Stewardship Resources

The purpose of this section is to help people find the resources they need to protect and enhance the places where we visit or reside. This is where clients and services should be able to find each other.

NOTE: The URL leads directly to this page.

Resources for You  Explore these links if you work in the travel industry, academia, government, or for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved with tourism management and stewardship of your locale. Civic leaders and proactive travelers may also find this section helpful. Below and on associated pages, you’ll find organizations and consultants who can help provide access to knowledge, to geotourism markets, and to funding.
These directories are far from complete. Please submit new entries by entering a comment or e-mailing, 50-word maximum.

Disclaimer: The Destination Stewardship Center provides these directories only as a public service and makes no representation as to the quality of any listee’s work, personnel, or track record. A listing herein does not constitute a recommendation.

Directories on this page:
International Policy Organizations—These U.N., international industry organizations, and international development organizations offer a variety of resources.
Sustainable Destination Resources—For helping sustain and enhance the distinctiveness of your locale.
Multipurpose Services—For helping sustain and enhance tourism-related businesses, facilities, and the destinations in which they operate.
Environmental Sustainable Tourism How-To—For greener practices and certifications.

Additional pages list sites with practical tourism-related assistance for entrepreneurs, lodging managers, economic development workers, etc., focused on these topics:

For students, researchers, and those with research needs:

If you work in community development, or are concerned about Destination Appeal, look also at the hyperlinks page for Communities. See sidebar at right for all pages.

International Policy Organizations
Explore their resources.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) The site for the multilateral agreement on biodiversity protection includes a program on Sustainable Use and Tourism. You can search for experts, meetings, and activities related to it. As part of CBD, the Germany-based Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE) runs an online forum discussing tourism guidelines related to the convention. Members-only archive.

Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) A global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism practices around the world and using agreed-upon criteria for accrediting sustainable-tourism certification programs.

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)  This nongovernmental organization for conservation of historic monuments and sites collects and disseminates information on conservation principles, techniques, and policies. Follow the link of a specific national committee for technical assistance services and ICOMOS publications available in your country. The ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Tourism presents general information and principles.

International Union for Conservation of Nature This global coalition of experts distributes extensive information on conservation-related matters around the world.

U.N. Environmental Program (UNEP) Sustainable Tourism Site Well-organized information includes definitions of sustainable tourism and ecotourism, description of tourism impacts, and steps being taken internationally toward sustainable tourism development.

UNESCO World Heritage Center Oversees the UNESCO-administered list of cultural and natural sites inscribed under the World Heritage Convention. Describes services that the center offers to member states and discusses management of protected areas and sustainable tourism in general.

UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) This intergovernmental body works for promotion and development of tourism. The site provides recent tourism statistics and includes a sustainable tourism section with definitions, information on relevant events, and lists of UNWTO’s activities and publications.

World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) WTTC represents the travel industry. Members are mainly larger companies. The site includes information on sustainable tourism and various WTTC initiatives and services, including the Tourism for Tomorrow awards.

The World Bank Group: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Part of the World Bank, IFC finances private-sector projects in the developing world, including those in sustainable tourism. Through the Global Environment Facility, IFC also funds some small ecotourism projects as part of the biodiversity protection initiative.

Sustainable Destination Resources
For helping sustain and enhance the distinctiveness of your locale.

Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Assistance in making golf courses eco-friendly, through case studies, a managed lands database, golf and environment research database, special projects, and events

Blue Flag A well-established international certification program for environmentally clean beaches and marinas.

Centre of Excellence for Destinations Performs detailed destination evaluations based on SMED, a proprietary system of measures.

National Geographic Index of Destination Stewardship  (“Destination Scorecard”) rated several hundred destinations from 2004 to 2010, based on surveys of expert opinion using six criteria.

National Trust for Historic Preservation This U.S. organization’s  Main Street Center has worked with communities to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas.

Ocean Health Index This ambitious alliance seeks to monitor and rate coastlines and offshore seas, country-by-country, on ten criteria. Elaborate website.

Scenic America Addresses U.S. destination aesthetics, especially billboards and streetscapes.

Multipurpose Services
For helping sustain and enhance tourism-related businesses, facilities, and the destinations in which they operate.

Big Volcano Ecotourism Resource Center This Australian site provides ecotourism and sustainable tourism research papers, website links, and codes of practice.

Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) CAST is a subsidiary of the Caribbean Hotel Association, with members from private, government, scientific, and conservation organizations. It helps Caribbean travel businesses manage environmental resources in a sustainable way. The site lists programs, publications, and assistance available through CAST. The Island Resources Foundation runs an online discussion group for CAST. Public archive.

Earthprint Purchase sustainable-tourism related magazines, books, and more, provided by the United Nations Environmental Program and others.

Focus on Places LLC, the provisional sponsor of this website, is the consulting and editorial business owned by Jonathan B. Tourtellot, founder of the geotourism concept, journalist, speaker, and geotourism and destination-stewardship consultant.

Green Travel Marcus Endicott’s long-standing informative listserv and online forum for discussion of sustainable tourism.

Hawaii Ecotourism Association Dedicated to responsible tourism in Hawaii, this site provides information and a resource network for professionals.

