How can we design a sustainable future for tourism? It’s a significant question which may not have a straightforward answer or solution, however, we know its importance continues to rise and actions need to be taken. But can tourism ever really be truly sustainable? Perhaps not, but there are of course actionable ways to strive for a globally sustainable future even if it may be a challenge.
We were joined by Visit Faroe Islands, Visit Finland and Visit Valsugana who shared some really interesting insights into what sustainable tourism means to them, and how they are developing ways to ensure a sustainable future while sustaining growth as a destination.
Here are the top 5 takeaways on Sustainability:
Everyone wants to be sustainable but it is hard to achieve true commitment to the cause. With this in mind, it's really important to develop a clear framework or toolset for the industry to actively follow, providing initiatives that can be actioned and measured. Even if it's just small steps, it will make a difference in the long run.
The key challenges of sustainability are the same in every destination but experienced in different ways depending on destination size, infrastructure, resources etc. There is no one solution for all, it's important to find your route and find what works for your destination.
Change takes time. Once a clear strategy is set in place, the industry and stakeholders can actively work together towards a common goal. It will not change overnight and this is a good thing, as change takes time and this time allows a change in mindset to develop.
Tourism management is a political affair and it's important to find the right balance between different parties, but it has to be a collective effort. Listen to local citizens before listening to companies. It is important to keep the interest of citizens and residents at the forefront of decision making. You will find these views can often be conflicting interests with the industry or discover a perspective you had not thought of before.
You can't reach your future goals alone. In order to succeed it’s important to embrace this movement and communicate with the wider industry and community. There may be companies or initiatives in your destination who are achieving sustainability in a great way that you are not aware of. It's the DMOs role to communicate and facilitate these partnerships.
You can watch the full presentations from Visit Faroe Islands, Visit Finland and Visit Valsugana on our Launchpad. If you are not a member yet and you're thinking about it for 2020, get in touch with the team!
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