Destination Stewardship: Reimagining the Purpose of Tourism in Outdoor Communities

Learn about destination stewardship and how it has been a transformative model to improve quality of life attributes, enhance visitor experience, and safeguard a sense of place in outdoor communities and be introduced to the Mountain IDEAL program - an assessment and planning toolkit to help destinations elevate their stewardship and sustainability performance.

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Event Details

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September 07, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


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Webinar Sponsor

This webinar is free to the public, thanks to a generous sponsorship from Maine Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee.


Webinar Outline

The tourism industry in resort, rural, recreation, and gateway communities is driven by outdoor recreation activities on public lands and waters which are increasingly popular with new and established outdoor recreation users. And this popularity is creating big city challenges in the small communities that surround these public lands. This includes affordable housing and short-term rental dynamics; infrastructure, traffic and congestion; strained public and environmental resources; and under-funded land managers having to tackle overuse impacts and climate change realities. Tourism can no longer be solely an economic goal; it needs to become a purposeful tool that invests in the stewardship of common assets that are used by visitors and residents alike. In destinations around the world, tourism stakeholders are convening with municipality managers, land managers, civic groups, and local residents to reimagine the purpose of tourism. This is known as destination stewardship and has been successful as a transformative model to improve quality of life attributes, enhance visitor experience, and safeguard a sense of place.

Mountain IDEAL provides destination managers a toolkit of tangible resources to implement internationally-accepted stewardship and sustainability best practices throughout their community. We'll explore the assessment and planning toolkit and several activities that can generate immediate and impactful results.

Learning Objectives:

  • Importance of public lands and waters for economic development
  • Challenges facing outdoor communities
  • Why sustainability tourism is an important concept
  • How destination stewardship can leverage community connections
  • Successful projects utilizing destination stewardship concepts


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).

Questions & Answers

Webinar Resources

  • Tourism Impact Services
  • Mountain IDEAL
  • Mountain IDEAL Self-Assessment
  • 2023 Headwaters Economics Amenity Trap Report (pdf)
  • Predicts the Top Trends for the Future of Travel
  • Sustainable Travel Report 2022 (presenter accidentally referred to this as the MMGY Study in the webinar)

    Webinar Partners


    Bobby Chappell, President, Tourism Impact Services
    Greenville, South Carolina

    Bobby Chappell is a respected thought leader and practitioner of destination stewardship, with more than 23 years’ experience in visitor use management, conservation ecology, ecotourism, and sustainable destination development. Bobby's strategic planning initiatives have made significant contributions to national tourism policies, visitor capacity management, and the establishment of sustainable tourism standards in notable global destinations like Jamaica, Seychelles, Panama, and Norway. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of sustainable tourism best practices, Bobby has successfully guided destinations such as Vail, Breckenridge, and Jackson Hole towards international recognition and multiple sustainability accolades. He has also played a key role in advancing corporate responsibility agendas for IMBA, G Adventures, Royal Caribbean, and Hostelling International. Bobby is a trusted advisor for state tourism offices in Colorado, Oregon, and North Carolina and an invited speaker to demonstrate how destination stewardship can be a transformational model for destinations focused on improving quality of life, enhancing visitor experiences, and a safeguarding sense of place. Bobby is President of Tourism Impact Services, an innovative tourism planning firm, and the lead architect and senior destination advisor for Mountain IDEAL, a destination stewardship assessment and planning framework specifically designed to support resort, rural, recreation, and gateway communities on their path towards sustainable destination management. Bobby is often visiting gateway communities and camping on public lands with his family. He is an avid fly-fishing (Tenkara) enthusiast and a passionate advocate for making the outdoors more accessible to all.

    Current Destination Planning and Implementation Projects: Contracted by Visit North Carolina to research, recommend, and develop a series of flagship programs for the state tourism office to distribute to local destination managers. Program areas include: destination stewardship, responsible visitation, and accessible outdoors. Contracted by Colorado Tourism Office and Travel Oregon to provide technical assistance to tourism communities throughout the state(s). In Colorado, projects have included: strategic planning to establish a regional destination stewardship alliance; developing a land manager engagement plan, responsible visitation program framework, and social media messaging; developing an outdoor recreation stakeholder sentiment survey, analyzing data, and providing an interpretation report; and creating a tourism supply inventory for a scenic byway corridor. In Oregon, projects have included: facilitating community-led destination planning workshops; leading multiple asset mapping projects; and developing asset and attraction stewardship communication materials. Senior consultant hired to develop Sustainable Destination Strategic Management Plan(s) for Teton County, WY and Ketchikan, AK. Responsibilities included conducting a sustainable destination assessment and leading strategic initiatives for visitor use management and tourism impact monitoring. Regularly advise city, county, and federal officials on the planning and development of sustainable destination policies in line with the Mountain IDEAL standard and mentor destinations through certification procedures.


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    Learning Credits and CEUs

    American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

    • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
    • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES PDH) (most HSW approved)
    • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
    • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

    Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Symposium, as well as for other conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.


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    5,991 views • posted 06/08/2023