World Bank Webinar 27 July: Strengthening Sharing of Benefits from Tourism with Local Communities

Screenshot 2022-07-26 at 08.19.00

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

8:00 am – 9:15 am DC / 7:00 am ECT / 2:00 pm CAT / 6:00 pm ICT

Register for Zoom Link

Time zone converter

This event is in English with simultaneous interpretation provided in French and Spanish



Tourism in protected areas can generate benefits for local communities living around them, supporting local development and strengthening their collaboration in biodiversity conservation. To share benefits of tourism with local people, benefit sharing arrangements have been established across the world by public authorities, private businesses, communities, and NGO partners. These have provided a range of tangible and intangible benefits to communities. But without effective design and implementation, even established mechanisms may fail to deliver and threaten the premise of sustainable and inclusive tourism.

This webinar will discuss benefit sharing models, challenges and opportunities, and recommendations to strengthen these complex arrangements. Diverse models of tourism initiatives that are benefiting local communities will be highlighted to improve the impact of global protected area tourism.

Opening Remarks

Genevieve Connors, Practice Manager, Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Environment, Latin America and Caribbean Region, World Bank


Anna Spenceley, Chair, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group)

Vanice Mirembe Daawa, Manager, Awareness & Human Wildlife Relations, Uganda Wildlife Authority

Phonesuck Inthavong, Ecotourism Head, Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park, Lao PDR

Mayra Castellanos, Tourism Professional, Heart of the Amazon Project, Cerro Azul, Colombia

William Alexander Rojas Melendez, Leader, Fantasias Community Association, Cerro Azul Puerta de Chiribiquete, Colombia

Adam Thalhath, Sustainability Manager & Community Outreach Manager, Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

Shaha Hashim, Chairperson, Maldives Resilient Reefs and Maldives Programme Manager, Blue Marine Foundation



Vanessa Satur, Nature-Based Tourism Specialist Consultant, World Bank

Screenshot 2022-07-26 at 08.20.51Screenshot 2022-07-26 at 08.21.01Screenshot 2022-07-26 at 08.21.18Screenshot 2022-07-26 at 08.21.51

Consultation process for the EU on financing nature-based tourism & benefit sharing

The European Commission is conducting a series of policy analyses to support nature-based tourism, conservation and local livelihoods in sub-saharan Africa. Two consultation surveys have been launched on (a) financing nature-based tourism and (b) benefit sharing from nature-based tourism. You are warmly welcomed to share your thoughts on both, through two online surveys on these topics by 17 July 2022.

  1. Development financing options for nature-based tourism and local livelihoods in sub-saharan Africa

An analysis of blended and guarantee financing options was undertaken for the European Commission in 2021 which identified a number of funding vehicles that support nature-based tourism (NBT) investment in sub-saharan Africa. These included: The EU’s European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (ESFD+), providing grants and technical assistance, financial instruments, blending and budgetary guarantees and other guarantee projects and blending projects (e.g. Boost Africa, EURIZ, REGMIFA, and the Uganda Development Bank / EU Tourism COVID-19 Response Facility); Grants from Development Finance Institutions; and Funds supporting NBT (e.g. the Africa Conservation and Communities Tourism (ACCT) Fund; Conservation International Ventures; the African Conservancies Fund; the Mara Rescue Fund; the Africa Land Stewards Rescue Fund (ALSRF) and platforms linking enterprises with funders (e.g. the Nature-Based Tourism Collaborative Platform).

Building on this analysis, the EU is now gathering more detailed information on the broad array of financing options to support NBT and linked local livelihoods available in sub-saharan Africa.

Based on information collected, guidance will be developed on how to use technical assistance facilities to support sustainable NBT development financing, including a decision tree to help direct users to identify applicable financing options depending on their financing needs.

Please contribute to the consultation on NBT financing using one of these survey links:

Questionnaire for finance institutions, support agencies, donors  and NGOs:

Questionnaire for tourism operators working in protected areas:

2. Benefit sharing from nature-based tourism in Africa

The European Commission is conducting research on benefits that local communities attain from tourism from protected areas and nature-based tourism operators in Africa.  The results of this study will be used to form policy recommendations for protected areas and EU projects that make benefit sharing mechanisms more effective.

To contribute to this process, kindly share your experience and opinions on:

  • benefit sharing mechanisms that protected areas and tourism operators use;
  • how to create fairer relations between communities and the private sector; and
  • how to reduce risks and problems associated with benefit sharing from tourism.

Please contribute to the consultation using this survey link, with one response for each protected area that you work with:

Questionnaire for protected areas, protected area authorities, support intuitions and NGOs:

Questionnaire for tourism operators working in protected areas:

For more information, please contact: Dr Anna Spenceley,


White Paper released on Climate Action through Regeneration

StoryLondon | New York (June 6th, 2022) Spenceley Tourism And Development Ltd (STAND) is proud to be an affiliate partner for a groundbreaking study which has been released in the form of a whitepaper  ‘Climate Action through Regeneration: Unlocking the Power of Communities and Nature through Tourism’. Published today by Regenerative Travel, a benefit corporation and a collection of independent hotels and lodges committed to regenerative hospitality, in partnership with The University of Edinburgh and Solimar International.

