals Since 1976

Making the World a Better Place Through Travel



ITMI Quick Facts

Founded . . . . . . . .
1976 in San Francisco, CA
Founders . . . . . . . .
• Ted Bravos, CTP
• William Newton, Ph.D.
Office . . . . . . . .
625 Market St, Suite 810
San Francisco, CA 94105
Classes . . . . . . . .
• Tour Guide / Tour Director
• Custom Training Programs
• Driver Training
Class Structure . . . . . . . .
40% in-class teaching
60% in-field workshops
Class size . . . . . . . .
20 – 25 students
Alumni . . . . . . . . 
8,000+ worldwide
Placement . . . . . . . .
92% job placement

ITMI Class #293 at Lassen Volcanic National Park - Mineral, CA - 2014

ITMI Class #293 at Lassen Volcanic National Park - Mineral, CA - 2014

ITMI’s Code of Ethics

At ITMI, we hold our graduates to the highest professional standards — the ITMI Code of Ethics. As an ITMI Tour Director and Tour Guide, you will need to be willing to commit to this code. This level of professionalism helps to make our graduates some of the most highly sought after job candidates in the business.

The ITMI Code of Ethics is a combination of the various ethical principles taught throughout the ITMI Training Program. These principles were first agreed upon by the Tour Operators and Tour Directors at the original ITMI Symposium in San Francisco in January 1986. This code has been, and continues to be, amended over time to be more inclusive and up to date. 

  1. Pursue excellence as an ITMI Certified Travel & Tourism Professional by holding yourself to a higher standard.
  2. Realize the importance of understanding your Tour Company’s mission statement, policies and procedures, and adhere to those guidelines. However, more importantly, have a clear comprehension of the Tour Company’s philosophy, ethos, guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize their product or brand. Always evaluate if you are a good fit for their style of tour management.
  3. Respect the proprietary relationship of Tour Operators with their Tour Clients / Guests or Vendors by not making contact with them or soliciting (pirating) them for any personal business purpose without the Tour Operator’s consent.
  4. Endeavor always to present your Tour Operator’s Brand in the best possible light to guests, vendors, DMOs and others.
  5. Agree not to cancel any guaranteed tour assignment, except in case of illness or emergency, unless given a release by your Tour Company. If cancellation of your services is necessary, you will give the Tour Company as much notice as possible and will offer assistance in finding a suitable ITMI Certified replacement.
  6. Maintain your professional integrity and refrain from making negative comments about any aspect of your tour or tour company other than speaking directly with your tour company in a tactful, diplomatic, and constructive manner. Never vent about any negative issues on any form of social media, internet, or online forums!
  7. Discuss with colleagues or your tour company, any breach of conduct, or behavior by another Tour Director / Guide, Motorcoach Driver, Guest, Vendor or DMO in a tactful, diplomatic and constructive manner. Again, never vent about any negative issues on any form of social media, internet, or online forums!
  8. Guard against prejudice, racism, judgmental behavior, and strong opinions. Always present a fair and balanced picture. Always be objective when there is a crisis, conflict, or you are being criticized on tour. Maintain your leadership by never losing your cool.
  9. Assist without hesitation other Tour Directors and Guides in the field even if they are not ITMI Certified Alumni.
  10. Strive to enhance the Professionalism of ITMI Certified Tour Directors and Guides through your exemplary leadership, personal comportment, integrity, honesty, and trust. Always remember, your attitude, enthusiasm, concern for others and joy of life, will be reflected in the personality of your tour group.
  11. Educate and inspire your guests to develop a more enlightened world view by giving them a thoughtful understanding of history, culture, values, and traditions. Motivate and empower your guests to become Goodwill Ambassadors by interacting with fellow travelers and local people they meet around the world. In a thoughtful and balanced manner, help your guests to become informed thinkers about global issues, such as the environment, responsible and sustainable tourism, cultural differences, and human trafficking awareness.
  12. ITMI Pin – Wearing the ITMI pin symbolizes your commitment to the ITMI Code of Ethics and to the ITMI cornerstone of education, partnership, and community.