CEO Message: Destination Stewardship
It’s September – our kids are back in school, Fall is in the air and the blur of summer is (mostly) behind us. This seems a good time to reflect on the joys of living in the Tahoe Basin and look forward to how we can preserve it. Along those lines, you will no doubt be hearing much about sustainability and destination stewardship in the months ahead. While sustainability means different things to different people, and will be a topic I cover in the future, I want to touch on destination stewardship in the basin.
I think it is important to first note that this is a region wide initiative that is bringing together regional land managers, local governments, visitor’s authorities, the Washoe Tribe, and non-profits. Our community depends on a vibrant and sustainable visitor economy, and destination stewardship aims to balance the needs of the environment, businesses, visitors, and residents alike. Destinations across the globe are grappling with the same delicate balance of welcoming visitors while managing the impacts. This is achieved by working in a collaborative, inclusive consortium inclusive of resident, visitor, workforce and leadership input that results in a shared vision and action plan. This is also preparation for a visitor who is making travel decisions based on sustainability practices. More than 70% of today’s travelers are making destination choices with this in mind and we need to be in that competitive set.
Part of the stewardship effort focuses on evolving the mindset of visitors to experience the region as if they were residents. That evolution also extends to our destination marketing organizations, who are increasingly focusing on working in concert with other organizations to manage the impacts of the many visitors to our region while deepening their visitor experience and their relationship to this place we are lucky enough to call home.