The challenge to prepare a master plan for national tourism development in the early 1990s has become a milestone for ITB to take tourism as a serious subject matter. Tourism at that time was the country’s strategic foreign exchange earner, due to the decrease of national income from oil and gas. A strong political will to further develop tourism industries has encouraged the undertaking of tourism studies and increased the demand for tourism planning. Accordingly, courses on tourism were offered as electives at the Regional and Urban Planning Department ITB. The subject gradually attracted interest of students from planning department as well as from other fields of study.
ITB is not the first higher education to undertake a graduate program on tourism, which mostly started in late 1990s in the management study program. Undergraduate education on tourism in Indonesia is predominantly vocational in nature, serving the increasing need of the growing industry. In response to the aggravating issues in tourism development, resulted from accelerated growth of the industry with all its consequences, ITB in 1993 established a Center for Tourism Research to stimulate interest among students and faculty members. The Center is aimed at accumulating knowledge and experiences through researches as well as lessons learned from cooperation with many local governments and central government. With the accumulation of knowledge during that period, course materials on tourism can be enriched and expanded. In 2006, a master program on tourism was initiated as an attachment to master of Development Studies program. After a thoughtful consideration and preparation, a full-fledge master program on Tourism Planning was then established in 2010.