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Sustainable Tourism Case Studies
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The Sustainable Tourism Case Studies Clearinghouse aims to provide examples of how the tourism industry is addressing a variety of challenges – from workforce housing to coastal degradation. NC State University students have designed these case studies to highlight solutions from tourism destinations across the United States and around the world, so community leaders and tourism stakeholders can adapt solutions to fit the unique challenges of their destination.
NC State students want to know what sustainable tourism challenges you are facing. Solutions to these challenges will be shared in the NC State Extension Sustainable Tourism Case Study Clearinghouse. Share the challenges you’d like solutions for HERE with a brief survey .
Photo: NC State University
- Policies and Planning Strategies for Tourism Workforce Housing (2023)
- Use of Oyster Reefs to Reduce Coastal Degradation in Tourism Destination Communities (2023)
Current Student Researchers
The development of these case studies are supported with the NC State College of Natural Resource’s Lighthouse Fund for Sustainable Tourism.
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Responsible tourism: Case studies
How you can promote sustainable and responsible tourism.
In Scotland, almost three quarter of residents agree that climate change is an immediate and urgent problem. So, there’s a real opportunity for businesses to shout about their eco experiences and cater for a market that recognises the need for action.
We’re asking the industry to prioritise responsible and sustainable growth. Help Scotland become a world-class low carbon destination - the best one for responsible tourism.
- Read more about responsible tourism
- Take a look at our responsible tourism insights
Make sure to share your story with your customers, who want to travel more sustainably. Let people know what you’re doing and that you have committed to this journey, and help them to reduce their carbon emissions when visiting.
Foster collaboration and ensure that we learn from each other and can go faster and further in our collective journey to net zero.
We continue to be inspired by all the great work that many businesses are already undertaking.
Case study films | living responsible tourism
Check out these videoclips of businesses fostering green production or community practices:
Friends dining outside at the Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow
Image Credit: VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale
Looking up the driveway towards Glamis Castle
Image Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam
The Lobster Shack offers locally caught seafood to its customers
Image Credit: VisitScotland / Grant Paterson
Birds eye view photograph of Glennapp Castle, Ayrshire
Image Credit: Glenapp Castle
Inclusive tourism case studies
Homelands self-catering holiday lodges are set in woodlands in the village of Lundin Links, Fife. They're on grounds formerly owned by the Paxton family.
In 1993, Isobel Paxton bequeathed the Homelands estate to a charitable trust. They established and maintain a facility enabling people with a range of disabling conditions to enjoy a holiday. This also includes their family, friends and carers.
The purpose-built accommodation was designed from the outset to be accessible, including:
- Zero threshold extra wide entrance and internal ground floor doors
- Full wet rooms
- Ceiling tracking hoists in downstairs bedrooms and wet rooms
- Closomat toilets in selected lodges
- Designated disabled parking bays at the front door
- Portable equipment: portable hoists, stand aids, shower chairs / trollies, and rise recline armchairs
Strong customer loyalty
Guests in 2022 having visited previously
Guests in 2022 have come more than once
Net Promotor Score is a globally recognised measure of customer experience and brand loyalty. It's used by many of the biggest companies in the world use. The score can help increase revenues, forecast future business growth and assess the overall health of a brand. Satisfaction levels at Homelands have an Net Promotor Score of 98%, higher than many of the world’s household names.
Homelands also has high scores on platforms including Euan’s Guide, Tripadvisor, Google Reviews and Facebook.
As a result, spend on marketing is virtually nothing due to community recommendations.
Demand outpaces supply in the market for accessible accommodation. Homelands is operating at around 95% occupancy for all year-round opening and their only closures are due to maintenance. This performance enables them to reinvest in the business and further 5 self-catering properties. The latter are designed to be as accessible as possible and will open in Spring 2023.
- Visit the Homelands website
Massney living area
Image Credit: The Homeland Trust
Drummochy downstairs bedroom small accomodation
The Soirbheas Community Group is based in Glen Urquhart and Strathglass. It reinvests revenue from renewable energy schemes into a range of projects to benefit their communities. This includes a major focus on inclusion and accessibility, to make the area a better place to live in and visit.
The OpenNESS Inclusive Communities project brings together local partners to create dementia-friendly communities. These include:
- The Patient Participation Group
- The Glenurquhart Centre
- The Drumnadrochit Chamber of Commerce
There are also plans in development to make Drumnadrochit a dementia-friendly destination.
The community group also piloted a respite holidays project with the Clansman Hotel. This provided accommodation for carers, discounted food and excursions.
