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New WTTC report launches framework for achieving Destination Stewardship

New WTTC report launches framework for achieving Destination Stewardship
July 23, 2021

The World Travel and Tourism Council has launched a major new report which reveals how destinations can refocus on sustainability issues by balancing the needs of visitors and residents, with the involvement of both the public and private sector using the Destination Stewardship model.

The report - ‘Towards Destination Stewardship: Achieving Destination Stewardship through scenarios & a Governance Diagnostics framework’ -  was launched in partnership with the Travel Foundation and the European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI) at NHL Stenden University, in the Netherlands.

Destination Stewardship is based on the responsible use of shared or ‘common pool’ resources, which provide diminished benefits if each individual participant or group pursues their own self-interest.

The WTTC report offers scenarios and ways forward for organisations such as Tourism Ministries and Destination Management Organisations that seek to better understand how changes in governance structures could support greater destination stewardship.

It presents four Destination Stewardship scenarios, based on varying levels of engagement from the public and private sector, which show how differing levels of support can produce different outcomes with the aim of creating a commonsense roadmap towards greater stewardship.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting Chief Executive, WTTC notes “the suspension of much recent Travel and Tourism activity due to the pandemic has enabled destinations to rethink their approach to how they look after their destinations and refocus on sustainability issues and smarter tourism development.

“WTTC believes this major new report points a way forward for the Travel & Tourism sector following the growing interest in Destination Stewardship, which has been accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis.

“There has similarly been a rising call for social inclusion, new enabling technologies, a growing need for resilience and increasing governmental interest in destination governance, so this report comes at just the right time.

“We believe this important and timely report will allow relevant stakeholders to explore how more responsible Destination Stewardship will work for them as the world begins to gradually reopen.”

Destination stewardship requires a shared understanding of the common good, and effective platforms for collaboration with shared objectives and measurements of success that go beyond traditional growth metrics, such as visitor arrivals and overall spend.

These new models of collaboration must deliver on market expectations while at the same time also supporting the needs of host communities.

Maya Janssen, Managing Director Insights & Marketing Strategy, Amsterdam & Partners adds “In Amsterdam, our approach aligns very well with this report. Amsterdam & Partners is the connector that brings together city authorities, inhabitants, industry, and cultural institutions. We have built good relations and trust, but our 2025 ambition and vision redesigning the visitor economy of Amsterdam requires us to also build new institutional mechanisms to influence change.”

 The report lists the most important triggers of Destination Stewardship, from managing supply and demand, destination governance, sustainability, the evolving visitor economy and resilience to social inclusion.

Barriers to Destination Stewardship, includes lack of a clear mandate, clashing cultures and agendas, insufficient knowledge and data, as well as a fragmented Travel & Tourism sector.

Image: Overtourism at Roys Peak Track, Wanaka New Zealnd (middle, Credit: Lukas Stefanko/@LukasStefanko/Reddit)

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