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 waste, emissions and energy, you may want to start with that one. 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. Noise

Noise should be monitored and regulated in your destination. Nuisance from noise can disrupt local communities, and wildlife and deter some visitors from returning. You should encourage local tourism enterprises (especially establishments such as bars, restaurants, and nightclubs), residents and visitors to minimise noise to avoid such nuisance.

2. Light pollution

As with noise, light pollution can be a nuisance to residents, wildlife, and visitors. You should monitor this impact, regulate light pollution, and encourage tourism enterprises, residents and visitors to minimise light pollution.

3. Wastewater treatment

Water will soon become a problem in most destinations if it is not already in yours. Water that has not been adequately or sufficiently treated can become a threat to the environment by polluting rivers and oceans.

You must ensure that your destination has clear guidelines for the sitting, maintenance and testing of discharge from septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems. There should not be any adverse impacts on local communities or the environment.

4. Waste separation and recycling

All waste should be appropriately separated and treated using a multi-stream collection and recycling system that splits it by type of waste. To ensure these goals are met, you must set quantitative goals and monitor and report on waste separation and recycling in the destination.

5. Renewable energy

You must set quantitative goals to increase the use and reliance of your destination on renewable energy.

6. Responding to climate risks

You have a responsibility to identify risks and opportunities linked to climate change. It will enhance the resiliency of your destination and ensure a sustainable future for your local tourism economy.

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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