The White Paper evolved from academic work performed by The University of Edinburgh researcher Chloe King who surveyed travel businesses around the world to understand how tourism, in the face of climate change, can ground their work in both the ability of communities to thrive and the protection, management, and restoration of nature.

“When Chloe approached RT to engage our members in her academic work, we saw an opportunity to work collaboratively together with her and O’Shannon Burns, who has worked closely with our hotel members on best practice sharing, to create a framework and actionable recommendations for small businesses seeking to take climate action through regeneration. We are excited to use our global network of travellers and partners to amplify the impact of the research,” Amanda Ho, co-founder & CEO of Regenerative Travel.

Dr Anna Spenceley, the founder of STAND, said that the company’s support of the whitepaper launch aligns with its mission to support sustainable nature-based tourism, and address the climate emergency. STAND is a signatory to both the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism and Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency.

Using the IUCN Global Standards for Nature based Solutions to assess participating businesses, the findings reveal five core principles for businesses that seek to make a regenerative shift placing greater value on human wellbeing and nature through a holistic, place-based, community-led, and environment-centred approach.

A growing number of travel businesses are acknowledging the important role they can and must play if we as a sector are to effectively address the climate crisis.  But tourism has lagged behind other industries and we need to quickly build stakeholders’ capacity to evaluate impacts and solutions. The white paper seeks to shine a light on the important role nature can play and to identify which factors make Nature-based solutions to climate change successful, or not.” O’Shannon Burns, white paper co-author.

This new white paper outlines practical examples, available support, and clear action steps so that travel businesses can take action today to begin utilising the power of Nature-based Solutions to draw down emissions and help destinations adapt to climate change.

Website | Instagram | Linkedin |

Organisations Featured: Blue Apple Beach, Binna Burra Eco Lodge, Borana Conservancy, Chole Mjini Treehouse Lodge, Chumbe Island Coral Park, Finca Rosa Blanca, Grupo Rio Da Prata, Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Misool Eco Resort, Nikoi Private Island, Playa Viva, Regenerative Travel, Samara Private Game Reserve, Six Senses Laamu Atoll, Solimar International, The Brando, The Datai Langkawi, The Long Run, Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, and University of Edinburgh

Affiliates: B-Tourism, Conservation Capital, George Washington University, Global Sustainability Index, Global Wellness Institute, Green Destinations, Miles Partnership, SUNx, Planeterra, Regeneration 2030, Salva, Spenceley Tourism And Development (STAND) Ltd, The Long Run, The University of Edinburgh and the Transformational Travel Council

About Regenerative Travel:  Regenerative Travel is a shared benefit corporation and membership offering providing marketing and hospitality services to a network of independently owned eco-luxury boutique hotels dedicated to the highest levels of social and environmental impact. Through sharing individual best practices and through collaboration, Regenerative Travel enables the Regenerative Travel Member hotel collection to work together to achieve significant economies of scale and to make a deeper impact.

About the Affiliate Partner, STAND Ltd: STAND Ltd is a boutique consultancy company Anna logo icon (CMYK)specialising in technical advice on sustainable tourism and conservation. STAND offers tailored tourism and conservation services to the tourism sector, development organisations, non-governmental organisations, corporates, governments and communities. STAND specialises in meeting the sustainable development needs of its clients. The objective of STAND is to achieve poverty alleviation by supporting income generating opportunities, developing constructive partnerships and promoting good conservation practices, while addressing the climate emergency. STAND operates under the direction of Dr Anna Spenceley, who is a leading authority in sustainable tourism. Anna is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group), is on the Board of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and sits on the Independent Advisory Group of Travalyst.  She is also editor of the  “Handbook for sustainable tourism practitioners: The essential toolkit” from Edward Elgar.

Media Contact:

Kerry Skinner

Updating the World Bank’s ‘Tools and Resources for Nature-Based Tourism’

The World Bank is committed to tackling the world’s toughest development challenges – especially poverty and inequality. All of our resources – our global development knowledge, investment capital, financial expertise and country presence – are devoted to making the world a more just and prosperous place. Tourism can play an integral role in helping us fulfil this mission.  In many developing countries, tourism promotes inclusive economic growth, creating jobs and attracting foreign investors.
Screenshot cover
Nature-based tourism is a growing sector and in 2020 the World Bank published ‘Tools and Resources for Nature-Based Tourism‘ and an online resource directory with 370 resources following an extensive international consultation process. Since then, further important resources that have been produced – particularly relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, biodiversity, and waste.

Through this short survey we want to invite you to share any important materials published since mid-2019 that could be included in the 2nd edition of ‘Tools and Resources for Nature-Based Tourism‘.  The survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete, and it will be open until Friday 27 May 2022.

Survey link:

Note: Please focus your responses on tools for nature-based tourism specifically, rather than tourism, sustainability or conservation in general

2021 Climate Emergency report

In January 2020 I made a declaration to Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, and my first plan. My commitments included to make an annual report and update the plan. Last year I published a report for 2020, and this is my report for 2021.

