Destination Sustainability: 3 Key Sustainable Tourism Trends and Challenges in 2019

Which innovations, developments or trends will be the most likely to influence the work of tourism sustainability professionals this year, especially linked to destination development and -management?

This was the question which we asked our sustainable tourism expert panel, which we convene in partnership with the Sustainability Leaders Project a few times each year. We just published the full answers and a summary of key topics and themes (by Genevieve Huneault) on Sustainability-Leaders.com, which I encourage you to read.

Sustainability might not – or no longer – be a sexy word, but as umbrella term for inter-generational, large scale social and environmental issues which need to be fixed, it still serves its purpose and won’t go away any time soon. This is especially true for the globally growing tourism industry, which in so many ways is the opposite of sustainable.

Destination managers, developers and – increasingly also – marketers are the ones who feel the heat. They are the ones who have to ensure the “product”, promised experiences, are in order. And of course a destination is also always a city, a region, a place where people live and work.

Referring to tourists as temporary residents isn’t such a bad idea, especially when they stay in private accommodations, use private services for transportation and (want to) meet locals.

But which themes are the most important right now, in this complex, inter-dependent system that is tourism? How to prioritize? Three key topics emerged from the expert panel responses:

  1. The need for ongoing comprehensive tourism planning and management
  2. Effects of climate change on tourism
  3. Changing consumer behavior and expectations around ethical and authentic experiences

More about those here

Curious who is part of the panel? Find out here

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Florian Kaefer

Explorer, matchmaker, editor. Founder of The Place Brand Observer, the Sustainability Leaders Project and GreenCityTrips.com.