Tourism and International Cooperation for Development

University Course: Tourism and International Cooperation for Development

This course offers university graduates and young professionals a realistic vision of programmes for development through tourism and provides training to enable them to form part of highly qualified teams of volunteers that work on international UNWTO cooperation projects and those of other agencies of the United Nations system. 


  • To provide the participants with the necessary basic knowledge and tools to successfully take part in international cooperation projects (or development programmes) through tourism.
  • To disseminate UNWTO's principles and guidelines, especially tourism's role as an instrument of development and poverty alleviation;
  • To disseminate the ideals of service and solidarity rooted in the essence of volunteerism. 

Participant profile

Graduates and young professionals of any field relevant to cooperation for development, over 21 years of age, interested in participating in international cooperation for development projects related with tourism. 


This course is given in a blended format (100 hours online and 100 in-classroom) and is held every year in English, Spanish and/or French. The online part of the course is carried out from the participants' countries of origin and the in-classroom portion takes place in one or two specific destinations, depending on the session and the language in which the course is carried out. 


The online part of the course lasts 2 months and the in-classroom portion lasts two weeks. 

Subject areas covered

This intensive course consists of analysing concepts and practical cases in the area of cooperation for development and tourism. During the in-classroom sessions, the methodologies used by UNWTO in its projects in developing countries are applied, offering students a practical background for future field work.

From among the participants that have satisfactorily completed the University Course on Tourism and International Cooperation for Development, a selection is made to form part of the UNWTO Volunteers Corps. 


  • Providing the possibility of acquiring knowledge and experience in international cooperation and tourism, particularly from the UNWTO perspective.
  • Participation in studies of practical cases applying the methodology used in the UNWTO.Volunteers programme.
  • The possibility of joining the UNWTO.Volunteers Network composed of participants who have completed previous sessions of the course.
  • Opportunity to participate in missions as Volunteers within the framework of the UNWTO.Volunteers programme and other international cooperation agencies.

How to apply

Calls for applications for the different sessions of the course are announced on the UNWTO Academy website with all the information needed to apply.

If you want to be notified of the next edition of this course, please register here.