Learning and development
They deliver learning and development workshops to improve confidence on how to communicate. The group also supports people with additional requirements or physical needs. Including hearing and sight loss, and autism awareness. They deliver training and awareness sessions through accessible means and offer supporting resources.
Access for all
Soirbheas Community Group are also developing better streetscapes. This includes buildings, to improve pavements, cycle ways and access for all. The Community Council have begun scoping cycle ways. The Loch Ness Hub toilets and buildings have been renovated for the benefit of those visiting the area.
- Visit the Soirbheas website
2020 Scottish Thistle Awards, Inclusive Tourism Award winner
For three weeks in August, artists and performers host shows across many venues and locations in Edinburgh. The variety of shows include:
- Physical theatre
- Children's shows
- Spoken word
These are supported by the charity, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.
- Check out The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
A series of commitments was published to work towards ahead of the festival’s 75th anniversary in 2022. Its main commitment to create a truly open Fringe removing barriers to entry. Ensuring that everyone who wants to can attend and take part. Done in consultation with the charity Attitude is Everything.
- Read the Fringe Society published the Fringe Blueprint
- Browse the charity Attitude is Everything
Fringe Blueprint commitments:
- Provide an access bookings service, to help people with access requirements find shows and book tickets
- Establish accessible viewing areas so wheelchair users could enjoy street events
- Loan out 80 sensory backpacks to autistic children and adults. Each backpack contains items designed to make their experience of the Fringe more enjoyable
- Provide British Sign Language interpretation at one of the street events stages every Saturday of the Fringe
- Generate accessible show listings, with details of signed, relaxed, captioned and audio-described performances
- Provide a changing places toilet for people unable to use a standard accessible toilet. This will consist of an adult-sized changing bench and hoist
- Utilise the Neatebox Welcome app. People with access requirements can use the app to tell staff in advance that they’re coming to the Fringe and how their visit can be improved
- Partner up with Birds of Paradise, a disability-led theatre company. This will make sure all Fringe staff and many at independently run venues to receive disability equality training
- Encourage venues to build accessibility into their approach. The Venue Access Award gives venue managers a framework for making their spaces as accessible as possible. It also gives audiences information on each venue’s accessibility. The award is produced in partnership with Attitude is Everything
- Hosted Fringe Disabled Access Day in conjunction with World Fringe Day. This introduces visitors to the access services at the Fringe Shop, which unites over 250 fringes worldwide. It is also used it to promote accessibility internationally
The 16th edition of The Solheim Cup took place at Gleneagles from 9 to 15 September 2019. The cup is the biggest event in women’s golf between the best players in Europe and USA.
Organisers used the opportunity to deliver a milestone event. These included VisitScotland and the Scottish Government alongside staging partner IMG.
Responsible tourism principles were at its core. This included:
- Minimising the events environmental footprint
- Vouchsafing key elements of social inclusion, diversity, and equality
A full accessibility programme was developed with input from disability charity, Euan’s Guide. A host of initiatives were introduced including:
- Access buddies
- Free mobility scooters
- Designated disabled viewing areas
- Dedicated quiet space
A pricing policy was designed to attract families, young people, and lower-income groups. A range of child-friendly activities were also provided on-site.
Of the 90,000 spectators, more than 6,000 children under the age of 16 were able to attend free of charge. 47% of spectators from Scotland admitted it was their first experience of a major women’s sporting event.
Minimising the environmental footprint
Some of the key environmental actions included
- Using a park and ride service
- Avoiding single-use materials
- Protecting 19 designated wildlife areas on the Gleneagles Estate
- Promoting green activities
Organisers won Bronze in the 2020 Sports Business Awards for Sports Diversity category.
V&A Dundee sits on the city’s historic riverside as part of a major development project for the waterfront area. The focus is on engaging with audiences in the museum, online and across the wider area. This provides many outreach programmes for:
- Young people
- Communities from all backgrounds
Inclusion and accessibility is built in.
How the V&A Dundee are engaging with audiences
Wide reaching learning programme and workshops for schools, young people, families and communities. These were held in museum and across local area, catering for those with additional support needs
Variety of stakeholder engagement activity and events were delivered. Its aim was to stay in touch with audiences and communities during the pandemic
Digital resources and content to widen access for those unable to visit the museum. This included live digital content piloted for groups locally and nationally.
A virtual walkthrough to allow people the opportunity to explore the museum from home and plan their visit.
Quiet room with dementia-friendly high contrast furniture, changing places facility and lifts.
We want to make sure Scotland’s natural beauty is preserved for future generations. This means:
- Driving positive economic recovery
- Ensuring people act in a responsible way
- Minimising any negative impacts
Most people treat our country and communities with respect. A handful acts in irresponsible and anti-social ways with potentially damaging long-term consequences.
