Envisioning an equitable tourism model (ETM): optimising benefits and sharing value in destination communities


This project builds on CELTH's report "Social Value of Tourism and Recreation’’. The project places the debate around value creation in the international context and expands the scope of our understanding of 'value' to include fairness, equity, and justice. In addition, the project can be seen as a follow-up to "Envisioning Tourism in 2030 and Beyond", a study co-authored by The Travel Foundation, Breda University of Applied Sciences, the European Tourism Futures Institute, The Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions and CELTH. Finally, the project is linked to the widely recognised publication "Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism", published by the Travel Foundation in 2019. The Invisible Burden report provides the context for our project.


This project aims to develop a roadmap of interventions that support destination management organisations in optimising the benefits tourism generates in communities. for their destination. The goal is to ensure that these benefits are distributed equitably. By providing tools to identify and address inequality in terms of access to and the distribution of the benefits and value generated by tourism, a more equitable tourism model can be implemented.

The central question the research team aims to answer is the following:

What does an equitable tourism model look like for destination communities?

The sub-questions the researchers want to answer are:

  1. What does “value”, generated by the tourism sector, mean for communities in destinations?
  2. What are the barriers to and opportunities for the equitable generation and distribution of tourism-induced benefits within destination communities?
  3. What mechanisms are used to address/prevent inequity in selected destinations?
  4. What evidence is there that these mechanisms can reduce inequities and optimise equity?
  5. What steps should destination management organisations take to ensure the fair distribution of benefits?


The research includes in-depth desk research on value creation in destination communities, a focus group to identify key challenges, surveys and interviews among international destinations, and the co-creation of a roadmap towards an equitable tourism model.


  • NHL Stenden / European Tourism Futures Institute
  • Breda University of Applied Sciences
  • HZ University of Applied Sciences
  • The Travel Foundation
  • Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions
  • Destination Think
  • Goteborg & Co

Project team

  • Bernadett Papp (ETFI)
  • Ellen de Groot (Breda University)
  • Joyce Zengerink (Breda University)
  • Timo Derriks (HZ University)
  • Charlotte Rohl (HZ University)
  • Rebecca Armstrong (Travel Foundation)
  • Ben Lynam (Travel Foundation)
  • Robyn Goldsmith (Destination Think)


September 2023 - June 2024