Your journey towards your dream Travel Career 
starts Here...

Top travel companies like Collette, hire ITMI (International Tour Management Institute) graduates to lead their travelers around the world. This video features the many ITMI graduates.

As you are seeing all these exciting possibilities for your dream travel career, you're probably thinking...

  • This looks too good to be true. Is this career really possible for me?
  • ​I'm terrified to leave my stable career, but my heart is no longer in it. What if I do this and it doesn't work for me?
  • I've not been to many of places before, how could I even lead a group?  What do I say without embarrassing myself?
  • ​​​​Am I too old to do this? How can I learn to do this at my age?
  • ​Everyone else seems more experienced than me. How can I possibly compete for the job?
  • I get nervous speaking in front of a group. Do I have the personality for this? How do I become more confident?
  • ​Am I too young for this? Do I have enough experience?
  • ​I love connecting with people, but I'm worried that I won't be able to manage all the logistics and handling unexpected situations that come up.
  • Will I have to be away from home for long periods of time and be all by myself?
  • Can't I just read a book or take an online course to do this?
  • I'm close with my family and friends. What if they reject me for pursuing my dream? 
  • ​Can I even afford to do this?
  • ​Will this take months or years to learn before I can start making money?
  • Can I do this and still have a happy family and friend and life?
Though you may have some of these fears and concerns, your travel dreams keep calling you. Deep down you know that, "There is so much more I want to see, do, and be in the world. Life is short. I've got to do this!"

What if...there was a way to put you on the fast track to starting your dream travel career this year that calm those fears and answer those questions on your mind?

What if...

...there was someone who is already successful in your dream career? What if they held your hand and walked you through all of their steps, secrets to success, mistakes to avoid, and helped you get hired so that you can confidently take that first step towards your dream travel career?

ITMI Tour Certification Training ProgramS

Graduating More than 8,000 Tour Guides & Travel Leaders Since 1976
For six decades Tour Companies have been hiring ITMI graduates because they have invested in themselves to be professionally trained, mentored and supported in their future growth and success. 

As you begin to imagine your world expanding and transforming beyond what you thought possible, you may have feelings of self-doubt and fear.  We are here to let you know that whatever your dream travel career is, it's totally possible for you to design your world how you want it to be, full time, part time or seasonal. Whether you’re interested in adventure guiding, international, student educational travel, faith-based, cultural, food & wine, music performance, or any other types of tours, we can help launch your dream travel career! 

Through our partnerships with countless travel companies, we know exactly how to get you started. We've designed a world-class training experience to prepare you for these opportunities and help open doors to make your career dreams come true. We've integrated the latest trends in travel along with technology to help you be prepared for success. 

When you are accepted into the ITMI Tour Certification Training Program and enroll, you will begin your journey through the following process.

ITMI Training Programs

Your "ITMI Advantage"

As an ITMI graduate, you have the "ITMI Advantage" with your education and training. Because ITMI has been partnering with Tour Companies for more than 40 years, we know what skills and experiences these companies are looking for when hiring tour leaders. With this knowledge, we continue to update our training and curriculum so that our graduates become the most sought after candidates to in the industry.

Mary Ellen Pauli

Senior Director of Course Leaders

WorldStrides is the largest Educational Student Travel company in the United States. 
In this audio clip, Mary Ellen shares why she hires ITMI graduates.

Molly Robertson

Tour Guide Recruiter

"If they come from ITMI, we give them an interview. I hired many people right out of ITMI"

Tara Swenson

Recruitment & Interviews 

Karen Lewis

General Manager

Meet Scott

"Today was my last day in the office at my current job and I have been reflecting on the events of the last four months. It has been a bit hectic having one foot in my “old life” while trying to prepare for my “new life”, and yet it has been very exciting and rewarding too. 

 I recently attended the two-day tour company training/interview. It was so very easy to tell which folks were ITMI graduates and which were not. I don’t say that in a boastful or “we’re better than you are” kind of way, but rather as an acknowledgment of all that you taught us.

The ITMI folks simply came to the table with a better tool set and a better understanding of what was expected of them. That is a testament to each and every one of our instructors. Several members of our class were there and we were all talking about how well the training class had set us up for success. You truly practiced what you preached—you turned us on then turned us loose. And you have continued to guide us in countless ways.

You really taught, lead, and empowered us in so many ways. We still have so much to learn and yet, we have such a wonderful foundation on which to anchor that learning. A very heartfelt and sincere thank you to each and everyone who helped teach me and my fellow classmates. It is so very much appreciated. "

Scott Smiley, ITMI Graduate 2019

Landed jobs with both WorldStrides and EF Explore America

More than 1,000 travel Companies have Hired ITMI Graduates to Lead their Tours

95% ITMI Graduates get hired by Travel companies!

Over the last 43 years, ITMI has been building trusted relationships with hundreds of tour companies around the world.
Of the 8,000+ ITMI graduates worldwide, many have gone on to become hiring managers for top tour companies and now hire ITMI grads. In addition, countless other ITMI graduates have started and operated their own successful tour companies looking to hire ITMI graduates.

You are not Alone! 

