Stewardship Resources

Explore this growing section 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. We want to help you find the resources you need to protect and enhance the places we care about.

The Destination Stewardship Center can provide recommendations and introductions to the consultants and organizations that can help your community, region, city, or country protect and improve its appeal. If interested, please contact us. Referrals are free, with no commitments or guarantees.

NOTE: The URL leads directly to this page.

Guide to the Resource Directories

On this page: Caring for your Destination as a whole. Resources for helping your destination holistically—in terms of sustainability, enhancement, and tourism management—with sections on:
International Policy Organizations,
• General Sustainable-Destination Resources, and
Multipurpose Services.

Sub-pages (see menu) cover more specialized topics:

These directories are under construction. If you or your organization belongs in one, please submit your proposed free listing, 50-word maximum, to .

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.


Caring for your Destination as a Whole—General-purpose resources

International Policy Organizations
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 and destination certification programs. Founding advisor to the Future of Tourism Coalition.

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.

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.

Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a nonprofit policy-oriented research organization dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. CREST assists governments, policy makers, tourism businesses, nonprofit organizations, and international agencies with finding solutions to critical issues confronting tourism. Founding member, Future of Tourism Coalition.

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

Destination Stewardship Center You are on just one page of the DSC collaborative website, successor to the former National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations. We help destinations start stewardship councils, monitor destination quality, provide links to stewardship resources, and support the geotourism approach. Founding member, Future of Tourism Coalition.

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
Organizations and consultants that can help 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.

Conscious Travel Veteran tourism strategist Anna Pollock provides training and consulting for tourism practitioners, residents, and travelers on holistic stewardship of places.

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.

Future of Tourism Coalition Founded in 2019 by six NGOs with a global focus on destination stewardship and sustainable tourism, all listed herein.

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

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 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.

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.

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.

Tourism Concern This international group supplies news, articles, statistics, codes, and hyperlinks about tourism impacts on communities and the environment. Founding member, Future of Tourism Coalition.

About Jonathan Tourtellot

CEO, Destination Stewardship Center; Editor, Destination Stewardship Report; Principal, Focus on Places LLC; founding Director, former Nat Geo Center for Sustainable Destinations