Sources of Funding

If you are seeking financial support for a project, program, or enterprise in keeping with the DSC mission, the growing directory below may help you get started. This page is just beginning development. Please suggest additions. (And if you want to help fund activities of the Destination Stewardship Center itself, please contact us:

Sections below include Development Banks, Foundations, Donors/Investors, Government, and more to come.

Links to pertinent blog posts on destination philanthropy, retail support and challenges, philanthropic investing, and more.

Development Banks

InterAmerican Development Bank—FOMIN A geotourism initiative provides funding assistance to eligible small businesses in certain Latin American and Caribbean countries. See also Safeguarding Tourism: “Do No Harm” and “Do Good” (pdf) Natasha Ward: presentation on IDB lending for tourism-related programs, including the criteria that define “sustainable” and use of environmental impact assessments in deciding whether to support development projects.

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.


Geotourism Development Foundation John McKenzie’s initiative seeks to create partnerships between the tour industry and local social entrepreneurs in the developing world, funding projects that enhance the distinctive aspects of a place to the benefit of local residents and visitors.

Planeterra Foundation The G Adventures foundation seeks to empower destination communities to strengthen their well-being while promoting long-term, environmentally responsible growth.

Tourism Cares U.S.-based group awards grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites around the world.

TreadRight Foundation The Travel Corporation’s Foundation provides assistance for a limited number of places.

Zeitz Foundation Jochen Zeitz’s initiative designates “Long Run Destinations“, a holistic approach to ecological protection balancing conservation, community, cultureand commerce. Rigorous requirements.

More entries to come.

Donors and Investors

Travelers’ Philanthropy. Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Defines travelers’ philanthropy, gives specifics about company involvement, and how companies and tourists can give back.

Impact Investing. (pdf) Robbie Bovino, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), describes “investments that promise measurable social or environmental benefits, along with a financial return”; which segments of tourism can benefit from impact investing, and examples of how TNC implements this concept.

Destination Philanthropic Funds

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy Helps with lives and livelihoods in communities where A&K guests travel. Funds community projects involving health, conservation, education, and enterprise.

Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund is sponsored by Travel Oregon, which promotes  tourism businesses that fund constructive nature and culture projects.


TravelStarter TravelStarter is a global crowdfunding platform that enables people to travel by supporting local tourism.

More entries to come.

Business/Corporate Sources

Entries to come.


Despite worldwide contraction in this sector, funding programs can still be found to support geotourism and destination stewardship. In general, sources to explore in your locale are national, state/provincial, or local funding programs for such categories as:

  • Small business development
  • Marketing
  • Economic development
  • Social development and job training
  • Beautification
  • Natural habitat conservation or restoration
  • Historic preservation
  • Indigenous/minority development assistance
  • Public education
  • Landscape conservation
  • Urban improvement

For example:
Montana Office of Tourism MOTBD’s Tourism Grant Program awards funds to projects that strengthen Montana’s economy in Tourism Digital Development, Infrastructure, Paid Media Advertising.

Please submit likely sources and links for your country and locale.

International and bilateral aid programs

Entries to come.

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

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

5 thoughts on “Sources of Funding

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,
    We a community based organization operating in Karamoja-Uganda. Currently, we are constructing an ecotourism centre for the tourists traveling to Kidepo Valley National Game Park, and to help preserve our rich Karimojong culture. We are therefore, seeking for financial support to enable us complete this construction works. I strongly believe your entity could be of help to us regarding this project in terms of linkage for the support. While waiting for your response, kind regards.

  2. We are seeking funding for destination tourism project. we have a 4.5 acre land on an Island at Ada, Ghana. It is the top destination for tourism and we seek to develop both locals and tourist from abroad, I know you can help us raise the funding or seek partnership

  3. Dear Sir, i am the Founding President of a tourism association, Group Tourism and Hospitality Management Cameroon (GTHM CAM). We are seeking funding to carry out a tourism sensitisation campaign in the historic town of Akwa Bakassi; in the Bakassi Penninsular in Ndian Division. this sensitisation campaign is phase one of a destination develpoment project in this peninsular that is endowed with extensive mangrove forests, natural creeks and beaches. Sir; we hope to partner with you for the funding of this project, while waiting for your positive response, accept our warm regards.

  4. Dear Sir

    We write to request for funding for an innovative tourism project idea (Virtual Tour Guide) in Zambia. The project will help mitigate the impact of covid on the tourism sector in Zambia and the African continent as a whole.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

sixteen + one =