2023 May - August

Volume 4, Issue 1
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The Bahamas Destination Stewardship Initiative: A Conversation

The Bahamas Family Islands have created not one but four destination stewardship councils and consistent communication, collaboration, and community engagement has been the key to their success. In 2023, the Bahamas Destination Stewardship Initiative won the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Destination Stewardship Award. GSTC Program Director Kathleen Pittman discusses the initiative with Janel Campbell, Senior Project Manager at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

Why is destination stewardship so important to the Ministry of Tourism and communities in The Bahamas?

The COVID-19 tourism stoppage hit local communities especially hard. The Ministry of Tourism has long prioritized empowering communities to take a greater leadership role in the development and management of tourism....

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Indigenous Guardian Programs as a Destination Stewardship Tool

Indigenous Guardian Programs in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii of British Columbia are emerging as powerful tools for destination stewardship. Developed by local Indigenous communities, these Guardian Watchmen programs play a critical role in protecting and managing traditional territories, preserving cultural heritage, and fostering a thriving conservation economy. Mike Robbins tells us more. 

Indigenous Guardian Programs as a Destination Stewardship Tool 

The first time I experienced Coastal Guardian Watchmen on the BC coast was back in 2009 on a trip to an ancient village site and hot springs in Haida Gwaii. The local Guardians took turns living in the small remote Guardian cabin at Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay (Hotspring Island). These Guardians were there to protect the site and cultural....
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Preserving the Personality of Place: The Importance of Cultural Heritage

City historic centers often do well at preserving their historic structures but often falter when it comes to cultural preservation. Heritage expert Cheryl Hargrove reports from the Greek island of Rhodes and offers seven tips on how destinations can retain cultural sense of place.

[Shortly after Ms Hargove’s visit, Rhodes suffered catastrophic fires on parts of the island. The old town was not directly affected, but as she notes, “there will be impacts from resort loss, agricultural loss, and community devastation – [a] long tail of recovery.” This renders all the more important her points about preserving culture in the following story.]

Old Town Rhodes – Bones Alone Do Not a Living City Make

After my husband and I spent a day in Rhodes in 2021, we loved it, so we decided to come back for a month two years later. We had high hopes of learning more about Greek food and wine, traditions, and life and gaining a deeper understanding of the history and culture of this ancient island....
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Resistance to mega-tourism is rising in the South Pacific – but will governments put words into action?

As mega-tourism’s negative impacts on the South Pacific region become increasingly evident, resistance is on the rise among local communities. However, the crucial question remains: will governments take decisive action to address these concerns and protect the unique environments and cultures of the South Pacific islands? A thought-provoking article delves into the growing tensions between the tourism industry’s expansion and the urgent need for sustainable, community-centered solutions. This article, written by Apisalome Movono and Regina Scheyvens, was originally published in The Conversation.

With COVID-19 travel restrictions largely a thing of the past for Australian and New Zealand tourists, Pacific destinations are enjoying the return of visitors – albeit at a slower pace than in other parts of the world....

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Two Winners from the Top 100
Every year, Green Destinations organizes the Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories competition, which invites submissions from around the world – a vetted collection of stories spotlighting local and regional destinations that are making progress toward sustainable management of tourism and its impacts. From the winners announced this year, we’ve selected two more stories, this time from Brazil and Kyrgyzstan, that showcase different reasons for engaging the local community. Synopses by Ailin Fei & Devika McWalters.
Redefining Tradition: How Diamantina’s Carnival Embraced Change

Top 100 submission by Camila Guedes – Tourism Board / Municipal Secretary of Tourism / Diamantina City Hall.

Embracing tradition and adapting to change

For decades, people have celebrated Diamantina’s carnival as a popular celebration. However, in recent years, the carnival has evolved into a mass tourism event. Diamantina is a Brazilian municipality in the state of Minas Gerais with an estimated population of 47,825 people (2020 census). Diamantina’s carnival highlights cultural heritage with the potential to set….

Using Handicrafts and Cultural Tourism to Alleviate Poverty in Kyrgyzstan

Top 100 submission by Imanaly Turkbaev, Project Manager, the Swiss Small Business and Income Creation Programme Bai Alai Program.

Supporting Women Through Community-Based Tourism

Although the mountainous valleys of Alay (or Alai) in southwest Kyrgyzstan had been attracting alpinists from around the world for mountaineering and trekking, tourism and cultural experiences in the picturesque community were largely untapped. To diversify the subsistence-based agricultural district and to alleviate widespread poverty...

