Why sustainable tourism?
Tourism is a unique opportunity. By its very nature, it values the things that are most precious in our world: stunning landscapes, wildlife, history, culture and people. Tourism can be a catalyst for growth in the local economy, providing good quality jobs, opportunities for enterprise and funds for conservation. But if it is not managed well, tourism can have negative impacts on local communities and environments, creating long term problems for local residents, which can ultimately lead to the decline of tourism in the destination. Currently there is no measurement of the net impact that tourism is having on destinations meaning that negative impacts are often not identified until they have developed into big issues.
What we do
Our vision is of a world where tourism brings greater benefits for people and the environment in destinations. Our mission is to bring together stakeholders to develop practical solutions which maximise the benefits and minimise the negative impacts of tourism in destinations. To this end, we work with those who plan and manage tourism in a way that ensures they can:
- identify, measure and manage the impacts of their tourism activities.
- embed sustainability into core policies, supporting frameworks and operational practices.
- share the results of their work with their peers and competitors, inspiring change in others.
How we do it
Research: We invest resources in new research and impact assessment focused on identifying the key issues and their root cause. We then identify companies, authorities and community groups who are affected by these issues and have the means or influence to change them
Bringing stakeholders together: We bring these key stakeholders together to think collaboratively about the impacts of tourism and find collective solutions with the aim of bringing about positive change in the way tourism operates in destinations.
Sustainable tourism in practice: Working with stakeholders, we create projects to improve the impacts of tourism and to demonstrate sustainable tourism in practice. These projects often form part of our long-term destination programmes where we commit to a 3+ year investment.
Improving knowledge and skills: We design and deliver guidance and training for those who plan and manage tourism to build their capacity to do sustainable tourism for themselves.
Supporting better practice: We encourage those who plan and manage tourism to integrate more sustainable ways of working into their policies and every-day practices to improve tourism’s impacts for the long term.
Inspiring change: We encourage those people we work with to share the results and lessons learned with their peers and competitors, inspiring change in others.
To read more about how you can support our work, please go to our Get Involved pages for businesses and for destinations.