San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 31, 2012

International Tour Management Institute (ITMI), America’s premier training and certification program for professional tour directors and guides, is the first tourism school to integrate human trafficking awareness training into its curriculum. On January 30th 2013, ITMI will become a signatory to the travel industry’s international Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

ITMI is proud to announce that Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and former CEO of Carlson, which includes Radisson and Radisson Blu Hotels, Country Inns & Suites, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and T.G. I. Friday’s, will be speaking at its Code signing ceremony in Albuquerque. In 2004, Ms. Nelson co-chaired the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. That year, she also signed the travel industry’s Code of Conduct to prevent the sexual exploitation of children in tourism, making Carlson the first U.S.-based, global travel and hospitality company to become a signatory. Ms. Nelson is the former chair of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and the 2010 recipient of the United Nations G.I.F.T. “Business Leader Award” to prevent human trafficking.

“The travel and hospitality industry is in a unique position to address this problem and we all have a responsibility to do so,” says Ms. Nelson. Carlson’s more than 170,000 employees in 150 countries receive training to deter the sexual exploitation of children in tourism. Front desk hotel employees, for example, are encouraged to look for visual clues like signs of abuse or fear among potential victims; young people made up to look older; and clients who pay with cash, are reluctant to provide identification or have no luggage.

“As a leader in the education of tour directors, guides and tourism industry professionals it is our responsibility to provide our students and partners with the training to recognize and report potential traffickers,” said Ted Bravos, CEO of ITMI. “Tourism industry professionals can make a tremendous impact in helping to end this horrific crime.”

About ITMI: Since 1976, ITMI has been America’s premier training and certification program for professional tour directors, guides and travel staff. For more information about ITMI or the Symposium, contact Annemarie Osborne (800) 442-4864 (415) 957-9489 or visit