Tourism declares logo

Reduce my footprint:

  1. Continue to participate in meetings remotely by conference call wherever possible, to avoid travel. I didn’t travel to any meetings during 2021. I participated in a number of virtual events to share information about sustainable tourism and the climate emergency, including those in the table below. The virtual symposium on “Crisis response and recovery – nature-based tourism, biodiversity and livelihoods” included a session on “Sustainable Tourism Blueprints and Solutions”, where representatives of the Travel Foundation and Intrepid were invited to share lessons regarding Tourism Declares, the Glasgow Declaration, and moving towards net-zero.
Conference / Venue / Webinar Presentation & events Dates
Crisis response and recovery – nature-based tourism, biodiversity and livelihoods, virtual symposium, IUCN WPCA TAPAS Group, Centre for Responsible Travel, WWF, and Arizona State University Event 1: Recording of Event 1:
Session 1: Biodiversity Conservation Financing through Sustainable Nature-Based Tourism – watch here

Session 2: Visitors Count: Establishing the Economic Impacts of Tourism in Protected Areas – watch here

Session 3: Sustainable Livelihoods and Human Health through Tourism – watch here

Event 2: Recording of Event 2
Session 4: Visitation and Biodiversity Conservation in Protected Areas in Light of COVID-19 – watch here

Session 5: The Resurgence of Overtourism in Protected Areas in Crisis Recovery – watch here

Session 6: Sustainable Tourism Blueprints and Solutions – watch here

17/18 November 2021
COVID-19 crisis: Impacts and Recovery in Protected and Conserved Areas in Africa, IUCN Green List, DNPW, GiZ, IUCN WCPA Sustainable tourism in protected and conserved areas: Impacts and implications of the pandemic in Africa 29 October 2021
2021 Virtual Conference on Improving Protected Area Tourism in a Post-COVID World, Centre for Protected Area Management, Colorado State University Keynote: Protected area tourism & the COVID-19 pandemic: Impacts and implications for sustainable recovery 11 October 2021
IV International Conference “Sustainable tourism: Global Challenges and Russian Perspective, Russia Panel event: Sustainable tourism: Global challenges and Russian perspective

Recording available here

7 October 2021
Ecotourism in protected areas towards green recovery, UNDP Philippines, Manilla Part 1: Ecotourism in protected areas towards green recovery: Impacts of the pandemic

Recording available here

Part 2: Ecotourism in protected areas towards green recovery: Recovery from the impacts

17 & 24 September 2021
Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit, Cancun, Mexico Keynote: Sustainable tourism and COVID-19: Impacts and building back better 7 September 2021
‘Green List’ tourism recovery for communities in and around protected and conserved areas and World Heritage sites, IUCN World Conservation Congress Protected area tourism and COVID-19.

Recording available here

5 September 2021
Visitors Count! Guidance for protected areas on assessing visitation and its economic impacts, Protected Planet Pavilion, IUCN World Conservation Congress The Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group

Recording available here

4 September 2021
10th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas Keynote: The impacts of the pandemic on tourism in protected and recreational areas. Recording here (Plenary session day 2) 17 August 2021
Wildlife Tourism Australia, Annual General Meeting Wildlife tourism amid COVID and recovery options 21 June 2021
Sustainable Tourism Training for Tomorrow, EUROPARC Webinar A global perspective on sustainable tourism and the need for skills and capacity building

– Recording and presentation here

17 June 2021
International Conference on Responsible Tourism and Hospitality (ICRTH), UCSI University, Sarawak, Malaysia Ecotourism and COVID-19: Impacts, responses and recovery

– Recording here

27 May 2021
IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Steering Committee Meeting COVID-19 and protected area tourism: Impacts and the way forward 17 May 2021
2021 ITB Convention, Berlin; ITB Tourism for Sustainable Tourism track COVID-19 and tourism in developing countries: Needs, challenges and options

–        Recording and presentation here

12 March 2021
  1. Encourage others to present at conferences or meetings that I have been invited, where their carbon footprint for attending will be lower than mine. Done in part. For example, we had hybrid meetings at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, where some participants based in Europe were present in person, and myself based in Papua New Guinea participated remotely. On other occasions, where I could not participate remotely, I would  nominate another person to also participate remotely from a more suitable time zone.
  2. When I do fly for work or leisure, I will select options that generate lower emissions, including combining multiple-destinations on my trips. I made one international trip this year, which was a flight from Papua New Guinea to the UK via Singapore and Doha for leisure. For two domestic flight my family made in 2021, we flew with the national air-carrier, rather than smaller charter aircraft.
  3. Attend conferences and meetings in person only where my presence can have a meaningful impact by communicating sustainability messages, and when remote participation is not possible. I did not attend any in-person meetings in 2021, and only participated remotely – either in real time, or by sending a recording if the time difference was challenging.

Also, for 2021, I calculated that the carbon footprint of my family was 15.3 tonnes CO2e, which was 61% lower than in 2020. We will continue to work towards reducing this further during 2022.

Offset my impact:

  1. Offset carbon generated by flights for work and recreation, including through reputable offsetting organisations and/or planting trees with institutions I trust such as the Wilderness Wildlife Trust and others. For 2021 I have offset the 15.3 tonnes of CO2e generated by my family through Climate Care.
  2. Include carbon offset allocations for flights within future project budgets, and ensure that my clients are aware of this as a direct project cost. Projects that I  worked on in 2021 were all remotely based, but for any new assignments that require travel, I will continue to do this.
  3. Continue to preferentially use Ecosia as my web-browser. I continue to do so on GoogleChrome (but Ecosia seems to be no longer supported on Safari).

