Destination Stewardship, Texas

Destination Stewardship in Port Aransas, Texas

We’re taking part in an exciting new project along the U.S. Gulf Coast in Port Aransas, Texas, to balance an increase in visitors with the long-term health and vibrancy of the community and place.

Despite the pandemic, Port Aransas continues to see record-breaking numbers of visitors, a trend that is putting pressure on natural resources, infrastructure and on the local community.  This project will give the residents of Port Aransas a voice in tourism planning and will identify ways to improve tourism for the benefit of the community.  The aim is also to develop a messaging campaign for visitors that will inspire respectful, sustainable tourism.

Our role in the project, which is being led by consultancy Better Destinations, is to provide research on best practice for managing sustainable coastal tourism. This includes case studies from coastal destinations in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe that can provide inspiration for Port Aransas to shape its tourism economy in ways that bring more benefit to residents. We will also be leading a pair of community workshops designed to engage local businesses and residents in establishing a vision for destination stewardship and identifying actions to begin working towards this vision.

Project Aim

To support Port Aransas in the development of messaging and tactics related to better destination stewardship and visitor engagement and map out a vision for future action.

Planned activities

  • Workshops led by Better Destinations are engaging local stakeholders and residents in identifying opportunities and concerns, shaping a campaign that expresses their voice and creating a shared vision for destination stewardship.
  • Research by the Travel Foundation will provide examples of best practice from coastal destinations pointing to successful strategies and visitor communications that have improved the impacts of tourism.
  • Research conducted by Strategic Marketing & Research Insights will identify visitor perceptions as well as resident and business owners’ concerns and how to address them.

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