International Centre for Responsible Tourism Extensive website run by the U.K.-based research and advocacy group founded by Harold Goodwin. Associated with Leeds Metropolitan University. Links to reports, working papers, training programs, conferences, international initiatives, tour operator initiatives, and destinations.

International Tourism Partnership This London-based international program provides resources for responsible business in hotels, travel, and tourism. Also featured is information on best practices, guidelines, Green Hotelier magazine, the “SPOT” hotel benchmarking tool, and publications such as Sustainable Hotel Siting, Design and Construction.

International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) IIPT organizes conferences and initiatives for peace through tourism. The site gives links to past and future conference programs, which discuss social and environmental aspects of tourism.

Island Resources Foundation Based in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, this research, education, and conservation organization provides publications, bibliographies, and papers on island tourism issues.

Molstad, Arild Norway- and France-based author and consultant in geotourism and sustainable destinations.

NativeWeb This international organization disseminates information from and about indigenous peoples. Search “tourism” to find resources.

Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) Organizes symposia and seminars dealing on management and strategies for developing and preserving historic sites; training for municipal managers.

Pacific Asia Tourism Consulting group led by Steve Noakes. Constructs multidisciplinary, cross-cultural expert teams for international sustainable tourism projects—travel & tourism education and training, research, voluntourism and philanthropic projects, and investment in sustainable-tourism products. Ron Mader’s award-winning site on practical ecotourism. Its initial focus on Latin America has now expanded to encompass worldwide issues pertaining to sustainable tourism. The site features news, articles, an eco-travel directory, recommended reads, and discussion boards.

Robin Tauck and Partners Consulting group in sustainable tourism and destination stewardship, with special emphasis on World Heritage and public-private partnerships.

shrinkingfootprint— Baltimore-based consultant Andy Dumaine provides strategic analysis, communications audits, business plans, and marketing campaigns to clients looking to grow revenue and maximize the effectiveness of their sustainable tourism efforts. U.S. and  Caribbean focus.

Solimar International Washington DC-based consulting and marketing firm that helps businesses, travelers, and destinations develop and connect to sustainable tourism experiences that support conservation and cultural heritage, and enhance the lives of local residents.

Sustainable Tourism CRC Funded for 13 years by the Australian government, this useful site still contains free research reports, publications, and information on projects and policies regarding sustainable tourism. CRC has closed, but passed the wand to:
Sustainable Tourism Online (STO) Information resource delivering substantial research, data, and tools within three main sustainability themes – Destinations and Communities, Business Operations, and Parks & Culture.

TotemTourism Valere Tjolle’s U.K.-based collaborative website provides extensive marketing and information on sustainable tourism and green travel, including an annual marketing guide.

Tourism Concern This U.K.-based group supplies news, articles, statistics, codes, and hyperlinks about tourism impacts on communities and the environment.

Tourism Watch Established by the German Protestant Church, this nonprofit offers training programs and solidarity initiatives pertaining to “Third World” tourism. Quarterly magazines, seminars, research, and reports (German and English).

Travel Mole Travel industry news with a section on sustainable travel. Free access, short registration form.

World Hotel Link Group These companies empower local partners who have practice in experiential and mindful travel, and a local’s knack for identifying, explaining and sustaining the distinctive qualities of a place. A technology provider for local tourism operators,

WWF International conservation group facilitating various responsible tourism programs worldwide. Examples: WWF Galápagos (scroll down to see community and conservation programs) and this item on Donsol, Philippines.

Environmental Sustainable-Tourism—General How-To

Costa Rica: Certification for Sustainable Tourism program (CST) The Costa Rican Tourism Institute presents a certification program for the lodging industry, with inquisitive online self-evaluations for lodgings. Also provides a directory of hotels, allowing visitors to search by certification level, province, and hotel type.

Green Builder A clearinghouse of sustainable building resources provides a directory of professionals, a sourcebook to help industry professionals find employees for specialized positions, and lists of conferences, online discussions, articles, case studies, and related sites.

“Green” Hotels Association Promotes and supports the “greening” of the lodging industry. Members from the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America can obtain suggestions and ideas on how to reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Green Seal Nonprofit organization promoting the manufacturing and sale of environmentally responsible consumer products. It has partnered with the American Hotel & Motel Association for a lodging certification program and a publication called “Greening Your Property.”

Hotel Benchmarking Tool Ian Buckle’s tool to help hotels improve environmental performance and reduce costs.

Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Tourism Program This conservation group based in New York is a major leader in sustainable tourism, including certification programs; strong presence in Latin America.

Sustainable Architecture Building and Culture A clearinghouse of sustainable building resources, useful for tourism development planning. Gives information on eco-friendly building materials, recycling, renewable energy and more.

Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development  Helps tour operators respond to international policies and conduct tours that minimize negative impacts and optimize benefits.

Tourism Research Links René Waksberg’s site for tourism researchers, consultants, and managers lists several links to sustainable development websites and other sources of assistance.

U.S. Green Building Council A clearinghouse of green building information, including LEED certification, featuring links to members, green building case studies, guidelines, a monthly newsletter, and more. General information, not specific to the lodging industry.

These directories are far from complete. Please submit new entries by entering a comment or e-mailing, 50-word maximum.