Advocate for change:

  1. Continue through my role as Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group to promote knowledge and capacity building to support the network’s members. In 2021 we revised the strategy for the TAPAS Group, and included specific reference to encouraging members to sign up to Tourism Declares, and to make a plan. Monitoring and reporting of TAPAS Group member signatories has been initiated for 2021 in annual membership surveys and reported to WCPA.
  2. Continue to actively contribute as a Board member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, to promote the GSTC criteria and sustainable tourism activities that integrate climate actions. In 2021 the GSTC became a launch partner of the Glasgow Declaration.
  3. Continue to work on sustainable tourism assignments on projects that embed climate actions within them, and with clients who are addressing climate change. Done, including through (a) a World Bank project in Uganda on community-based tourism, to support them in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including by helping to reduce their carbon footprints; (b) a diagnostic assignment for UNEP on environmental impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector in the Pan European region, including measures to scale up good practices.
  4. Edit a ‘Handbook of applied research tools for sustainable tourism: a guide for practitioners’ that embeds chapters on climate change to share workable and rational step-by-step approaches. The Handbook was published in 2021 as the “Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners: The essential toolbox ”. Unfortunately though, the two planned chapters planned relating to climate change and tourism were not submitted, due to challenges the authors had with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Therefore, a box on climate and tourism (including a link to Tourism Declares) was included in the book’s introduction. A new co-edited book volume is at the early stages of planning, which will help to address this gap.
  5. Share this commitment on my blog and other social media sites. Done on my blog, LinkedIn and Facebook. I will also share this report on social media.
  6. Encourage others in my networks to join the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency. Done, including members of the TAPAS Group, and ensuring that joining is a condition for new TAPAS Exco members to make a declaration.  The TAPAS Group will report annually on the number of members who have made a declaration, and whose institutions have signed the Glasgow Declaration.

In addition to these activities, in 2021 my company Spenceley Tourism And Development Ltd (STAND) was launch partner signatory of the Glasgow Declaration. This consolidated my commitment to address the climate emergency through my work.

Adjusted plan for 2022

Reduce my footprint:

  1. Continue to participate in meetings remotely by conference call wherever possible, to avoid travel.
  2. Encourage others to present at conferences or meetings that I have been invited, where their carbon footprint for attending will be lower than mine.
  3. When I do fly for work or leisure, I will select options that generate lower emissions, including combining multiple-destinations on my trips.
  4. Attend conferences and meetings in person only where my presence can have a meaningful impact by communicating sustainability messages, and when remote participation is not possible.
  5. Reduce my family’s carbon footprint further from the 15.3 tonnes CO2e of 2021.

Offset my impact:

  1. Offset carbon generated by flights for work and recreation, including through reputable offsetting organisations and/or planting trees with institutions I trust such as the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, Climate Care, and others.
  2. Include carbon offset allocations for flights within future project budgets, and ensure that my clients are aware of this as a direct project cost.
  3. Continue to preferentially use Ecosia as my web-browser.

Advocate for change:

  1. Continue through my role as Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group to promote knowledge and capacity building to support the network’s members.
  2. Continue to actively contribute as a Board member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, to promote the GSTC criteria and sustainable tourism activities that integrate climate actions.
  3. Initiate a new edited book volume on nature based tourism and climate change.
  4. Continue to work on sustainable tourism assignments on projects that embed climate actions within them, and with clients who are addressing climate change.
  5. Share this commitment on my blog and other social media sites.
  6. Encourage others in my networks to join the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency and the Glasgow Declaration.


Want to declare, too?

If you work in tourism and feel similarly about the Climate Emergency, please visit Tourism Declares. The goal is to encourage and enable as many travel companies, organizations and individuals to get involved, declare a climate emergency, and to take action.

Tourism Declares supports tourism businesses, organisations and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and taking purposeful action to reduce their carbon emissions. Visit the Tourism Declares website, and find resources and guidance on how to declare.

Event recordings: Crisis Response and Recovery: Nature-Based Tourism, Biodiversity, and Livelihoods

Event Presentation Slide

This symposium, co-sponsored by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group), Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Community Resources and Development, located in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, brought together global experts to address some of these challenges and provide examples of solution-oriented outcomes, in the wake of IUCN’s World Conservation Congress 2021. Recordings from the two events in the ‘Crisis Response and Recovery: Nature-Based Tourism, Biodiversity, and Livelihoods’ virtual event are now freely available online here.

Event 1, Day 1

Event Graphic #1

  • Session 1: Biodiversity Conservation Financing through Sustainable Nature-Based Tourism – watch here
  • Session 2: Visitors Count: Establishing the Economic Impacts of Tourism in Protected Areas – watch here
  • Session 3: Sustainable Livelihoods and Human Health through Tourism – watch here

Entire recording of Event 1: click here

Event 2, Day 2

Event Graphic #2

  • Session 4: Visitation and Biodiversity Conservation in Protected Areas in Light of COVID-19 – watch here
  • Session 5: The Resurgence of Overtourism in Protected Areas in Crisis Recovery – watch here
  • Session 6: Sustainable Tourism Blueprints and Solutions – watch here

Recording of Event 2: click here

Special event book offer!

