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 . . . . . . . .
14 West Pier
Sausalito, CA 94965
Classes . . . . . . . .
• Tour Guide / Tour Director
Custom Training Programs
Driver Training
Class Structure . . . . . . . .
40% in-class teaching
60% in-field workshops
Class Size . . . . . . . .
25 – 30 students
Alumni . . . . . . . . 
8,000+ worldwide
Placement . . . . . . . .
92% job placement

Our Commitment

Education: Receive individual coaching from experienced role models and mentors who are all active tour directors. The ITMI faculty provide you real-world, hands-on, practical applications in both the classroom and in the field. You will learn everything you need to know to begin living your dream as a tour director or guide.

Partnership: Over 8,000 alumni have built our reputation. Your success is our success. Our partnership with you extends for the life of your career and far beyond our job placement assistance, including access to the exclusive ITMI Alumni Library for news and tools to help you to become more successful.

Community: You have now joined the world's largest network of Professional Tour Directors and Guides. Follow your colleagues via ITMI’s Facebook page, LinkedIn and Twitter and more to network, discuss issues and share your stories! Each year after graduation you are eligible to attend our 5-day Annual ITMI Symposium and Reunion, for continuing education, destination knowledge, networking opportunities with your colleagues and employment opportunities with a wide variety of ITMI Tour Operator partners.

Outreach: As tour directors and guides you make a difference by creating cultural bridges of understanding everyday. You are Ambassadors of Goodwill. In Outreach we want to detail your efforts thru inspirational stories in your various roles as stewards of the environment and how you give back to your local community, help you generate awareness of issues affecting our global community and acknowledge your efforts to better our world.  #ITMIMakesADifference  



Make Your Travel Dreams A Reality

San Francisco  I  Boston  I  Washington D.C.  I  Seattle

If you dream of a career in travel, you’ve come to the right place.

At the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI), we help people realize their travel dreams by turning their passion for travel into a fulfilling career. We train and certify people to become tour and travel professionals. We’ve been doing it since 1976. In fact, ITMI was the first U.S. school designed specifically to train professional tour directors and tour guides. Since its inception, ITMI has proudly graduated over 8,000 students from across the globe. We’re thrilled to claim a 92% graduate job placement rate. Many tour operators will only hire ITMI graduates because they recognize that they have received the highest quality, hands-on training in the industry (check out some of our Tour Company Partners).

The 15-day Tour Director Certification Course is held in locations like San Francisco, Seattle, Boston or Washington D.C. and consists of 40% classroom time and 60% field training. Because of the real-world, hands-on training needed, this course is only available in person and is not offered online.

ITMI also offers custom programs developed for organizations to meet specialized travel and tourism training needs within and outside of the travel industry. Custom programs have included Motorcoach Driver Training, Chinese Tour Director Training, Socially Responsible Tourism Training, Cruise Training, and more.

All of our courses include training in socially responsible and environmentally-conscious tourism. ITMI supports Tourism Cares, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of landmarks and historic sites for future generations. We are also a signatory to The Code, a tourism industry initiative to protect children from sex trafficking and sex tourism. And ITMI was the first school in the world to include education about human trafficking awareness in its curriculum. 

There's No Bigger Office than the Entire World.

It’s time to break free from your cubicle. We are guides and tour directors making a difference around the world every day. We love what we do and are offering you the same opportunity — to realize your travel dreams and make a positive impact in the world while doing it. Learn more from our founder, Ted Bravos, about the inspiration that led to ITMI's creation. 

Why ITMI is the Right Choice for You

Did we mention that we’ll teach you how to get paid to travel AND help you with lifetime career placement in the field? If you’re still not sure whether becoming a Tour Guide or Tour Director is the right path for you, we have plenty of resources for you to explore. Watch the ITMI online video seminar Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About a New Career in Tourism with ITMI. Read our in-depth article Is Tour Directing Right For You? Discover what makes successful Tour Guides and Tour Directors tick in our featured Alumni Profiles. Connect with us on Google Plus, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and see our team and alumni in action doing what they love. Browse our BlogVideos, and Testimonials for additional insights into ITMI and the travel industry. Give us a call or email us with your questions.   

ITMI is for individuals who dream of exploring the world; people who desire to make a positive impact by sharing their passion for travel and building bridges of understanding around the globe. Tour Directors and Tour Guides have a unique opportunity to become ambassadors of goodwill, to demonstrate respect for other cultures and traditions, and for the environment. #ITMIMakesADifference

ITMI continually strives to expand its reach within the tourism industry and beyond to support initiatives that address the environmental and humanitarian challenges of our time. Those who are inspired to make a difference in the world can become powerful agents of peace and transformation. You can be that type of person, and you can provide that inspiration for others. Apply today and answer your calling.


You may find other shorter programs or online courses, so why does ITMI believe in a full two weeks of training?  We believe in hands-on training. We believe you cannot learn how to manage a tour from a computer screen and be effective in the field. We believe that by immersing yourself in our two-week curriculum, you have a greater cohesive knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be a tour guide or tour director. We believe that two weeks of intensive training prepares you to live the life of your dreams.

In the first week you will learn the fundamentals of the travel and tourism industry, ethics, tour guiding, psychology of group travel, and more to begin laying the foundation for your career. The second week builds upon this foundation. You will learn advanced techniques for domestic and international touring. Our team of ITMI instructors will continually give you more and more tools throughout the two-week training to better serve you in the field. As active tour directors and tour guides themselves, they understand what it takes to do this work. Both in the office and in the classroom, our ITMI team members are here to encourage you, support you, and help you hone the skills necessary to be successful long after your training.

ITMI is the trusted brand in the industry. Our tour company partners hire ITMI alumni because of our commitment to hands-on-skills training, the overall thoroughness of our program, and our alumni's commitment to their professional development. They also realize how many ways we stay in touch with our alumni. By understanding the tour company’s mission and getting to know our alumni really well, we are able to recommend just the right person for their company’s needs. We follow your career path with guidance hours, follow-up reviews, social media engagement, and technology support.

Let us help you add stamps to your passport while you show others the world!

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Shelby, ITMI Alumni 2013, on the Great Wall in China

Shelby, ITMI Alumni 2013, on the Great Wall in China

Cynthia, ITMI Alumni 1997, still leading tours in Peru at age 80!

Cynthia, ITMI Alumni 1997, still leading tours in Peru at age 80!

Korey, ITMI Alumni 2010 and now an ITMI Instructor.

Korey, ITMI Alumni 2010 and now an ITMI Instructor.

Doreen, ITMI Alumni 2015, working on her first tour as a Cruise Director in Asia

Doreen, ITMI Alumni 2015, working on her first tour as a Cruise Director in Asia

ITMI Students and Alumni in Yosemite

ITMI Students and Alumni in Yosemite

Monica, ITMI Alumni 2010 touring in the Cinque Terre, Italy

Monica, ITMI Alumni 2010 touring in the Cinque Terre, Italy

Chuck, ITMI Alumni 2010, cruising Alaska with Collette

Chuck, ITMI Alumni 2010, cruising Alaska with Collette

Building Cultural Bridges in Africa

Building Cultural Bridges in Africa