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August 30, 2022
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5
 min read

Interactive Maps: A Piece of the Sustainable Tourism Puzzle

How does a map contribute to sustainable tourism? It connects people, place, and planet all at once with one image. It provides accurate up-to-date information,

Interactive Maps: A Piece of the Sustainable Tourism Puzzle

A content rich, interactive map is a tool that can inspire visitors to want to learn more about a destination and connect them spatially to a place prior to making a trip and even more so once in-market. For a Destination Marketing Organization whose role is ever evolving to one of destination management, a map is also a tool to manage visitation.

In the wake of COVID-19, many outdoor recreation-based destinations became a haven for urbanites fleeing metropolitan areas for the safety of the great outdoors. The result, over-tourism and the rise of anti-tourism sentiment by locals, who for a moment, were given the gift of their places back to themselves when the shutdowns occurred in early March 2020. The tsunami of visitors especially to our nation’s public lands in and around many destinations has led communities to demand a more sustainable tourism model.

What is sustainable tourism? Sustainable tourism is defined by the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.”

How does a map contribute to sustainable tourism? It connects people, place, and planet all at once with one image. It provides accurate up-to-date information, education, curation of specialized content around important themes for stakeholders, and visitor disbursement to lesser-known areas. All are sustainable tourism strategies that can be executed using a map.

Our VP, Partnerships and Community Engagement Candace Strauss, will be speaking about DMO-led community collaboration for collective impact at the upcoming Green Destinations 2022 Conference in Athens, Greece in conjunction with the Future of Tourism Coalition in September. A destination is not always defined by political boundaries, so a map is the starting point for this conversation.

Interested in a Wander map for your destination?

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