You become a part of a FAMILY who understands, supports, and celebrates you!

This means that no matter what challenges you may face on on the road, you have a network of the top tour professionals in the industry to help you. More than just colleagues, as an ITMI graduate, you become a part of a tight knit family who support and celebrate each other.

Upcoming ITMI Tour Guide Certification Trainings

October 4 – 22, 2021

Live Online Group Classes

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays

4 pm PST / 7 pm EST

November 29 – December 17, 2021

Live Online Group Classes

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays

4 pm PST / 7 pm EST

February 7 – 25, 2022

Live Online Group Classes

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays

4 pm PST / 7 pm EST

March 14 – April 1, 2022

Live Online Group Classes

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays

4 pm PST / 7 pm EST

April 25 – May 14, 2022

Live Online Group Classes

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays

4 pm PST / 7 pm EST

Your Training Starts with

Travel Leader Fundamentals

This course will provide you the information that will allow you to make confident decisions about the direction you want to take and the type of career you want to select. Think of this course as a building block that lays the foundation for a career within travel and tourism. 

Whether you choose to become a tour director leading groups to multiple destinations, or to become a local guide leading visitors on food and city tours, or to start your own tour company, your dream travel career will start with an understanding of the fundamentals of the tourism industry, the many career opportunities available, and the skills required to succeed.

The objective of this training is to help you determine a travel career path that aligns with your passion, strengths, and preferences. You will learn the key to industry concepts, opportunities, and skills you will need to be successful.

Travel Leader Fundamentals Program Tuition: $395

Your online training portal will contain all your course work, study material, and information. On the first day of the course, your fellow students along with the ITMI team will meet online for orientation via video chat to meet one another and help you launch into your training.

This self-study course is at your own pace and typically takes 1-2 weeks to complete. There will be a variety of testing assignments/assessments and we will be checking in on your progress. Upon completion of this training program, you will have more clarity in the direction you would like to pursue and develop a career action plan to help you prepare and reach your dream travel career.

What you will learn in Travel leader fundamentals

Introduction to Travel and Tourism
  - Tourism 101
  - Importance of Tourism
  - History of Travel
  - Industry Terminology
  - What is a Tour?
  - Companies that Package Travel
  - How Tour Operators, Travel Agencies and Suppliers Work Together

Tour Guiding and Career Opportunities
  - Who’s Who in the Travel Industry/Careers within Tour Leadership
  - Local Guiding
  - Meet and Greets
  - Tour Directing / Tour Managing
  - Tour Guiding vs Tour Directing
  - Events and Incentives
  - Cruise
  - Rail Travel
  - Tour Entrepreneurship

Is Tour Guiding for You?
  - Why people choose this career
  - How to make a living with a travel career?
  - What holds people back from pursuing this career?
  - Pros and Cons of Tour Guiding

What skills will you need?
  - Interactions on Tour
  - The Balancing Act
  - Roles You Play as a Travel Leader
  - Do you have the skills it takes to be successful?

Career Action Plan
  - Choosing Your Career Track
  - Staying in the Game and Self-Care
  - Creating your Professional Brand
  - Finding Career Opportunities
  - Organizations to Join
  - Landing Interviews and Jobs

What Students Say About Travel Leader Fundamentals

"The single biggest takeaway I've discovered throughout this course is just how vast the travel industry is, and the number of ways you can make a career within it. Of course I knew you could be a local tour guide or a tour director on a motor coach doing multi-day trips, but I never considered some of the other options discussed in this course. Working as part of MICE staff and filling my schedule working convention/incentive-type events, or similarly, working as a receptive operator full time or between other engagements. There really is something for everyone and a course like this is great for not only introducing those options, but doing so in a way that helps the student (me) start to figure out where I might best fit into it all." - Beth R.

Your Training Continues with

Tour Guide Coaching & CertificatioN

Tour guiding skills are the foundation of any career path you choose. In this 5-week training program, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice skills like storytelling and commentary, tour planning and routing, technology, public speaking, walking tours, airport meet and greet, travel and motorcoach safety, and much more. Upon completion, you will receive a Certificate and gain the confidence to prepare and lead groups on any local tour. You will be a part of a close-knit community of new friends and colleagues who will help support and champion you on your new career path.

9 Live Online Classes

Individual Coaching sessions

Training Portal with Videos

You will join your classmates and instructor live online, twice a week for approximately 90 to 120 minutes per class (Hour and-a-half to 2 hours). In addition, please plan 6-10 hours of homework per week for projects and presentations. Completion of all course work is required to receive certification. 

After completion of the Tour Guide Certification, you will be eligible to join the in-person Tour Director Certification training as it becomes available.

