Winter 2021 January-March 
Volume 1, Issue 3

The Destination Stewardship Report is an e-quarterly collaboration between the Destination Stewardship Center and Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and in time maybe others. Our goal is to provide practical 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.
Please subscribe HERE if you have not done so already. For more information and participation contact us.   —Jonathan Tourtellot, Editor
Even in Affluent Norway, Innkeepers Have Struggled 
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Pandemic closures have left the lodges of the fjords flirting with failure. Arild Molstad 
reports on one couple who – “showing true viking spirit and eco-courage” – believe they can beat the odds by going greener still. Their story holds a lesson for all destinations.

Good Intentions Face Cancellations
Is another annus horribilis on the horizon for tourism? The industry is still gasping for air – and rescue funding – in the wake of Covid-19. It was not only the world’s weakest and most fragile regions that were hit hard. Top destinations, from California and China to Portugal and France, are still reeling from the impact.

Even in the legendary fjords and mountains of affluent Norway READ MORE

The Riviera Maya's Queen of Green: What She's Learned 
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Mexican activist Beatriz Barreal has worked for years to steer the booming Riviera Maya toward sustainability. Purdue’s Dr. Jonathon Day recently interviewed this one-woman force for improving stewardship to find out what lessons she has learned in the process.

Meet Beatriz Barreal
For more than a decade, Beatriz Barreal Danel has worked to make sure that the Riviera Maya, the Caribbean coastal region of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, embraces sustainable tourism practices as it continues to grow. Destination sustainability is a long-term commitment, and Beatriz and her collaborators have had to overcome many challenges. 

Doing It Better: ≠Khoadi-//Hôas, Namibia

Namibia’s award-winning ≠Khoadi-//Hôas conservancy has often been cited as a success story in both conservation and community benefit. As part of our ongoing project to profile places with effective, holistic management. The Destination Stewardship Report's editor, Jonathan Tourtellot, takes a tourist-eye view of this community-run destination. This is the fifth in the Destination Stewardship Center's series on collaborative destination management in the spirit of GSTC’s Destination Criterion A1.

A Tourist Visits a Model Destination Stewardship Conservancy

19 May 2019 – It has taken 10 hours for our van to drive north and then west from Windhoek, first on excellent paved highways, then on broad gravel roads. As daylight fades, we pass a nondescript sign  READ MORE

Overtourism and Undertourism 

Dr. Anna Spenceley has been thinking a lot about the issue of visitor management and overcrowding, limits of acceptable change (LAC), and carrying capacity in protected areas. So she wrote a report about it for the World Bank:

Tools for Protected Areas 
Many PA managers are grappling with the task of offering tourism to their constituencies, while ensuring that the conservation objectives are prioritized. While some are trying to establish tourism in new or emerging destinations, others need to adapt to rapid growth in visitation, and the environmental and social pressures that this induces. While a series of visitor management planning approaches are available, there is a lack of agreement among practitioners over the most appropriate approaches to use.…

There is an urgent need from many natural destination managers to identify practical tools and approaches that provide solutions to overtourism. Tools need to be designed so that they can be applied reliably and quickly, and in line with best practices.… Ideally, this would be undertaken in conjunction with destination managers (e.g., PA authorities), technical experts, major online travel agencies, and social media platforms.   — From the World Bank report on 
Tools and Resources for Nature-Based Tourism.

See Dr. Spenceley's presentation on the topic here. For one example of effective visitor management, see the Turtle Island story below.
A Taiwanese Island Boosts Tourist Capacity – Sustainably

For 20 years, ecotourists have been eager to tour a biodiverse volcanic island off the coast of Taiwan. But what happens when both locals and tourists complain about the stringent conservation limits on visitation set by government and academics? Monique Chen explains how stakeholders have harmonized ecological carrying capacity and local economics.

Taiwan’s Turtle Island, an active volcano known for its turtle-like shape, claims a rare lily, an endangered flying fox, a dazzling coral reef, a thriving ecosystem, and a “Milk Sea.” Its proximity to Taipei makes it a tourism magnet – and a management challenge. READ MORE 

Neolocalism and Tourism

Much tourism depends on sense of place, but unchallenged market forces often favor lookalike franchises over more distinctive local businesses. Dr. Christina Cavaliere has co-edited a new multi-author book that makes the case for neolocalism, a movement through which businesses can help destinations retain and deepen their identities, and which also supports Covid recovery. Here, she summarizes the book’s contents.

