Sustainable destination management can be challenging, and it may sometimes be difficult to know where to start. From reducing GHG emissions, becoming nature-positive, supporting local businesses, managing waste, water and energy efficiently, etc., destination managers have a lot of responsibilities. All the while marketing and positioning their destination to attract visitors and satisfy their expectations.

If you haven’t read our article about the First steps for sustainable destination management focused on organisation and planning, you may want to start with that. It outlines why this topic is essential and the criteria identified as the first steps for sustainability performance. 

Once you’re confident with these first steps, then here are the next ones you can take:

1. Managing visitor pressure

You must have a system to manage visitor volume and their activities. This system should allow you to reduce or increase these variables depending on times and/or locations, considering and balancing the needs of the local economy, community, culture, and environment.

2. Visitor behaviour at sensitive sites

You should have a plan to manage visitor behaviour at sensitive sites. These sites could be natural or cultural, but also consider visitor behaviour during cultural events. You should develop guidelines for appropriate behaviour and effectively communicate them to visitors before and during their visit and to tourism professionals in contact with visitors.

Download our free ebook “The next steps towards sustainable destination management” to learn more about these criteria, including examples of good practices.

Discover our ebook

What’s next?

You can receive extensive training and guidance on the first steps towards becoming a sustainable destination through the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition. A great opportunity for destinations to learn more about sustainable management while getting global visibility and reach for a project or initiative they have done.

As Green Destinations Representatives, Acorn Tourism can support you through your submissions to the Top 100 competition should you want to increase your scores and chances to get selected. Contact us to learn more.

The 2023 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition is now open for registrations.

These guidelines come from the Core-15 criteria of the Green Destinations Standard, recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). These criteria have been identified as the basics for sustainability performance.


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