Community and Civil Society

Tourism can contribute to preserving your locale—or to degrading it. These links can help your community plan constructively.

  • General Destination Quality
  • Culture and Heritage
  • Destination Appeal

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

General Destination Quality and Civic Initiatives Provides a mechanism for residents and visitors to petition about anything affecting the character of the locale, from irresponsible developments to creation of parks or historic districts.

“Choices” The acclaimed 3-minute video (high-resolution version) ironically lays out in two parts the difference between well-stewarded destinations and places that aren’t. A good tone-setter for meetings.

Community Tourism Assessment Handbook An online nine-step guide designed to help determine whether tourism development is right for a given community. Published by the Western Rural Development Center, Montana State University Extension.

Gateway Community Toolkit for towns next door to U.S. national parks.

International Porter Protection Group This grassroots network based in Nepal advocates for better conditions for porters around the world. See the guidelines for recommendations to protect porters at

National Trust for Historic Preservation Library, University of Maryland Useful links provide help for preserving your community’s culture and heritage. Monthly features address topics such as preserving historic theaters and New Urbanism—creating walkable cities and towns.

Overseas Development Institute This British think tank provides a paper on how tourism can be used for poverty alleviation in developing countries.

Tourism Concern A British-based site critiquing tourism impacts on communities and the environment. Provides news, articles, statistics, codes, cross-links to other sites and forums. Rich but roughly organized content.

Culture and Heritage

Alliance for Tribal Tourism Advocates A U.S. association of individuals and organizations concerned about responsible tourism development in Indian communities. Created by tribal governments in the South Dakota area. Links to websites of U.S. tribes and various indigenous organizations.

National Trust for Historic Preservation This U.S. organization offers various programs, including the Main Street Center, which works with communities to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas, and the Heritage Tourism Program, which provides information on how heritage tourism can help an area and how an individual or community can get involved with heritage tourism. For the Historic Hotels program see

Destination Appeal

The Conservation Fund Helps U.S. communities buy and protect ecologically or culturally significant land and water areas through community initiatives and leadership training. Its several programs include the American Greenways Program and the Civil War Battlefield Campaign.

Partners for Livable Communities A nonprofit organization that works for economic and cultural revitalization of U.S. communities.

Project for Public Spaces Offers products and services helping communities in the U.S. and abroad to create successful public places from parks and waterfronts to plazas, buildings, and streets.

Scenic America Provides U.S. communities with information and assistance in preserving scenic character.

Sprawl Watch A comprehensive clearinghouse of resources on smart growth and sprawl control. Includes “Best Practices” and “What You Can Do” sections.

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