Neolocalism: A New Way to Enhance Sense of Place
The tourism system relies heavily on sustained biocultural diversity and uniqueness of place. We often travel to experience other places, other cultures, and other ways of knowing. This diversity and uniqueness are at constant risk of extinction . .  . READ MORE


Our World Heritage and the Sorbonne are calling for immediate recommendations on how to create better synergies between tourism and World Heritage Sites, with online discussions to follow in early February.

Green Destinations Story Awards Ceremony Online Event – during ITB 2021, March 9-12 (date to come).

• Volunteers needed! Tourism Cares and Destination Stewardship Center.

Green Destinations is inviting nominations for its newly defined "Top 100" competition: 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories – 30 April deadline.

Publications and more

• The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) has released a report with Arizona State on Lessons from COVID -19 for Tourism in a Changing Climate” (pdf). CREST's multi-author book Overtourism: Lessons for a Better Future is due out May 27 – Island Press.

Tools and Resources for Nature-Based Tourism, World Bank. 2020 (See story above.) 

Local Life: New Orleans – Arcadia Publishing. Author Leigh Wright interviews NOLA locals about tourists and tourism.

• Neolocalism and Tourism: Understanding a Global Movement, edited by Drs Linda J. Ingram, Susan L. Slocum, and Christina T. Cavaliere. (See story above.)

• The Global Wildlife Program’s Nature-Based Tourism Community 
of Practice offers this living, 
participatory e-book: 
Nature-Based Tourism Tools and Resources Collection.

Destination Monitor
Notable news on stewardship developments around the world.
Vanuatu Plans GSTC-Sustainable Tourism Recovery | IISD

VisitScotland Joins "Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency" | S China Morning Post First national tourism board to do so.

Maldivians Blast Eco-Reckless Resorts | Raajje

Paris Aspires to Highest Green by 2030 | Timeout

Cairo Eye Plan Worries Residents | Ahram

Prince Harry Weighs in on Post-Covid Travel | Yahoo Travel we must, but not badly, quoth he.

BC's Eco-Ski Resort Plan Frets Conservationists | Narwhal

Lindblad Calls For a Tourism Reset | Travel Weekly

UK's Lake District Seeks Carbon Neutrality | Guardian
How can rural places dependent on self-drive tourism decarbonise?

Iceland Rethinks Tourism for the Long Haul | CN Traveler

➢ DSC's Destination Monitor and Travindy offer continuing selections of news stories.
Submissions Requested
The Destination Stewardship Report relies entirely on submitted articles and notices, not to mention corrections and suggestions. All submissions must
• pertain to some aspect of destination stewardship,
• be shorter than 1,000 words, and
• avoid self-promotion.
Photos welcome. What story can you tell that would help others?
contact us with your ideas. Your next issue is planned for late April 2021.
  • The Future of Tourism Coalition is planning a series of webinars for destination stakeholders on how to reframe tourism more sustainably as the pandemic recedes. Emphasis is on three themes for destinations: Collaborative destination stewardship, management of tourism impacts, and sustainable local sourcing. To begin in early March.
  • Upcoming GSTC webinars include: 
       Rob Rankin, Managing Director of Sustainable Travel Ireland, on promoting sustainable practices with various stakeholder groups in Ireland – 24 February.
       Kathleen Pittman, of Agile Community Partners and Jamie Sweeting, of Planeterra on how local communities can better work with governmental agencies, NGOs, and the tourism industry; includes examples of destination stewardship and sustainability in action – 3 March.
  • Green Destinations will offer a Global Leaders Program webinar – Mid-April (date to be determined).
Please contact us to submit your notices.
Sponsored by: 

Editor – Jonathan B. Tourtellot
Newsletter design – Sarah Bacharach
Distribution – Tiffany Chan

Our mailing address is:
Focus on Places LLC
12910 Furnace Mtn Rd
Lovettsville, VA 20180, U.S.A.