THE INSPIRATION FOR ITMI

TED BRAVOS, FOUNDER & CEO OF ITMI

Ted is an industry pioneer, thought leader and visionary. He helped develop the first state-approved school in the United States, designed specifically to train tour directors and tour guides. When he is not filling his role as primary instructor, he remains active as a tour director, leading thousands of people to all parts of the world.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree from California Polytechnic University, he served as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Since 1970, he has been employed as a tour director and consultant for some of the most respected tour companies in America. A distinguished thought leader and expert, he has been a frequent speaker at industry events, featured in many magazines and newspapers and been a guest on countless television and radio programs.

ITMI LEADING THE WAY SINCE 1976

At the time of ITMI’s inception, tour guiding in America was largely a part-time summer job for college students or teachers who had little or no training. In Europe, tour guiding had already developed as a profession with a formal education and certification, meeting the highest standards of quality.

As seasoned travellers, Ted Bravos and Bill Newton observed the vast difference between the two industries and envisioned the concept for the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI): A North American school that would give tour guides and tour directors the knowledge, practical skills and real-world experience to safely and confidently lead tour groups domestically and around the world.

ITMI was born. Over the years, ITMI has evolved to meet the changing needs of the explosive tourism industry. ITMI continues to be actively involved with leading professional organizations including the National Tour Association (NTA), the American Bus Association (ABA) and Tourism Cares.

1976
First School in North America to Train Tour Guides and Tour Directors
ITMI is founded by Ted Bravos and Bill Newton after obtaining approval from the California Department of Education.
1976
1976
The School is in Session
First 7 training courses are completed in San Francisco, California. ITMI becomes a member of the National Tour Association (NTA).
1976
1980
First Hollywood Class
A tradition that continued twice a year for over 30 years.
1980
1982
ITMI Continues to Expand
Starting in 1982, ITMI introduces specialized training programs including Destination Marketing; 1982 World's Fair; 1984 Olympics; 1986 Expo and Regional Training in Boston
1982
1987
First ITMI Symposium
A place for education; networking and getting hired.
1987
1990
ITMI Celebrates Its 100th Class
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1990
1993
ITMI Is Invited to Present at White House Conference
The purpose? To work towards developing the first National Tourism Policy for the United States.
1993
1996
ITMI Goes From Hot to Cold
ITMI does a speical Cruise Host and Tour Director Program to Mexico. They also head to the Yukon & North West Territories
1996
2000
ITMI Hits Some MIlestones
From 2000 - 2008, ITMI holds the Symposium in Hawaii It begins a partnership with Tourism Cares. ITMI is featured on "Heartbeat of America" with William Shatner. The first "Bank Travel" training program is held. The first special program in Chinese Mandarin is held.
2000
2010
ITMI Celebrates 7,000 Graduates
Students from around the world have taken part in the ITMI Tour Guide Training and Tour Director Training programs. 7,000 of them!
2010
2011
Motorcoach Driver Training Program
ITMI introduces its special motorcoach training program. This makes sense, because our motorcoach operators are an integral part of our team!
2011
2012
ITMI Holds its 25th Symposium
But that's not all! Ted Bravos is recognized as a Travel Pioneer. Our Human Trafficking Awareness Training is added and we begin partnerships with Group Tour Media and eTravel Blackboard.
2012
2013
ITMI Receives International Recognition
ITMI is featured in National Geogrphic; The New York Times; Kiplinger Magazine & Travel Pulse.
2013
2016
ITMI Celebrates 40 Years
With over 300 Classes and 8,000 Graduates.
2016

As Featured On

ITMI - STILL INNOVATING AFTER 46 YEARS

Global Pandemic
The global pandemic interupts the entire travel industry with no end in sight.
Online Training
ITMI pivots and develops an online training program that delivers our key elements of connection, learning & outcomes.
Expanding Offerings
2023 has some exciting developments to announce. Stay tuned for more!
2020
2021
2023

TOUR GUIDE PROGRAM TESTIMONIALS

Don’t just take our word for it.

One of the best decisions I've ever made. Investing in training at ITMI changed my life and gave me access to a career that is challenging me and bring me a whole lot of joy! THANK YOU ITMI!!

Jolie
jolie-runyan

Thank you so much to ITMI because without this training I wouldn't be able to unlock the doors to my dreams. The greatest thing ITMI did was to create this community of people like me, who share a love of travel, culture, history and adventures.

Savion
savion-grove

Celebrating 1 year anniversary from ITMI! In the past year I was a tour director through the Western National Parks and today I'm heading on a plane for my first tour in Europe. Thank you ITMI!

Seth
seth-weil

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