What can we do about Tourism’s Invisible Burden?

This spring, we launched our groundbreaking new report Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism, published by the Travel FoundationCornell University’s Centre for Sustainable Global Enterprise and EplerWood International. It describes how destinations must uncover and account for tourism’s hidden costs, referred to as the ‘invisible burden’, to protect and manage vital destination assets worldwide.

The report has now been downloaded hundreds of times, and has received coverage in media including TTG Media, TTG Asia, the Irish Examiner and Greenbiz. Our CEO Salli Felton and principal author Megan Epler-Wood have spoken about it at various events, including the Skift forum Europe last month.

In short, the report has been well-received. Overtourism has been in the news countless times this year – you just have to look at our Twitter feed to see some of the many stories about overcrowding on tropical islands, closures of tourist attractions to allow recovery and, most recently, a walk-out by staff at the Louvre as its visitor numbers top 10 million a year.

The concept of the ‘invisible burden’ provides a better understanding of why overtourism exists and what might be done to address it, or avoid it altogether.

But what can people who are engaged with these issues do as a next step?

The report suggests that the risks tourism destinations and businesses face must be openly and transparently reviewed with more science-based, data-driven analysis – such as holistic accounting systems and ways to assess the risks tourism poses to infrastructure and natural resources.

So now that you’ve read the report, what’s next?


In this webinar, the report authors will present their research findings and explain their conclusions, and you can ask any questions.


  • Megan Epler Wood, Managing Director, Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program at Cornell University; Owner and Principal of EplerWood International
  • Dr. Mark Milstein, Clinical Professor of Management at Cornell University
  • Salli Felton, CEO, the Travel Foundation
  • Aileen Lamb, Tourism Manager, Scottish Enterprise

Register now, and take your next step towards gaining a better understanding of destination management.

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