Destinations worldwide, whether beach resorts, ski towns, or bustling cities, are taking decisive action to deal with the strains of overtourism.
Destination Marketing & Management Organizations face a leadership challenge transitioning from traditional marketing agencies to a new paradigm of multi-faceted tourism management. Today’s destination managers must lead a tourism ecosystem where they address community concerns, embed education and preservation as product development values, reinvent marketing to emphasize responsible visitation, and convene the community to work toward shared lifestyle goals, all while sustaining the local economy.
Sustainability is today’s standard for destinations around the world, a phenomenon we call “The End of Tourism as We Know it.”
Jennifer Wesselhoff, founder of TEI, has broad experience in developing Sustainable Tourism Plans for two world-class destinations in the United States: Sedona, Arizona and Park City, Utah. Using data, technology and 360-degree community engagement, TEI creates customized sustainability plans with strategies for:
- Understanding and managing local sentiment
- Visitor management
- Seasonal balance and crowd dispersal
- Strategies to protect access to fragile wilderness areas and sensitive historic or prehistoric sites
- Economic data collection and analysis
- Visitor and resident education supporting a shared culture of respect and conservation
- Utilizing festivals and voluntourism to build resident and visitor understanding
- Internal structures uniting governments, businesses, residents and community groups in the process and vision
The sustainable tourism strategy in Sedona, Arizona, with the award-winning Sustainable Tourism Plan, was the first in Arizona – a state with several world-class destinations. Sedona provides an excellent study in producing results that build credibility, community pride and an ongoing commitment to success.
Jennifer also led the development of the comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Plan for Park City, Utah.
The planning process included a broad community assessment, surveys of residents, civic leaders and visitors, convening public meetings and listening sessions, and partnering with government, environmental and business groups. The Plan process engaged thousands while evolving these “sustainability roadmaps” with metrics, timelines and responsible parties – pioneering work approved by the elected councils.
Park City’s Sustainable Tourism Plan
In Park City, the Plan balances the four pillars of sustainable tourism:
- Stewardship of the Environment
- Quality of Economy
- Quality of the Visitor Experience
- Local Quality of Life
By generating extensive input through a volunteer Stewardship Council, the Plan’s Seven Objectives give voice to authentic community values. They are:
- Cultivating local pride and respect for the Park City / Summit County experience.
- Implementing sustainable infrastructure, management policies, and initiatives.
- Protecting and managing the natural environment to enable sustainable outdoor recreation.
- Ensuring the long-term resilience of the Park City / Summit County economy.
- Equalizing the economic benefits and burdens; mitigating impacts of the visitor economy.
- Leveraging messaging and programming to accelerate sustainable tourism.
- Fostering the development and management of Summit County’s art and culture tourism assets.
Today, Park City a is united and future-focused destination, well prepared for the challenges ahead.
Let us put you on the cutting edge of tourism management that leads to a balanced, sustainable tourism future. See what others say, then contact us today for a friendly, no cost consultation.