We're working alongside partner organisations across Scotland. Using our channels, we encourage responsible behaviour and inform people on how to be a responsible visitor. Think of our responsible tourism campaign or how we amplify campaigns of other organisations that align with our vision.
Share the #RESPECTPROTECTENJOY message
Take action on roadside litter. Offer your business or organisation a voice to support this campaign by Keep Scotland Beautiful.
- Read more about the campaign
- Browse campaign materials
Check out Zero Waste Scotland's anti-littering campaign. It urges visitors to preserve Scotland's natural beauty and wildlife.
It is backed by the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful.
- Browse campaign material
Mountaineering Scotland’s campaign urges people to think twice about what they take into the hills with them to avoid leaving any litter.
It also has pick up tips for any found litter safely – using pickers, gloves, hand sanitiser, etc.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service want everyone to have an enjoyable and safe summer.
They have simple steps to help protect visitors from danger.
Share the water safety message
In the summer, water temperatures can still be lethally cold, and the sea can have unpredictable waves and rip currents.
If you’re a business close to or by the sea, please share the RNLI’s life saving tips.
Bodies of water are inviting to cool down on a warm day. Scottish Water highlights the importance of being responsible around them.
Reservoirs in particular hold many hidden dangers.
Tonnes of plastics end up in the ocean each year. Businesses and organisations can play their part in reducing this down.
Sign up and set your business a target to cut down on plastic.
- Read more about their campaigns
Safety around our famous landscapes
Promoting mountain safety
Mountaineering Scotland has useful resources for inexperienced walkers.
If you cater for or have links with walkers in any way, you can use these to boost their visitor experience.
- Read more about the campaign
Responsible visitor industry guide, destination net zero, scotland's road to net zero.
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Extension's Sustainable Tourism Blog
Sustainable Tourism Case Studies
Innovative and promising practices in sustainable tourism..
Innovative and promising practices in sustainable tourism. Edited by Nicole Vaugeous, Miles Phillips, Doug Arbogast and Patrick Brouder
The intent of this volume is to provide an opportunity for academics, extension professionals, industry stakeholders and community practitioners to reflect, discuss and share the innovative approaches that they have taken to develop sustainable tourism in a variety of different contexts. This volume includes nine cases from across North and Central America reaching from Hawaii in the west to New England in the east and from Quebec in the north to Costa Rica in the south. Case studies are a valuable way to synthesize and share lessons learned and they help to create new knowledge and enhanced applications in practice. There are two main audiences for this volume: 1) faculty and students in tourism related academic programs who will benefit from having access to current case studies that highlight how various stakeholders are approaching common issues, opportunities and trends in tourism, and 2) extension agents and practitioners who will gain important insights from the lessons learned in the current case study contexts. Volume 1 in its entirety: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16372 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-8748
- Indigenous Tourism and Reconciliation: The Case of Kitcisakik Cultural Immersions……………….7
- Hawaii Ecotourism Association’s Sustainable Tour Certification Program: Promoting Best Practices to Conserve a Unique Place ……22
- Transdisciplinary University Engagement for Sustainable Tourism Planning…………………..38
- Expanding Agritourism In Butte County, California ………………..58
- Recreation Economies and Sustainable Tourism: Mountain Biking at Kingdom Trail Association in Vermont …………………..76
- Kentucky Trail Town Program: Facilitating communities capitalizing on adventure tourism for community and economic development…………….94
- Enhanced performance and visitor satisfaction in artisan businesses: A case study of the evaluation of the Économusée® model in British Columbia…112
- Reverse Osmosis: Cultural Sensitivity Training in the Costa Rican Luxury Ecolodge Setting………………….130
- Stakeholder Engagement and Collaborative Corridor Management: The Case of New Hampshire Route 1A/1B Byway Corridor ………..152
Volume 1 in its entirety: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16372 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-8748
- Arellano et al.: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16677 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-9041
- Cox: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16676 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-9040
- Eades et al.: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16675 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-9039
- Hardesty et al.: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16616 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-8982
- Kelsey et al.: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16614 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-8981
- Koo: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16585 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-8953
- Predyk & Vaugeois: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16584 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-8952
- Nowaczek: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16530 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-8900
- Robertson: https://viurrspace.ca/handle/10613/16529 ; DOI: 10.25316/IR-8899
- Get involved
A sustainable tourism model transforms economic development: the Egypt case study
Yomna Mohamed, Head of Experimentation
September 12, 2022
Egypt is a world-renowned touristic destination. Tell someone you are visiting Egypt, and the pictures immediately come into focus: the iconic pyramids of Giza, with the mysterious Sphinx standing guard; the beautiful beaches along the coast, warm and inviting; the vibrant and bustling bazaars, infused with the legacy of the pharaohs, teeming with the rich cultures of its people.
