Seven things we learnt at the Roadmap to Destination Stewardship Roundtable

Our Roadmap to Destination Stewardship Roundtable brought together Garry Wilson, CEO, easyJet holidays, Jeremy Sampson, CEO, The Travel Foundation, Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of TreadRight, The Travel Corporation and João Paulo Sousa, Vice President, Algarve Tourism Association, to discuss the opportunities and challenges surrounding destination stewardship, with Jonathan Tourtellot, CEO, Destination Stewardship Center facilitating. Here are seven key things we learnt.

Defining value is important

The dominant issue within destination management has shifted from volume to value, but it’s essential to understand what is meant by value, in what context, and for whom. Our optimal value framework helps stakeholders come together to define value and what really matters in a destination, resulting in a better sense of what the priority impacts are, and the interventions needed. It is a tool meant to help negotiations have some commonalities as well as different perspectives.

Jeremy Sampson, CEO, The Travel Foundation

Local people must be brought into the conversation to find out what they value 

All too often, people who live in a destination are not being consulted on what they value and how they see tourism working where they live. How this local value is translated to tourists is also important. For example, overtourism is becoming a big problem, and local people are bearing the negative impacts without receiving much benefit. Inequity is another issue. Stewardship of a destination can create another level of accountability which can be helpful in having a nuanced discussion with stakeholders, including the community.  

Garry Wilson, CEO, easyJet holidays

Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of TreadRight

Destination stewardship needs effective collaboration 

It’s essential to create partnerships and talk pre-competitively before embarking on destination development. Trying to do this retrospectively can be very difficult. Even for a divisive topic such as all-inclusive development there are ways to collaborate, such as creating dining out initiatives, or building strong local supply chains. The Taste of Fethiye project, which set up food production co-ops to work with all-inclusives directly is a good example of this.

Tour operators have a lot of power that they should use in the right way 

Tourism development can create both positive and negative impacts and large tour operators have the power to bring key people together and they should be doing this before any development begins. Too often, sustainability initiatives are retrofitted after development and the destination must deal with more negative impacts than it needs to. easyJet holidays is taking this holistic stewardship approach. The Travel Corporation is another international tour operator that is going beyond the traditional marketing role through a project with VisitScotland to reduce scope 3 (destination supply chain) emissions.  

Garry Wilson, CEO, easyJet holidays

Change takes time as it can involve mindset changes 

In the Algarve, water sustainability is a priority issue, and involves both private and public sector. Stakeholders need to understand the problem first before habits and attitudes change, and this takes time.  

João Paulo Sousa, Vice President, Algarve Tourism Association

Measurement draws destination stewardship together 

Measurements should be applied across the industry to appreciate what is happening. Collaboration here can bring great value so that the same measurements are being used by different stakeholders.  

Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of TreadRight

Ultimately destination stewardship is complicated, but necessary 

The goal of destination stewardship is to find balance to the various needs that exist within a destination. This needs effective governance and a shared agenda which can find the pieces of a destination that matter to everyone.  

Jonathan Tourtellot, CEO, Destination Stewardship Center

PFDarrowarrow_downarrow_down_circlearrow_down_cirlcearrow_down_rounded_whitearrow_leftarrow_rightarrow_right_whitearrow_upboatbookbriefcase_areaofwork-newbriefcase_areaofworkcase_studyclock_datecloseclose_cross copyclose_crossclose_cross_blueconversation_discussion-01conversation_discussiondata_collectiondecision_makingdown-arrow-whitedownloadearthemailenergyenvironmentfacebookgroup_peoplehandshake-newhandshakehandshake_partnerknowledgelocal_producelocation_pointer-newlocation_pointerlogo_whitemap-iconmap_iconnews_blognumber0number1number2number3number4number5number6number7number8number9organisationpdfphone-call-whitephone-callpluspositive-actionpositive_actionproject-reportproject_reportrecycle_sustainable-01research_impactreturnright-arrow-dark-bluesearchsend-symbol-whitesend-symbolsingle_persontickresearch_impactresearch_impactresearch_impactresearch_impacttwitterwastewaterweb_resourcewhite_paperworking_togetheryoutubezoomlinkedin