50% discount on the hardback of the ‘Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners‘ until the end of November 2021: click hereCover Handbook EE

Spenceley Tourism And Development (STAND Ltd) signs the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism

Climate Dec 2021-11-02 at 08.21.43 am

STAND Ltd is proud to have become a signatory to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism unites travel and tourism behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalysing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally. The Glasgow Declaration encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism by securing commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

The Declaration will be officially launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021. The information about the launch event is available here.

To ensure climate action is aligned across all of tourism, STAND Ltd commits to:

  • Support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050
  • Update its existing Climate Action Plan prepared under Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, within 12 months from becoming a signatory
  • Align plans with the five pathways of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonise, Regenerate, Collaborate, Finance) to accelerate and co-ordinate climate action in tourism
  • Report publicly on an annual basis on progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as on actions being taken (see the 2020 report here)
  • Work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and
    disseminating information to encourage additional organizations to become signatories and supporting one another to reach targets as quickly as possible – including through members of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, as a member of the Independent Advisory Panel of Travalyst, and through presentations, publications and technical assignments.

How the Glasgow Declaration was prepared

The drafting committee for the Glasgow Declaration formed in March 2021 and consisted of:

  • UNEP
  • VisitScotland
  • Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency
  • The Travel Foundation

The objective was to unite the travel and tourism sector behind a shared vision and commitment to align efforts for a decade of concerted climate action, using the momentum provided by the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in November 2021.

The drafting committee’s principles were: to be open and collaborative, grounded in science, and committed to supporting communities and vulnerable destinations. The committee initially took inspiration from Tourism Declares’ existing declaration, which set out a commitment in simple yet urgent terms.

Over the course of several months, the committee received feedback from an extensive and global selection of more than 30 experts and organisations. Diverse representation was sought across regions, academia, NGOs, destinations, membership bodies and associations, and various private sector verticals including transportation, accommodation and tour operations. The committee undertook wider consultation with partners of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme, NGOs and advisors from the Future of Tourism Coalition and signatories of Tourism Declares.

During the drafting process, the following people invested in discussions, joint reflection, and provided feedback: Julie Allison and Delphine Stroh (Accor Group), Clare Jenkinson (ABTA – Association of British Travel Agents), Jono Vernon-Powell (AITO – Association of Independent Tour Operators), Masaru Takayama (Asian Ecotourism Network), Edward Hall (Bureau of Indian Affairs), Stephanie Jones (Blacks in Travel), Davide Strangis (Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions), Amanda Charles (Caribbean Tourism Organization), Samantha Bray (CREST – Center for Responsible Travel), Marco Lucero (Cuidadores de Destinos), Jane Ashton and Steven Cairns (Easyjet), Eduardo Santander (European Travel Commission), Tim Fairhust (ETOA – European Tourism Association), Flavie Baudot (European Cities Marketing), Seleni Matus (George Washington University), Andreas Hofmann (GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), Federico Vignati (Green Initiative), Randy Durband (GSTC– Global Sustainable Tourism Council), Hazel Quek (Hilton), Teresa Parejo (Iberia), Megan Morikawa (Iberostar Group), Kelley Louise (Impact Travel Alliance), Ingunn Sornes (Innovation Norway), Susanne Etti and Darrell Wade (Intrepid Travel), Carla Danelutti and Arnau Teixidor (IUCN – International Union for the Conservation of Nature), Cristina Nuñez and Sandra de Puig (NECSTouR – Network of European Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism), Peter Haxton and Jane Stacey (OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Graham Harper (PATA – Pacific Asia Travel Association), Jamie Sweeting (Planeterra), Jonathon Day (Purdue University, START (Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Travel) Lab), Inge Huijbrechts and Sven Wiltink (Radisson Hotel Group), Claire Whitely (Sustainable Hospitality Alliance), Christopher Cocker and Christina Gale (SPTO – South Pacific Tourism Organization), Anna Spenceley (STAND – Spenceley Tourism And Development), Paloma Zapata (Sustainable Travel International), Judy Kepher-Gona (Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda Kenya), Vicente Ferreyra (Sustentur), Delphine Malleret-King and Anne-Katrin Zschiegner (The Long Run/ Preferred by Nature), Greg Takehara (Tourism Cares), Melissa Lopez (TourRadar), Sally Davey (Travalyst), Shannon Guihan (Travel Corporation), Todd Davidson (Travel Oregon), Roni Weiss (Travel Unity), Alicia Fajardo (Turismo RESET), Miguel Naranjo and Niclas Svenningsen (UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), Susanne Becken (University of Griffith), Daniel Scott (University of Waterloo), Caroline Campbell (USTA), Dan Smith (Visit California), Ben Sherman (WINTA – World Indigenous Tourism Alliance), Alessandra Alonso (Women in Travel), Chris Flynn (WTACH – World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage), Christopher Imbsen (WTTC – World Travel and Tourism Council) and James Sano (WWF – World Wildlife Fund) 

The final draft text was first introduced publicly in September 2021 with a further opportunity for feedback, prior to inviting organisations to sign the Declaration in readiness for COP26.

