Changing the direction of travel
Protecting the environmental, economic, and social fabric of destinations
Generally—and in the travel and tourism sector specifically—most initiatives to adopt sustainable business and destination management practices are fractional and isolated. To create lasting solutions to the social and environmental problems we face, we have to coordinate efforts around clearly defined goals and collaborate across industries, governments and geographies.
Generating a shared understanding of the various problems among people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds is not easy. Collaboration without consensus is difficult to foster. But once political, cultural and geographical divisions are traversed, a singular vision can be constructed along with an agenda to solve the problems that have been identified. Quantifiable goals and metrics to enable and measure progress are the key.
In developing sustainable tourism principles and helping organizations adopt these practices, I have seen how well-managed tourism operations create shared prosperity while protecting a destination’s sense of place. This vision of the travel and tourism sector as being a powerful force for good was the impetus for my founding Sustainable Travel International and remains my motivation for continuing to help tourism and travel businesses focus on the triple bottom line.
As a sustainable tourism and destination management specialist, I understand how all aspects of tourism work together and link to other sectors like energy, infrastructure and agriculture. More importantly, I speak the language of business executives, high level government officials, nonprofits, and donors/development agencies and formulate a common vocabulary. Ultimately, I help organizations develop a long-term, holistic view on their business activities and guide them on an iterative journey through the economic, ecological, cultural and social aspects of their operations.