As the top destination for tourists visiting North Africa, how might Egypt evolve its tourism industry into a sustainable engine for economic development – particularly as the world emerges from the pandemic? More fundamentally, might tourism sector provide an opportunity to rethink the development model capable of withstanding & thriving in the context of interlinked, largely unpredictable and fast-moving crises – from food security and changing climate, to rapid inflation, polarization, economic downturn & inequality?
This is the critical question facing UNDP Egypt, one of nine country offices selected by UNDP’s Strategic Innovation Unit to join the second cohort of Deep Demonstrations, an initiative financed by the Government of Denmark.
In this post, we detail the context for tourism in Egypt, consider emerging trends in the economic model, and share progress to date in shaping broader system transformation.
The Egyptian Context
Egypt is best characterized as a Low-Cost Mass Tourism Magnet. According to the IMF , the tourism industry employed 10 percent of the population and contributed to about 12 percent of GDP pre-pandemic. Egypt ranks first in Africa, fifth in MENA, and 51 st globally in the travel and tourism development index (TTDI). It is a top performer in the MENA region with regards to environmental sustainability (31), natural and cultural resources (33), and business and cultural travel (22). With over 100 million in population, Egypt is both a prime destination for nature-based activities and a home to rich cultural diversity.
While the pandemic has definitely been an accelerant, the combination of economic factors and new norms that underpin global tourism raise fundamental questions about long-term viability (see fig 1). Even as the global airline industry recovers from the pandemic, the costs of long-haul travel have become increasingly unaffordable – not only in the rising price of fuel but also in its contributions to climate change. The unexpected benefits of lockdown, improved environments and ecosystems, have countries questioning whether they want to return to the risky, crowded, over-reaching pre-pandemic world. And COVID-19 has magnified the vulnerability of local communities who already do not benefit from unsustainable tourism.
fig 1. Macro Trends, or the Opportunity Space for Change
This requires rethinking the model entirely. The circumstances call for collective effort that transforms the system to one based on sustainability, resilience, and putting local communities first.
Looking at the adjacent possible and entry points for unlocking systems transformation
In response, UNDP Egypt has embarked on a journey to rethink the tourism model and develop a portfolio of policy options on sustainable tourism that align with national priorities.
This approach relies not on a singular discrete intervention but a full system-wide transformation. The adaptive framework is designed to continuously learn from experience and detect new opportunities or needs in the system. A portfolio-based approach serves as a dynamic repository of strategic ideas that frame policy, an investment pipeline for funders, and a coordinating mechanism for relevant stakeholders.
In order to design this portfolio, it is necessary to start with strategic intent. This involves three specific actions –
1. Create a shared vision at the national level:
This frames the possibilities for a transformative agenda and mobilizes stakeholders to build sustainable, innovative tourism in Egypt. A critical mindset shift is seeing investment in the population and nature as an investment in tourism, where tourism becomes an entry point for rethinking the country’s existing development paradigms.
2. Reimagine a tourism industry that benefits all:
These include activities that strengthen climate resilience and deliver sustainable benefits to local communities at the forefront.
3. Expand the diversity of business models:
By focusing on innovative and integrated experiences for tourists, Egypt can accelerate and drive sustainable growth in the industry.
Informed by this strategic intent, existing models, and portfolio ambitions, we have identified three main shifts to create in conjunction with our partners and stakeholders, showcased in fig 2.
fig 2. Three Shifts in the Model
As innovation advisors, we have learned to trust the process. Through this system transformation framework, two parallel but complementary pathways have emerged –
1. Continuously exploring and deeply learning the needs and opportunities in the system; and
2. Identifying key policy options that accelerate the investment pipeline
We are taking these shifts and translating them into specific and coherent offers to be pursued with partners. A sample of these is shown in fig 3.
fig 3. Three Shifts, in Practice
A system transformation is premised on collective action and stakeholder engagement around a coherent approach. In this deep demonstration on sustainable tourism, we embarked on a journey to learn about the problem space, design a portfolio of policy options, and activate a set of evidence-based interventions.
We have yet to determine where best to introduce this portfolio of interventions, but we invite all potential partners to learn alongside and act with us as we work together to make tourism a sustainable economic engine in Egypt.
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21 Communities in Sustainable Tourism Development – Case Studies
From the book sustainable tourism dialogues in africa.
