Destination Stewardship Report – Autumn 2020

🌐 Destination Stewardship Report 🌐

Autumn 2020 (4Q )

Welcome to the Destination Stewardship Report. This quarterly e-newsletter is a collaboration between the Destination Stewardship Center and Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and in time maybe others. Our goal is to provide information and insights useful to anyone whose work or interests involve improving destination stewardship in a post-pandemic world. It’s an all-volunteer experiment, so its success will depend on your interest, feedback, and content contributions. Join us, and help each other.
   Here’s what this quarterly e-newsletter looks like in your in-box. You can subscribe for free here or read individual stories on our webpages (see below).
—Jonathan Tourtellot, Editor

The Greening of Gritty Ulsan, Korea

Ulsan, industrial powerhouse of South Korea, wasn’t known for its ecotourism opportunities. Indeed, the city was planning to clear-cut its riparian bamboo forest, until local residents and NGOs stepped in. Dr. Mihee Kang and Seok Yoon explain what happened next, including the key role played by a pro-green national government.

A city known for its heavy industry has transformed itself in part with an ecotourism approach. In the 1980s pollution so bad that the city’s central Taehwa River became known as the ‘River of Death.’ With great effort the city has cleaned and beautified the river and its surroundings, READ MORE →

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10 Ways to Reset Your Tourism Model Post-Covid

For destinations, going back to business as it was before Covid-19 will be difficult and often not advisable, yet most destinations seem to be trying to do just that. Now Florian Kaefer, editor of The Place Brand Observer, presents a new, free, multi-expert White Paper on how your community, government, or DMO can do a tourism reset. Here’s how to get started.

At The Place Brand Observer (in partnership with the Sustainability Leaders Project) we have published a white paper to help you future-proof your destination – city or region. We asked leading consultants, managers and researchers to share their   READ MORE

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Serbian Destinations Profit, Suffer from Domestic Tourism Surge

With borders closed by Covid this past summer, Serbians accustomed to coastal-resort holidays instead toured inside their own country. Ivana Damnjanović reports on the mixed impact on rural destinations when tourists accustomed to one style of travel must adapt to another. Some lessons for the future.

“Welcome out here to our contamination zone,” my hosts say, jokingly alluding to the name I attributed to Serbian destinations swarming with tourists in the midst of the new peak of coronavirus. It is almost unimaginable that READ MORE

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The Search for Holistic Destination Management

In our last issue, we discussed the importance of GSTC Destination Criterion A1, which reads in part: “The destination has an effective organization, department, group, or committee responsible for a coordinated approach to sustainable tourism, . . . for the management of environmental, economic, social, and cultural issues.” The requirement seems obvious, yet surprisingly few places around the world come even remotely close to meeting it. Below is Jacqueline Harper’s profile of one that does, fourth in a series being assembled by the Destination Stewardship Center.

Doing It Better: Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance, Oregon and Washington States, USA The mission of the Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance (CGTA) commits to “developing the region as a world-class sustainable tourism economy”. This non-profit organization works both to protect and enhance the scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources . . .READ MORE

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Mallorca Tries to Tame Tourism

Among notoriously overtouristed destinations, Spain’s island of Mallorca is striving, if half-heartedly, for a sustainable-tourism reset once the pandemic recedes. Daza Garcia reports that right now, their chances of avoiding errors of the past are encouraging but far from certain.

“If you are stunned by the noises that civility entails, …  follow me to an island that I will tell you, to an island where there is always calm, where men are never in a hurry, where women never get old, where they don’t waste themselves not even words, where the sun stays longer and Mrs. Moon walks more slowly, infected by laziness.”
—Santiago Rusiñol, Spanish painter and writer (1922).

That was Mallorca in 1922. Largest of the Balearic Islands, which lie in the eastern part of the Spanish Mediterranean, Mallorca has become READ MORE

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How Data Science Can Help Destinations

Sustainable destination planning is frequently hobbled by conventional measures of return on investment. But if ROI is expanded by using data science to include tangible but often omitted factors at both company and destination levels, says Irene Lane, then the picture is more accurate – and brighter.

Before COVID hit, destination stakeholders were concerned about the social, economic, and environmental impact of overtourism at their locales. On the one hand, tourists eagerly flocked READ MORE

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Plus (e-mail version only):

Report: “Future of Tourism Coalition” Update
News selections from the Destination Monitor
Notices on upcoming webinars and events
For more information and participation please contact us.

  • About  the Global Sustainable Tourism Council  GSTC establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for accreditation of certification bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, NGO’s, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
  • About the Destination Stewardship Center  The DSC is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the world’s distinctive places by supporting wisely managed tourism and enlightened destination stewardship. We gather and provide information on how tourism can help and not harm the natural, cultural, and social quality of destinations around the world. We seek to build a global community and knowledge network for advancing this goal. Join us and learn more at


About DSC Contributors

Volunteer contributors are welcome to the Destination Stewardship Report. Contact us with your proposals and ideas.