Activating Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Destinations



Community centric  participatory planning allows the primary stakeholders - the local residents - to shape their own future.  Through facilitated engagement and capacity building, the end result is a collaborative community vision with validated strategies for developing organizations, trail & recreation resources, sustainable tourism products & experiences, and economic opportunities. 


Sustainable tourism development is vital to an outdoor destination wanting to place environmental conservation, cultural heritage, social equality and equity, community stewardship, and localized profitability at the forefront of its visitor economy.  Internationally recognized standards can help tourism businesses and destinations assess their current status across a wide variety of themes and define a roadmap for improved impacts over time.   




Outdoor recreation is big business in the USA contributing $788 BILLION to the GDP (2.1%) and supporting 5.2 MILLION jobs.  Outdoor recreation is also a key driver for land conservation and economic opportunities for gateway and rural communities.  Developing trails and recreation assets can have a significant positive impact by encouraging a healthy lifestyle, improving quality of life, and attracting new businesses and those searching out a work/play lifestyle.  Good visitor management practices are a must.