- Roniance Adhiambo and Leonard Akwany
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Chapters in this book (32)
Case studies, ranging from single action initiatives, to comprehensive management systems, cover socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues. They illustrate the broad umbrella of sustainable tourism within which a number of issues can find sustenance!
- © 2023
Environment, Resources and Sustainable Tourism
Goa as a Case Study
- Ashoka G. Dessai 0
School of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Goa University, Taleigao Plateau, India
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Provides an in-depth read to guide critical thinking on the complex issue of the impact of tourism
Discusses the impact of the geodynamics of the environment on the sociodynamics of Goa, India
Offers a comprehensive text for students, researchers, academics, policymakers, and professionals
Part of the book series: Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences (AGES)
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Table of contents (7 chapters)
Front matter, introduction.
Ashoka G. Dessai
Mining industry, water resources, environmental assessment, waste management, sustainable tourism, back matter.
This book suggests sustainable economy from the viewpoint of tourism fostering low carbon footprint. Focussed on conserving heritage, culture and endemic biota of a crucial biodiversity hotspot of the world, the book discusses the impact of a large population, fast-paced development and excessive consumption of earth resources by tourism in a developing economy.
The book (i) assesses the impact of overexploitation of earth resources on environmental components such as air, water, land and people, (ii) examines the sustainability of tourism on the physical, economic and socio-cultural environment including human lifestyles, (iii) presents the potential of tourism in promoting sustainable development, poverty alleviation and conservation of nature and (iv) formulates recommendations for tourism, fostering sustainable development in Goa, India.
The book offers students, researchers, academics and professionals a comprehensive discourse integrating geological and societal perspectives on core issues. It generates critical thinking on the complex issue of sustainable tourism by providing in-depth perspective on peoples of different hues and their role in safeguarding the future of this unique region.
- Sustainable tourism
- Environmental pollution
- Waste disposal
Prof. Dr. Ashoka G. Dessai has over 40 years of experience in post-graduate teaching and research, initially at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India, and later at Goa University, Goa, India. He has conducted research in India and abroad and has successfully supervised research leading to M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees. He has published more than 52 research papers in national and international peer-reviewed journals and has been a reviewer for international research journals.
Prof. Dr. Dessai has authored two books: The Lithosphere Beneath the Indian Shield: A Geodynamic Perspective (Springer Nature, Switzerland) and Geology and Mineral Resources of Goa (New Delhi Publishers, India). He has delivered lectures at several universities, professional organisations and research institutes in India and other countries.
Book Title : Environment, Resources and Sustainable Tourism
Book Subtitle : Goa as a Case Study
Authors : Ashoka G. Dessai
Series Title : Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-1843-0
Publisher : Springer Singapore
eBook Packages : Earth and Environmental Science , Earth and Environmental Science (R0)
Copyright Information : The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2023
Hardcover ISBN : 978-981-99-1842-3 Published: 27 May 2023
Softcover ISBN : 978-981-99-1845-4 Due: 10 June 2024
eBook ISBN : 978-981-99-1843-0 Published: 26 May 2023
Series ISSN : 2198-3542
Series E-ISSN : 2198-3550
Edition Number : 1
Number of Pages : XXIII, 234
Number of Illustrations : 2 b/w illustrations, 35 illustrations in colour
Topics : Environmental Geography , Natural Resource and Energy Economics , Tourism Management , Sustainable Development , Water, general , Waste Management/Waste Technology
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Economics > General Economics
Title: assessment of low-carbon tourism development from multi-aspect analysis: a case study of the yellow river basin, china.
Abstract: Climate change has become an unavoidable problem in achieving sustainable development. As one of the major industries worldwide, tourism can make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change. The main objective of the paper is to assess the development level of low-carbon tourism from multi-aspect, using the Yellow River Basin as an example. Firstly, this study quantified tourism carbon dioxide emissions and tourism economy, and analyzed their evolution characteristics. The interaction and coordination degree between tourism carbon dioxide emissions and tourism economy were then analyzed using the improved coupling coordination degree model. Finally, this study analyzed the change in total factor productivity of low-carbon tourism by calculating the Malmquist-Luenberger productivity index. The results showed that: (1) The tourism industry in the Yellow River Basin has the characteristics of the initial environmental Kuznets curve. (2) There was a strong interaction between tourism carbon dioxide emissions and tourism economy, which was manifested as mutual promotion. (3) The total factor productivity of low-carbon tourism was increasing. Based on the above results, it could be concluded that the development level of low-carbon tourism in the Yellow River Basin has been continuously improved from 2000 to 2019, but it is still in the early development stage with the continuous growth of carbon dioxide emissions.
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