Certificate Course on Project Management in Sustainable Tourism

PDF version

Project Management Tourism


Why do projects fail?
PM4SD addresses key factors contributing to the successful execution of sustainable tourism projects.

PM4SD (Project Management for Sustainable Development) is an internationally recognized methodology and professional qualification designed to help ensure tourism projects deliver benefits for all stakeholders and achieve lasting impacts. PM4SD is an effective tool enabling sustainable tourism practitioners to use tourism as a positive force for social, economic and cultural change. 

A specialized training scheme for tourism professionals, the PM4SD training forms an important benchmark for competitiveness and growth in the tourism industry and the achievement of sustainable development goals.



PM4SD Online Courses

2019 Practitioner and Foundation Courses Announced Shortly

> Register for our newsletter to get notified

PM4SD Online Courses are delivered through a partnership between Jlag, a PM4SD Accredited Training Organisation,
and TrainingAid, in the 4-Week Course format.




FEST logo         Jlag logo           GSTC          TrainingAid logo



PM4SD Certificate Levels


Foundation Level

The Foundation training is designed to provide participants with knowledge and understanding to work effectively within a project management team to successfully deliver a sustainable tourism project. The Foundation level training is a prerequisite for the practitioner certification.

By completing the Foundation course, participants will understand and be able to demonstrate:

  How to design, plan and implement sustainable tourism project successfully;
  How to manage your project and your destination with sustainability;
  How to get funding support for your tourism projects;
  How to monitor your project;
  How to delegate and work effectively with your team and stakeholders.


Practitioner Level

The Practitioner training is designed to equip participants with the skills to manage and deliver a sustainable project using PM4SD. Those who have passed the PM4SD Practitioner examination are officially registered as a "PM4SD Practitioner", which they can promote on their business cards and professional profiles.

Building upon the Foundation course, the Practitioner course will enable project managers to:

  Understand the relationships between the roles, management products, principles, components, techniques and processes;
  Be able to apply the principles, components and processes to a project;
  Be able to create and assess management products.



Why PM4SD?

Travel and tourism constitutes one of the most important forces for global economic activities and development opportunities. At the same time, the diverse and cross-cutting nature of tourism means various threats and challenges posed by seasonality, climate change and socioeconomic and geopolitical instabilities, adding significant challenges for project managers in the tourism sector.

A common framework for co-operation and partnerships for public, private and community stakeholders, PM4SD is tailor made for this unique sector and focuses on planning and delivering benefits beyond the project life cycle for all stakeholders.

While the importance of sustainable tourism has been receiving increased recognition in recent years, too often, funding for delivering sustainable tourism projects has been spent without achieving any substantial results. Some of the key reasons behind project failures include:

  Lack of a solid needs analysis.
  Poor planning and project design.
  Inadequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
  No integration of planning the delivery of benefits.

The methodology of PM4SD has been developed to empower project managers, policy makers and entrepreneurs with tools and techniques to better plan and manage funding and investment in the tourism context, and to overcome these challenges.



The PM4SD Methodology

PM4SD is a structured method for effective project management focused specifically on the field of sustainable tourism. Providing a highly adaptive and flexible tool for designing and managing projects, the PM4SD methodology is based on PRINCE2® (Projects In Controlled Environments), an internationally recognized project management approach used worldwide by both public and private sector practitioners.

The PM4SD methodology is dedicated to delivering long-term benefits beyond the project life cycle for all stakeholders - national governments, destination marketing bodies, tour operators and service providers, owners of tourism infrastructure and transportation as well as host communities.

Enabling both a top-down and bottom-up approach, PM4SD complements processes and guidelines such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) and the European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS). 

The methodology has been developed by the Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism (FEST) in partnership with Jlag, Leeds Metropolitan University, Network of European Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (NECSTouR), as well as with a group of international experts.



PM4SD Training Goals & Objectives

PM4SD training helps project managers and industry stakeholders improve their tourism management skills and enhance sustainability performance. 

Those who successfully complete the PM4SD training and exam are awarded the internationally-recognized qualification as a Project Manager, with a certification issued by APMG International, verifying the certificate holder’s ability to:

  Understand and learn how to design and implement tourism projects in line with sustainable tourism policies and practices.
  Utilize a range of tools and techniques to be used for successfully managing projects.
  Effectively manage project teams’ tasks and responsibilities.
  Apply knowledge related to sustainable tourism to design innovative projects.
  Apply internationally recognized sustainable tourism indicators and criteria to support project objectives.



Who Is PM4SD Training For?

Those working directly or indirectly in the management of tourism projects, including professionals in these sectors:

  Travel and Tourism
  Construction, Building and Design
  Destination Planning, Development and Management
  Cultural Heritage Management and Promotion
  Environmental Conservation

Those involved in the daily management of tourism initiatives (e.g. master plans, projects, programmes and strategies), for sustainable development:

  Project & Programme managers and their team members
  Project officers
  Project stakeholders within and outside of the core project
  Tour operators
  Audit, Evaluation and Monitoring Entities
  Academics & Universities
  Community developers

Those involved in decision making at a local, regional, national or international level in the fields of sustainable development:

  Policy makers
  Project evaluators
  Public authorities
  Private companies
  Public-private partnerships involved in sustainable tourism initiatives and beyond
  Donor organizations


What Other Tourism Professionals

Say about PM4SD



"[The PM4SD course is] a comprehensive toolbox for guiding the management of complex, donor-funded projects. Great to walk through the various tools and processes in a group setting to get feedback from other students/professionals and how it can be adapted to different projects."

- Kelly Galaski, Director of Global Programs, Planeterra Foundation, Canada




"The PM4SD trainings helped me to transform vague ideas and projects into a concrete matter with a solid foundation. The PM4SD lessons provided me with a better understanding of project management, not only for the tourism sector but it is also applicable for other branches."

- Sanne Cras, UNWTO – HQ Madrid Tourism Policy Trainee at the Regional Programme for Europe (RPEU)




"As a tourism teacher, I found PM4SD a methodology that can guide us in every project that we develop in our institutions. But, most of all, the thought that is behind this tool has a tremendous potential and can really facilitate our job."

- Ana Isabel Rodrigues, Polytechnic Institute of Beja, Portugal




"An outstanding training and enormously useful approach to Project Management: an experience to advise, for sure!"

- Marta Mammana, Federturismo, Italy




"The PM4SD training was invaluable in highlighting the importance of planning and preparation in running projects properly. I would highly recommend this course to anyone involved in implementing projects at any level to obtain the tools and understand the simple procedures that will help your organisation operate projects more effectively."

- Rachel McCaffery, Head of Sustainable Tourism, The INTASAVE Partnership and CARIBSAVE




"PM4SD permits to create a community of stakeholders in tourism with a common approach on tourism management. PM4SD has filled an important lack with a common approach on tourism management."

- Sara Levi Sacerdotti, Project manager SiTI Istituto Superiore Sui Sistemi Territoriali per l'innovazione, Italy