New publication ‘Visitors Count!’ launched to measure the value of tourism in protected areas

New guidelines published by UNESCO and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) put forward a standard methodology for evaluating the impact of protected areas on the local economy.Cover VC 2021-08-23 at 10.01.42 am

The guidelines aim to help national stakeholders, protected area managers and researchers count visitation and measure economic impacts consistently through a standardised approach. Developed by a team of international experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group), the guidelines aim to help management authorities fulfil international reporting requirements to global conventions.

The guidelines outline how demonstrating the positive impact of protected areas can lead to greater buy-in and ownership of conservation practices, less poaching and land encroachment, and help offset human-wildlife conflict where it occurs. Once managers understand the number and behaviour of visitors they host, and the revenues and costs they generate, informed decisions on management plans and tourism strategies can be made.

The publication provides information on the evaluation of economic effects of tourism in protected areas including visitor counting and economic evaluation of tourism. Guidance is outlined on how to do visitor counting and surveys effectively and consistently, and how to best report and communicate findings. The publication also shares how to use findings to adapt protected area tourism management strategies sustainably.

cartoons 2021-08-23 at 10.05.22 am

The publication’s methodological approaches were developed and tested in different protected areas around the world, including within protected areas including national parks, UNESCO World Heritage properties and UNESCO Biosphere reserves.

Visitors Count! was developed thanks to support from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, and by authors and editors from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group).

team 2021-08-23 at 10.06.24 am

Tourism and visitation to protected areas amid COVID-19: Guidance for protected area authorities and managers

Cover open parksTourism is an essential contributor to protected area revenues, conservation finances, and to local livelihoods.

As people emerge from the psychological and physical effects of lockdowns, market intelligence indicates that they are likely to seek out recreation and relaxation in outdoor spaces – particularly in their home countries. The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and emergence of Travel Passports provide hope that protected area visits and travel will resume. Managers of protected areas that usually have visitors are under pressure to provide facilities safely, but there are challenges to doing so given rapidly changing conditions and new health and safety requirements.

The purpose of this document is to provide pragmatic guidance to protected area managers and authorities on operating tourism safely amid the COVID-19 crisis. Suggestions are provided, accompanied by supplementary links to sources and further information.

What is in the “Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners: The Essential Toolbox”?

The Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners is divided into four main parts that address different elements of sustainable tourism planning, operation and evaluation.  It contains 27 chapters providing insightful detail into key sustainable tourism issues.  The authors share step-by-step approaches to practical problems – such as how to write bankable financial proposals – how to consult with stakeholders – and how to manage visitors.  The book transfers knowledge from the academic realm, and from extensive practitioner experience, into one essential 550 page volume. 

Want to know how to develop a Theory of Change?  Louise Twining-Ward, Hannah R. Messerli, Jose Miguel Villascusa and Amit Sharma explain the principles of Theory of Change and then describe a simple five-step process to prepare one. Examples from World Bank projects are used to illustrate how to establish a clear connection between development challenges and desired impacts.

Need to know how to develop a sustainable tourism policy?  Mike Fabricius sets out guidelines for tourism policy formulation in developing countries. He addresses the importance of sound governmental tourism policies and strategies as foundations of sustainable tourism development. It explains differences in objectives, formats, ownership and timeframes of tourism policy, strategy, operational planning, master planning and other tourism planning instruments that are used in sustainable tourism management. A framework for tourism policy and strategy development and typical policy topics are provided and contentious issues in policy development are highlighted. Consultative processes for policy and strategy development are also briefly described in the Handbook chapter. In addition, techniques employed in destination competitive strategy development are explained addressing aspects such as competitive positioning.

Want to know how to develop a sustainable tourism masterplan?  Roger Goodacre describes the process of tourism master planning, including drafting the plan, starting with desk and field research, interviewing stakeholders, organising consultation workshops, and ending with the drafting and revision of the final report, and presentation of the final draft to government officials and stakeholder committees. Roger’s Handbook chapter identifies the keys to ensuring adoption of the master plan in a destination, and notably the crucial importance of consultation and achieving consensus among a wide range of stakeholders. Finally, Roger lists some of the principal sources of funding and expertise for tourism master plans, including international organisations, banks, development agencies and professional associations.

Want to understand outsourcing & commercialisation strategies for tourism in parks and protected areas?  Paul Eagles explains what is required for protected area authorities to establish commercialization strategies, and to help decide whether to insource or outsource tourism services. With a series of real-world illustrations, Paul describes how outsourcing can take place with for-profit companies, non-profit and community organizations, government departments and joint ventures. This chapter on commercialisation strategies outlines elements that should be included in procurement prospectuses used in competitive bidding processes, and characteristics of success and guidance to help managers make decisions on the range of partnership types. Given Paul’s extensive practical experience on concessions systems in Canada and else- where in the world, this is a chapter based in the practical realities encountered by protected area managers. 

