Project Management in Sustainable Tourism

Project Management in Sustainable Tourism

Travel and tourism constitutes one of the most important forces for global economic activities and development opportunities. At the same time, the diverse and cross-cutting nature of tourism means various threats and challenges posed by seasonality, climate change and socioeconomic and geopolitical instabilities, adding significant challenges for project managers in the tourism sector.

  • Lack of a solid needs analysis.
  • Poor planning and project design.
  • Inadequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
  • No integration of planning the delivery of benefits.

To overcome these challenges project managers need tools and techniques to better plan and manage funding and investment in the tourism context.


Ideas & Insights: Project Management in Sustainable Tourism

Tourism Destination Management: The Travel Foundation Approach

The likelihood of project rejection or failure is increased tenfold without a situational analysis. This is why we see Scoping as an essential step in our process.

If you want to get the best result on the ground, all the key stakeholders need to buy into the idea of the project and they won’t if they don’t consider it to be relevant to them. So the situational analysis allows us to identify not only what’s important in terms of tourism impacts, but also what’s important to stakeholders politically, socially, culturally and economically.

You need to combine all of these factors to actually get change to happen. This means sometimes we have to forego working on a project even if it can tackle the biggest tourism impact. If we can’t get buy-in from those who manage or control the issue the project is aiming to address, we won’t try to force the project into being.


Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Tourism Development

The reason for starting a project is because a change is needed. Regardless of the specific aim of the project - whether it be developing a new product, creating a strategy, or starting a community conservation program - it must be based on a clear definition of the change it is seeking to achieve. And it is this change - the positive impacts you create as a result of the project - that should define the project’s success; and not the tasks completed or the reports submitted.

So how can you, as a project manager, ensure your project successfully produces the desired results that will lead to lasting, positive impacts? A key starting point is properly capturing the context of what the project is supposed to address, and creating a narrative for the transformation to be achieved as a result.

And for this, a helpful tool for project managers is the Theory of Change approach.

sustainable tourism project stakeholder engagement


Case Studies: Sustainable Tourism Project Examples & Lessons

Successful projects are those that effectively engage stakeholders, understand and respond to their needs, and deliver concrete lasting benefits.

We've collected project examples from various parts of the world - and practical lessons to be learned from them - through recommendations by our expert trainers and contributors, as well as based on crowdsourced submissions.

View all project examples