What you will learn in Tour guide certification

What Students Say About the Tour Guide Certification Training

Tour guide coaching & certification Program Tuition:

$1,995 + $150 USD Enrollment Fee 
BONUS: Travel Leader Fundamentals Program Included (Value $395)

Payment Options

Single Payment
$1,995 USD + $150 Enrollment Fee

3 Month Payment Plan
$690 USD / month + $150 Enrollment Fee

What you get From the itmi Tour certification programS

WORLD-CLASS PROFESSIONAL TOUR LEADERSHIP TRAINING so that you can confidently and successfully lead tours ($5,500 Value)

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNITY SUPPORT  so that you are not out there on your own and feeling stuck ($1,500 Value)

INDUSTRY RECOGNIZED AND TRUSTED ITMI BRAND so that your resume moves to the top of tour companies list ($1,000 Value)

ACCESS TO ONGOING COMMUNITY TRAINING EXPERIENCES so you continue to sharpen your skills and stay connected ($1,200 Value)



Potential Career Earnings as a 
Tour Director/Guide 

$115,000 - $450,000* + Travel Benefits

Based on an industry average of 5-10 year career
earning $23,000 - $45,000 a year

* Not a guaranteed income earnings

More Tour Guide Certification Student Experiences

Even though all the entire training program is valued at over $9,200, what is the value for you to start your dream travel career and making a living doing what you love this year?

Since we are on a mission to train and send out as many "Goodwill Ambassadors" as we can, we want to make this opportunity more accessible to those who have a big dream of sharing our beautiful world and a calling to make a difference.

That's why we decided to help you start your dream travel career worth over $127,700 to $462,700 + Travel Benefits with just a $395 investment in yourself

Whether you are new to the travel and hospitality industry or have been working in other areas, the online self-study Travel Leader Fundamentals program will help you get clarity on what career direction you want to go, what skills you will need to develop, and how to get started.

Once you have completed the Travel Leader Fundamentals program, you will be eligible for enrollment into the Tour Guide Certification program. In this 5-week online training you will work independently and as a team to practice the essential local tour guiding skills and competencies required by hiring companies. Upon completion, you will receive your Certification as a Tour Guide by ITMI.

Each year, we only accept 80-100 students into this prestigious Tour Director Certification program. To qualify for both Certification programs, you must complete an application and interview below. Once accepted into this program you will have the opportunity to come to San Francisco or other training destinations to learn and practice in-the-field tour managing skills that will give you the confidence to lead tour groups and handle any situations domestically and internationally. 

We also understand that even this amount can be challenging for some.  In this case, we have payment plans and select industry scholarships available to make this training possible for you.

once you earn the ITMI tour guide certification, your next step is

Tour Director Coaching & CertificatioN

If you are ready to take your tour guiding skills to the next level and get hired to lead groups to multiple destinations, you are in the right place! While a Tour Guide is an expert in one particular area, a Tour Director is in charge of a group of people throughout a multi-day experience and is a master of many trades. A Tour Director wears many hats and has quite a few skills to perfect. That is exactly what this training experience is all about!

Meet more ITMI graduates who are living their dream travel career...

2013 ITMI Graduate

Meet KristEn

I first decided to pursue this industry upon recommendation of a good friend of mine who used to work for Collette Vacations. The more I researched, the more my excitement grew. 

During my semester studying abroad in Italy, I realized that the more places I went, the more there was still yet to discover. I couldn't get enough. I was the girl in our group studying Wikipedia before every side trip, so I could learn as many details as possible. 

In my opinion, its the details and history of each place that makes it unique and memorable. I carefully documented these details, along with the beauty of architecture, the splendor of nature, and the richness of different cultures, so that I could share them with loved ones back home. What could be better than to turn this passion into my life's work! 
If you are just looking for training to become a tour guide, there are other less expensive options out there.
However, if you are serious about investing in your dream travel career and want the "ITMI Advantage" to open as many doors as possible, then we invite you to apply for admissions into the program.

One of our admissions advisers will contact you discuss your qualifications and explore possible opportunities.

Like any prestigious Ivy League school, we don't accept just anyone who applies. 

We conduct a rigorous application review and interview process to identify those candidates who have the right skills, commitment, passion, and potential to be successful travel leaders. 

If you have any questions before you apply, please click the button below to contact us.

Before you complete your application, watch this video to learn what it takes to be successful in this career!


Submit Your Application Below to be Considered


Date of Birth
Contact Info
Please provide the best info to reach you so we can get in touch with you during this admissions process. (And, of course, we won't share or sell your contact info). 
Educational Background
High School or Equivalent
College and Advanced Education
Employment History
Employer Names & Locations
Employment Description
Travel Experience
Admissions Questions
Tell us about your dream travel career and what's been holding you back from pursuing it until now
Over the last couple of years, how much have you invested in traveling and educational training (books, classes, coaching, seminars, programs)
What personal attributes, interests, special skills, or talents do you have that would help you succeed in this career?
Why should you be accepted into this program? Why would you be a good fit for our community? 
If we decide to accept you into the program, what would success look like for you?

If we were having this discussion three years from today, and you were to look back over those three years to today, what has to have happened, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy about your progress towards your dreams?
How did you find out about ITMI? Please be a specific as possible.
If accepted, which Tour Guide Certification (TGCC) class would you prefer? (Note training starts with the 2 weeks of online self-study Travel Leader Fundamentals program)
Statement of Truth
Do you state that the information you've provided in this application is true to the best of your belief and knowledge?
Yes I do
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