Cultural Heritage Tourism

Professional Certificate Program in Cultural Heritage Tourism

In partnership with the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies
Begins Fall 2023
September 11 – November 5, 2023
Program Fees:
AIANTA Members – $2,725.00
Non AIANTA Members – $2,775.00

Registration deadline: August 21, 2023

Indian Summer Festival WisconsinExplore the fundamentals of tribal tourism planning with the Professional Certificate Program in Cultural Heritage Tourism offered by AIANTA in partnership with the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies.

The online program brings together industry experts who help students explore the importance of including authentic Native American cultural experiences in their tourism planning.


The Professional Certificate in Cultural Tourism provides tourism entrepreneurs and community leaders with the tools to identify and develop the assets that would most appeal to visitors. It is a self-managed online program that allows participants to learn the content and complete the requirements at their own pace each week. The program is comprised of six courses. One course is scheduled per week with one week allocated for catch up upon conclusion of the program. Each course requires 6 hours of study, including readings, tourism lectures and presentations. Participants are required to complete a written assignment at the end of each course.

Upon successful completion of the six courses, students receive a Professional Certificate in Cultural Heritage Tourism from The George Washington University School of Business. This is a non-credit, non- degree program.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the different speakers and instructors each week. The homework load for each week’s classes was very doable, even with my busy schedule. I appreciate all the knowledge I gained from this program.”

–Rilda Means
Director of Community Relations & Marketing
Red Cloud Indian School

Course Schedule

Intro to Cultural Heritage Tourism
September 11 – 17, 2023 
This course begins with a tourism industry overview before examining how cultural heritage tourism can help to attract and engage visitors and drive economic development. The curriculum covers important considerations to help determine whether cultural heritage tourism is the ‘right fit’ for your community and includes case studies illuminating successes and challenges.

Tourism Marketing
September 18 – 24, 2023
This course introduces the travel trade landscape and the strategic role that marketing plays in tourism development. Participants will learn basic promotional techniques, with an emphasis on social media, that can help to effectively sell a new or existing tourism product or destination

Tourism Planning & Management
September 25 – October 1, 2023
This course provides tools that participants can use to engage their communities in cultural heritage tourism planning processes. These processes include assessing tourism potential, determining readiness, evaluating costs and benefits of development, and introducing local tourism management models.

Community-Based Tourism
October 9 – 15, 2023
This course will introduce multiple strategies communities can utilize to promote cultural heritage product development by the public and private sectors. It will also cover individual business planning, including using data to design and develop cultural heritage tourism products.

Tourism Resilience & Sustainability
October 16 – 22, 2023
This course focuses on lessons learned from the global pandemic and introduces approaches for developing dynamic capabilities to achieve a more sustainable future in uncertain times. Topics include approaches for building more resilient, sustainable tourism; strengthening cooperation and partnerships; and evolving strategies to innovate during uncertain times.

Workforce Development
October 23 – 29, 2023
Outstanding customer service is the sign of a thriving tourism workforce. This course examines both sides of the workforce equation: developing training and management in the tourism sector and creating a customer service culture that sets your community apart.

Catch up October 30 – November 5, 2023

*Participants will have the week of Oct 30- Nov 5 to catch up and submit remaining assignments. An additional week’s extension is granted upon request.

About the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies University

As a global leader in tourism education and research, the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies has been guiding businesses, communities, governments and nonprofits toward sustainability for thirty years. The Institute advances critical industry issues through thought leadership and research, and we offer professional-level certificate programs, courses and workshops in destination management and cultural heritage tourism.

NATIVE Act GW & AIANTA Certificate in Cultural Heritage Tourism Scholarship

AIANTA is offering 15 NATIVE Act scholarships that are available for tribal professionals to participate in this certificate program. We are currently accepting applications. The scholarships for the course are funded by NATIVE Act funds through a collaboration with the Office of Indian Economic Development. AIANTA is thrilled to offer registration support for participants in our 15 tribal regions. One member per Tribe, Native Nation and/or Native Hawaiians will be considered for participation in the program. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, as qualified applications are received. APPLICATION DEADLINE: MONDAY, July 31, 2023

More Information

For more information, contact Bianca Mitchell at or 505.433.2120 or contact