The position paper: Building sustainable destinations


With our position paper Building sustainable destinations, we take a position in the discussions around destination development. The growth of tourism nowadays leads to overpressure or overtourism in specific locations, stressing the need for suitable strategies to deal with that growth and make all stakeholders – primarily inhabitants – benefit from tourism.

What is needed to build sustainable destinations?

Destinations should be seen as complex systems, where tourism feeds the retail, the retail makes a place livable, the quality of life makes places popular for the living and working. These factors have a positive impact on liveliness, whereas investments are driving the quality of the living environment, which encourages tourism. The coherence of different functions, parties and relations make a destination attractive to inhabitants and visitors alike.

Towards sustainable development

For destinations to develop in a sustainable manner, in CELTH's view tourism should not be an aim in itself but a means to achieve sustainable development, where the destination functions as a coherent, vital and resilient ecosystem. To achieve sustainable development, it is necessary to develop a shared view of how the destination wants to develop and create explicit knowledge chains of relevant government bodies, research and knowledge parties, industry and destination management organisations. Knowledge chains in which roles and responsibilities are clear and the actions of parties are complementary.

The position paper is written in cooperation with Stefan Hartman from Stenden ETFI, Leeuwarden. To learn more about the position paper please watch the video (in Dutch) on our YouTube channel.