Upcoming Events

August 24, 2023 |  GSTC Webinar: Norway | Virtual. Hosted by Innovation Norway, this webinar for members will delve into Norway’s national program for long term development and improvement in tourism destinations.

September 25 - 29, 2023 | Virtual Island Summit | Virtual. Sharing Knowledge For Resilient, Sustainable And Prosperous Islands Worldwide. The Virtual Island Summit 2023 will have eight content tracks.

September 26, 2023 | GSTC Webinar: Sonoma County | Virtual. Sonoma County Tourism discusses the evolution of their Destination Stewardship and Resiliency Master Plan in this webinar for members.

September 27 - 28, 2023 | CREST World Tourism Day Forum | Virtual. Every year on World Tourism Day, CREST hosts a forum focused on pressing issues facing the tourism industry. This year we will focus on Twenty Years of Tourism: Looking Back and Beyond. This will be a two day event, with one panel each day.

October 2 - 3, 2023 |  Travel Unity Summit Caribbean | San Juan, Puerto Rico. Join Travel Unity in the Caribbean to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in tourism through dialogue and workshops.

October 3 - 6, 2023 | Global Destination Sustainability Forum | Valencia, Spain. The GDS-Forum will convene destination leaders and sustainability champions from around the world, 

October 8 - 10, 2023 | Green Destinations 2023 | Tallinn, Estonia. The Green Destinations 2023 conference will take place in the Estonian capital of Tallinn and will be organised by Visit Tallinn and Visit Estonia.

October 15 - 18, 2023 | The Power Of Partnership Stewardship Summit | Richmond, VA, USA. Launched by the Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Inc., Tourism Cares, The Travel Foundation, and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council, the summit represents an opportunity to bring the travel and tourism industry together to envision a collaborative, cross-sectoral and inclusive future.

Contact us to submit your notice.
Destination Monitor
Note: Descriptions are taken from publisher blurbs.

Megan Lawson, PhD and Kris Smith, PhD (2023). Amenity Trap: How high-amenity communities can avoid being loved to death, Headwaters Economics. Practical guidance for managers in any destination blessed by natural attractions and cursed by too many tourists.

The Skift Travel Podcast. (2023). Rethinking Overtourism in the Post-Covid Era. “Michael J. O’Regan discusses his research on the concept of overtourism, which he believes is outdated as a term in the post-Covid era.” He calls for destinations to wake up and take destination stewardship seriously.

Joshi, S. (2022). Sustainable Tourism Supply Chain Management: Influences, Drivers, Strategies, and Performance. Springer International Publishing. Examines all aspects of sustainable supply chain management within the tourism industry, offering clear explanations of relevant concepts and closely scrutinizing the complexities of the tourism supply chain and its sustainability. A valuable source for practitioners and policymakers.

Mandić, A., Walia, S.K. (2023). The Routledge Handbook of Nature Based Tourism Development. Routledge. Systematic outlook of the phenomenon of nature-based tourism and critical perspectives on key concepts, policy, and practice. Includes new approaches toward visitor management and low-impact experience design, regenerative and transformative tourism, destination stewardship, and pro-environmental behavior.



Tip for Gmail users:
If Google keeps filing your Destination Stewardship Report under "Promotions," just drag it to "Primary" and future issues should appear there instead. Also, look for "Message clipped" at the bottom and click it to see the entire Report e-mail.

Volunteer Opportunities The Destination Stewardship Center seeks an experienced volunteer senior editor for this Report. We also need a tech-savvy gap-year graduate or apprentice (WordPress, Google Suite, social media), as well as sharp interns with good editorial skills. Contact us with a cv and writing samples.  

Submission Requests
The Destination Stewardship Report relies entirely on submitted articles and notices, not to mention corrections and suggestions. 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 Winter 2023.

The Destination Stewardship Report is a collaboration between the Destination Stewardship Center, Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and Center for Responsible Travel. It seeks to provide practical information and insights useful to anyone whose work or interests involve improving destination stewardship. Its success will depend on your interest, feedback, and content contributions. Join us, and help each other. Subscribe HERE.

Sponsored by:


Executive Editor – Jonathan B. Tourtellot
Managing Editor – Alix Collins
Illustrations Editor – Gabe Gerson
Scheduling, design & distribution – Tiffany Chan
Editorial assistance – Martha Mulokoshi, Paula Lewis,
Cindy Linnell, Devika McWalters, Ellen Estrada

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