Monitoring destinations for stewardship and authenticity.
The Norwegian fjords have been rated among the very best destinations in the world. Consistently. Spain’s Costa del Sol: Among the very worst. Consistently. With hundreds of other places arrayed in between. How well are the distinctive places of the world taking care of themselves?
This Destination Watch section seeks to keep an eye on destination stewardship developments anywhere in the world – good or bad, opportunity or threat. We welcome suggestions and news from your own community, region, or country. This section contains these subsections:
The Destination Monitor: For today’s news about stewardship in destinations worldwide click on our Destination Monitor. Time and language constraints mean we can miss a lot, so be sure to send us news links that you think belong here. We seek to monitor stewardship of destinations worldwide by means of blogs, news aggregation, and by your own news contributions. You can read—and contribute—reports about successes, failures, opportunities, and threats in the places we love. Just contact us with your information.
Examples of Collaborative Destination Management – i.e., effective destination stewardship councils: Working with universities and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, we are gradually compiling detailed profiles of the few destinations with a collaborative approach to tourism management and destination stewardship. See the ones we have accumulated so far, from British Columbia to Namibia, and please join the search for more. Grad students welcome! We need examples to inspire and help people in other destinations develop their own destination stewardship councils. This is critical. Ultimately, tourism sells a holistic product – the place – and that requires holistic management.
Places Rated: While now receding into history, the National Geographic “Destination Scorecards” yielded an Index of Destination Stewardship surveys, conducted 2004-2010. There have been very few global surveys of destination stewardship, and these seven landmark surveys, published annually by National Geographic Traveler, were perhaps most comprehensive. A more narrowly focused variant (see Top 100 Sustainable Destinations, below) with a different methodology debuted in 2014. Click here to learn more about the NatGeo surveys and methodology.
Featured Destinations: As examples, you can see (and vote) on some destinations selected from the National Geographic surveys. We would like to feature more individual destinations where changes have been underway, up, down, or sideways. If you would like a particular destination featured, please contact us.
TOP 100 SUSTAINABLE DESTINATIONS The Europe-based Green Destinations group began issuing issued this “Top 100” list in 2014, based on a very different but reasonably solid methodology. We joined with Green Destinations in a similar process in 2016. While more recent than the National Geographic surveys, the ratings are more narrowly focused—mainly on environmental sustainability—and are restricted to a selection of best performers who apply for recognition. These places are vetted, so we have recognized them with a green flag (⚑) wherever our destination definitions match up geographically. Recently, the contest has shifted to rating the Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories. Some of these case studies appear in issues of the Destination Stewardship Report.
NOTE: You can send people directly to this section with the URL destinationwatch.com .