The complexity of tourism services in Algonquin Provincial Park, explained in the chapter by Paul Eagles

Need to work out the feasibility of new tourism lodgings? PJ Massyn unpacks how to test proposed new lodging facilities for feasibility across various technical, legal, environmental, social and economic dimensions. PJ’s chapter on feasibility studies, business plans and predicting returns provides clear guidelines for practitioners to assess and answer each of these questions in turn and to evaluate project risks using a standardized risk assessment tool. This chapter provides instructions on the preparation of models that cover income statements, cash flows and balance sheets as well as key indicators of project bankability, together with examples and case studies. 

Financial modelling for new tourism lodgings, from the chapter by PJ Massyn

Need to know how to write a funding proposal for a tourism venture?  Michael Wright describes how to compile a funding proposal for a tourism venture. He explains that the nature of proposals differ depending on whether they are for new facilities, or existing businesses seeking support for expansion or refurbishment. Michael describes types of finance, sources, along with the advantages and disadvantages of different types of funder. Michael explains how to craft an enticing funding proposal and also how a funder will evaluate it. He also explains why sustainable tourism ventures are of particular interest to funders, particularly in relation to concerns about the sector and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Want to involve communities in tourism, and not sure how to do it?  Amran Hamzah explains how to plan for optimal local involvement in tourism and partnerships.  His Handbook chapter provides guidance on conceptualising, planning and delivering optional local involvement in tourism and partnership development. The chapter leads readers from the initial step of assessing whether a community is ready for tourism, through raising awareness, identifying champions, developing community organizations and partnerships, using integrated approaches, planning and design, marketing and promotion, through to monitoring its performance. He explains integrating participatory processes, consensus building, and conflict resolution with people both within and outside the communities. Amran highlights the challenges to local involvement and provides links to more detailed resources.

Community tourism model, from the chapter by Amran Hamzah

Want to develop sustainable tourism indicators for a destination? Ted Manning explains that destination management is a complex challenge involving knowledge of social economic and environmental attributes and changes which can affect the sustainability of an entire destination and its components. This Handbook chapter outlines the approaches and activities to establish a system of indicators for general use by tourism managers and some of the results of this initiative worldwide. Ted reviews the UNWTO approaches, the development of observatories of sustainable tourism and the relationship between analysis, standards and certification at the destination level. Best procedures to develop indicators and some success stories in application are also reviewed.

Explaining different approaches, from the chapter by Ted Manning

Want to develop sustainable supply chains in travel and tourism?  Jos van der Sterren looks at tourism supply chain management through the lens of sustainable development. His Handbook chapter proposes a method that allows researchers to understand inefficiencies and spillovers in tourism supply chains and propose solutions through a circular economy approach. His approach helps to establish supply chains incorporating options to reduce waste, re-use resources and recycle valuable materials. Notably, Jos stresses, that the success of a circular approach requires effective collaboration between organisations across the supply chain.

Supply chain modelling, from the chapter by Jos van Sterren

Want to understand how to do a value chain analysis for sustainable tourism?  Pro-poor value chain analysis can be used as an approach to measure, and improve, the economic impact of tourism on local communities in developing countries.  Jonathan Mitchell examines how value chain analysis (VCA) can be used to map and quantify the benefits that accrue to local communities from tourism in destinations. Jon’s Handbook chapter demystifies the process of undertaking a VCA, and shares a practical process that can be undertaken within 10–20 days of fieldwork. Drawing on his extensive global experience, Jon shares examples, practical hints and guidance, and explains the implications of VCA results for economic development and tourism practitioners.

Need to understand tourism sustainability standards and certification processes?  In his chapter on establishing sustainability standards in tourism, Randy Durband explains the importance of sustain- ability standards, their role, and how they are established and applied. Using two Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards to illustrate, namely the GSTC Industry and Destination criteria, Randy explains how they are used and by whom, and how they are developed and maintained over time.   Then Monica Mic provides an evaluation of some of the most popular tourism certification audits and investigates successful cases and best practice but also identifies failures. Her chapter on tourism certification audits looks at the specific steps in the audit process, the different tools and approaches available to auditors, and compliance challenges among auditing participants in ensuring a good level of effectiveness and efficiency from audit activities. 

Levels of assurance explained, in Randy Durband’s chapter

Need to develop sustainable wildlife viewing practices?  Wildlife viewing tourism has grown substantially over the past few decades but some wildlife viewing practices threaten the sustainability of both business and conservation initiatives. Jeff Muntifering and Wayne Linklater demonstrate how a statistical modelling approach can help: 1) identify the characteristics of human-wildlife encounters that cause disturbance and displacement; and 2) design encounter guidelines that improve sustainability. Drawing from a real-world case in north-west Namibia, where paying tourists have an opportunity to encounter the critically-endangered black rhinoceros on foot, Jeff and Wayne illustrate how this integrated approach helped to reduce encounter displacements by 80% while maintaining a 95% positive feedback rating from guests. They also suggest some key issues to consider when applying to other species and contexts.

Want to understand how to do consultation for sustainable tourism? Carolin Lusby describes consultation approaches for sustainable tourism. She summarizes the main approaches that practitioners can use, giving special attention to the applicability of each approach to specific projects and circumstances. Providing guidance on the steps that each technique requires, Carolin also introduces a number of examples and case studies to illustrate. 

