Strategy Toolkit for Building Back Better

Destination Development, Management & Sustainable Tourism Plans

1. Best practice guidelines and resources for developing your strategy
2. Examples of effective strategies and tips for developing your strategy
3. Example of RFPs/EOIs and tips for finding the right partner
4. More resources

Destinations around the world are seeking to "build back better," planning for the recovery of tourism that is more sustainable, inclusive and well managed. A foundation and framework for ensuring that tourism does recover and develop in these ways is having a thoughtful, long-term plan. This means having a strategy that can articulate the values and vision for your destination; what the community, industry and other stakeholders want from tourism industry and the specific, practical tactics for ensuring you all work towards these goals. This can come in the form of destination development, destination management and/or sustainable tourism strategies. Regardless of the name, and whether you are updating an old strategy or creating a new one, here are a range of best practices, resources, strategy and RFP examples to help guide your strategy process.

1. Best Practice Guidelines and Resources for Developing a Destination Development, Management or Sustainable Tourism Strategy.

2. Examples of Strategies We Like & Tips for Developing Your Strategy.

    • Copenhagen, Denmark – download the strategy here and learn more here.
    • Sedona, Arizona, USA - download the strategy here and learn more here.
    • Bay of Plenty, New Zealand  - download the strategy here and learn more here.

 Tips for Successful Destination Development & Sustainable Tourism Strategies:
In our experience, four factors differentiate successful destination development and sustainable tourism strategies that have an impact from the those that gather dust on a shelf.

i. Quality of Consultation. Destination development and sustainable tourism strategies require involvement and support from a wide range of agencies and stakeholders. Getting their input and insuring they feel part of the process is often critical to ensuring that the strategy will be recognized and implemented.
ii. Practical & Actionable. Many strategies have lofty ambitious and platitudes but lack practical ways to turn its vision into meaningful change. Focus relentlessly on practical short, medium and long term actions that will make a difference. It often pays to start small with modest steps that demonstrate results and build support
iii. S.M.A.R.T Goals. To make the strategy actionable over the longer term, you need to ensure the strategy has objectives that are Specific, Measurable, clear in Accountability, adequately Resourced (money and manpower) and Timely.
iv. Living Document & Process. Finally, it is important to understand that your destination development and sustainable tourism strategy is part of a process that is ongoing and never ends. Ensure the strategy is continually referred to and regularly reviewed and updated as challenges, opportunities and conditions change. 

3. Examples of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or Expression of Interests (EOIs) & Tips for Finding the Right Partners.

Examples of Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Qualifications (RFQs) or Expression of Interest (EOI) documents that illustrate some of the elements you may wish to include.  

    • Victoria, BC, Canada - see the RFP here.
    • New Mexico, USA - see the RFP here.

 Tips for Writing Your RFP:
We would recommend creating an RFP for a Destination Development and/or Sustainable Tourism Strategy that is not highly prescriptive but instead give vendors flexibility in answering how they would approach your specific project and their "thinking" on methodology and approach. You should clearly state your objectives and the outcomes you are seeking plus ask about specific experience in areas that you know will be part of the Destination Development process. This allows you to better understand the thinking, people and culture of each vendor, and if they are a good fit with your organization and destination. This approach usually brings fresh and innovative ideas that a highly prescriptive RFP may preclude.

    • See the white paper, "Crafting a Smart RFP" here. Though this is focused on marketing-orientated RFPs, it still has a range of useful suggestions for finding the right partner for your Destination Development & Sustainable Tourism Strategy project.

4. More Resources


If you have questions or need help in reviewing or developing your strategy, please reach out to us: