GTTP is a multi-country educational program to introduce high school learners to career opportunities in Travel & Tourism

Overview and History


The GTTP is a USA–based multi-country educational program that introduces Tourism learners to career opportunities in Travel & Tourism. To date, more than a million and a half students in twelve countries have participated in the GTTP. School systems provide teachers and classrooms; local and international companies provide financial and in-kind support. Some 2 900 local businesses share their expertise with teachers and students.

The GTTP also offers teacher-training courses and learner assessment methodologies to teachers in Hungary, Jamaica, Russia, Kenya, and South Africa. These are in addition to regular teacher training provided by each country’s Department of Basic Education.

The GTTP member countries work together in the sharing ideas and experiences that can improve their own operations. The GTTP member countries link students in one country to students in another country. GTTP member country schools can also “twin” with each other, which is an opportunity for students in two countries to learn more about each other.

GTTP member countries involve learners in a myriad of local and national activities. The GTTP sponsors three global competitions.

GTTP Research Competition & Award: Each year GTTP hosts an International Student/Teacher Conference in Europe which is attended by learners and their teachers from GTTP member countries. Two learners and one teacher from the winning school in each country attend the conference in Europe in November each year. The conference is sponsored by the GTTP and its Global Partners.

Student Travel Writing Competition: The essay competition reinforces the GTTP’s emphasis on encouraging research and communications skills. Students compete for national cash prizes. The competition is sponsored by the GTTP’s Global partners.

Student Photo Competition: Students take photos that show an enticing place or situation in their own country that would make a visitor want to come see for themselves. There are cash prizes for national and international winners. The competition is sponsored by the GTTP’s Global partners.

Leading international companies support the GTTP’s global activities and include:

Amadeus, American Express, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Delta Airlines, dnata,  Enterprise Holdings, Eurostar,  Hertz, HRG, KDS, Starwood and  Travelport.  To read more about our partners, click here.

Representatives from these companies form the International Advisory Board.


The GTTP is a charity that educates secondary school students about careers in Travel & Tourism, the world’s fastest growing industry, at a time when they are making career and further-education decisions. Students learn about the global industry, working in a service economy, and the economic and social impact of the industry in their counties. Along with the students, teachers and parents develop an appreciation for sustainable tourism and its benefits.


The program began in 1986 in the UK, funded by the American Express Foundation. At that time there was no education in secondary schools about Travel & Tourism. Amex funded the development of the first curriculum, paid for teacher training, and for a small staff to introduce the subject to schools and industry. The first textbook was very successful and Travel & Tourism as a subject began to be accepted in schools. The Foundation went on to fund curriculum development, training and operations in Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Hungary, Brazil, and Mexico — and by 1995 the subject was well accepted in many countries.  However it was becoming too big for one company to support. The Foundation trustees reviewed the program, and in 1996 asked Dr. Nancy Needham to set up a non-profit and to take over the separate programs. (The non-profit, Global Initiatives, Inc., is a 501 (c) (3) organization to which US companies can donate funds and receive a tax deduction).

Charles Petruccelli, President of American Express Global Travel Services (now retired), began to ask his peers in other companies to support the program.  These companies became the GTTP’s “Global Partners.”  The independent national programs joined together to form a collaborative group, the Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP), which is now an industry-supported global program. Funds are allocated by the Global Partner Advisory Board, and dispersed through Global Initiatives, which has the responsibility for financial and managerial oversight.

Global Partner Advisory Board member companies: Amadeus, American Express, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Delta Airlines, dnata,  Enterprise Holdings, Eurostar,  Hertz, HRG, KDS, Starwood and  Travelport.