Our Mission, Our Goal, Our Invitation

Our mission: To help protect the world’s distinctive places by supporting wisely managed tourism and enlightened destination stewardship.

Our goal: Help people find the resources they need to achieve that mission.

WELCOME to the Destination Stewardship Center,
extending the work of National Geographic’s former CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE DESTINATIONS.

This website is all about the intersection between stewardship of places and one of the world’s very largest industries: tourism.  We gather and provide information on the ways tourism can help—or hurt—distinctive destinations around the world. We seek people who want to join us in building a global community and knowledge network for change.

If you care about great places, if you care about managing tourism so as to enhance places and not spoil them, then this website and collaborative blogging platform is for you. The website is constantly growing and evolving, and you are welcome to join in the process. Help us tell—and improve—the destination-stewardship story.

Our four-part strategy (see top menu tabs):

  1. Highlight the issues. Tourism is changing the world more than people realize. Our Destination Watch section lists ratings and destination-stewardship news for places around the globe. Please get involved.
  2. Provide Stewardship Resources—information and links to services—to help destinations to improve in terms of authenticity, sustainability, and responsible tourism economy.
  3. To those ends, help places adopt the Geotourism approach, defined as: Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, geology, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.
  4. Help mindful, educated and discerning Geotravelers find access to enjoyable, rewarding, responsible, and enriching trips.

We offer participants a blogging and news aggregation platform with content keyed to these topics.

This initiative is not legally affiliated with the National Geographic Society but does continue the work already achieved by the discontinued N.G. Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD), founded by Jonathan Tourtellot. During initial development, this website is sponsored by Focus on Places LLC and Mr. Tourtellot, its president, who serves as portal editor. As an autonomous project of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public charity, we can receive tax-deductible donations.

We invite dedicated people to make this site their own and  help save the places we love.

Our invitation: Join us. If we succeed in our mission, it will be because you, the participants, grow the website and its resources (including yourselves) into a self-sustaining entity. Make it your own. We want to build a nonprofit network serving everyone who works where tourism intersects with destination quality.

We invite mission-compatible proposals for partnering, sponsorship, or cooperative ventures. We invite participation by interested individuals—practitioners, civic leaders, sponsors, students, residents, and travelers. Join in and play a role—with blogging, news aggregation, business development, sponsorships, social media and WordPress techniques, content development, online tools, and networking.

To contribute blogs, to obtain a listing in “Resources,” or to help develop and support this website, please send us a message via our contact form. Internships are available on a limited basis, especially for WordPress-literate candidates. Contact us.

For archived information on our progenitor, see National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. The Destination Stewardship Center cooperates with the National Geographic Society but is organizationally and financially independent.