Consultation variations, explained in Carolin Lusby’s chapter

Need to develop a sustainable tourism research strategy or program? In his research strategy chapter, Steve McCool outlines a research strategy of acceptable biophysical and social conditions for sustainable tourism. He highlights challenges that protected area and destination managers have, and proposes a holistic research strategy to develop the knowledge and understanding at the foundation of more effective and equitable destination management. This is a thought-provoking chapter is underpinned by many years of experience on these complex ‘wicked problems’, using a systems approach. Then Liandi Slabbert describes how to establish and manage research programs in tourism destinations. Liandi provides an overview of the practices and protocols put in place by South African National Parks in designing and implementing its tourism research program, and how its research agenda was formulated in alignment with management priorities and kept relevant over time. She outlines the channels through which research is produced, discusses some of the challenges experienced and how these were overcome, with practical examples of research that have informed management decision making. 

South African National Park’s research approach, from Liandi Slabbert’s chapter

Want to understand how to improve the quality of visitor experiences while protecting resources they’re based on? The Visitor Use Management Framework is a tool used by US national parks and other protected areas to do just this.  Bill Borrie and Elena Bigard explain how this tool is used to identify the social, biophysical, and managerial conditions desired, in addition to meaningful and measurable indicators related to management actions. Step by step, their chapter takes readers through four stages of (1) building foundations, (2) defining the framework’s direction, (3) identifying management strategies, and (4) implementing, monitoring, evaluating and adjustment.   

Need to set sustainable visitor targets in a tourism destination? Paul F. J. Eagles, Andjelko Novosel, Ognjen Škunca and Vesna Vukadin deal with the challenging issue of establishing reasonable visitor targets that support sustainability in their Handbook chapter. With practical case study illustrations, they unpick the challenges of the ‘carrying capacity’ concept, such as the difficulties for public institutions in establishing minimum and maximum use levels. 

Need to avoid overtourism in your destination?  Ante Mandic explains how to optimise tourism development in destinations and alleviate overtourism. His approach adapts a Driver–Pressure–State–Impact–Response (DPSIR) framework to analyse potential and currently applied responses aiming to optimize tourism development. The step-by-step approach is described based on its application within the Mediterranean region, and specifically describes DPSIR elements in Split, Croatia. 

Want to learn how to do visitor counting and surveys?  Joel Erkkonen and Liisa Kajala draw on their extensive work across Finland’s protected areas to provide guidance on visitor counting and surveys.  They explain the entire visitor monitoring process, including data collection and using the data in reporting. Joel and Liisa highlight how the combination of systematic visitor counts and surveys can be used to establish a diverse picture of protected area visitation, and explain the application of findings to decision-making and policy. 

Visitor monitoring explained, by Joel Erkkonen and Liisa Kajala

Need to know how to work out the economic effect of tourism in a destination?  In their Handbook chapter on economic effects assessment approaches, Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Lynne Koontz describe the data and methods used by the US National Park Service to estimate the economic impacts and contributions of park visitor spending to local and regional economies. They provide an overview of required data (visitor count data, spending profiles, and economic multipliers), a description of how these data are combined to estimate visitor spending and economic effects, a discussion of how results can be used, and an applied example from Yosemite National Park.  Then Thiago do Val Simardi Beraldo Souza, Alex Chidakel, Brian Child, Wen-Huei Chang, and Virginia Gorsevski explain how the Tourism Economic Model for Protected Areas (TEMPA) is used by managers of protected areas in developing countries. They share examples of economic assessment – using the TEMPA and other approaches – in Brazil’s protected areas, the Kruger National Park in South Africa, and the Luangwa National Park in Zambia. 

Economic effects of tourism in the US National Park system, from the chapter by Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Lynne Koontz

Want to understand and manage the effects of biodiversity on tourism?  Whether developed in an urban, suburban, or rural area, human-dominated or wild, tourism can have substantial benefits and drawbacks on habitats, wildlife, and natural systems.  Shane Feyers, Gretchen Stokes and Vanessa Hull describe Rapid Biological Assessments as standardized procedures that tourism operators can use to assess the baseline biological conditions of sites. They share cost efficient, easy to use, and replicable tools that tourism stakeholders can assess the baseline biological conditions of a site, establish objectives and priorities for the use of biodiversity, and monitor the resulting impacts. Their Handbook chapter also presents information that managers can reference to inform guidelines for operators and visitors that can minimize negative externalities and maximize benefits.

Steps of Rapid Biological Assessments explained, in the chapter led by Shane Feyers

Want to measure social and cultural impacts of tourism? Social and cultural impacts of tourism are distinct and measurable, but their identification and standardisation of tools for cultural and social impact assessment remains elusive if not highly technical. Jackie Karathi presents phases and steps used in the application of social and cultural impact assessment tools, and describes the complexities of cultural and social dimensions. 

Want to learn how to do sustainable tourism case studies? Regis Musavengane and Darlington Muzeza explain the steps that researchers can apply to develop case studies. Using the example of case study research in Somkhanda Game Reserve in South Africa, Regis and Darlington explain how to plan, design, prepare, collect data, analyse findings, and share the results. 

The Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners is currently available in Hardback, and e-book versions, via the Edward Elgar website.

35% hardback discounts are available for: