Mountain IDEAL 

A Destination Stewardship Toolkit for Resort, Rural, Recreation, and Gateway Communities



Program Overview


Destination Stewardship is the big-picture approach to the careful and responsible management of "common pool" resources (e.g. public lands, climate, water, affordable housing, equitable access). It requires community-wide collaboration and participatory planning to identify a shared vision and common goals.

Mountain IDEAL is your destination stewardship toolkit. 

At its core, Mountain IDEAL is a sustainable destination management standard that is formally recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The standard was designed to guide destination managers through the process of implementing a stewardship framework to advance sustainable community development through responsible, regenerative, and transformational tourism. 

The Mountain IDEAL Destination Stewardship Framework aims to: 

  • Improve quality-of-life attributes
  • Enhance visitor experience
  • Safeguard sense of place
  • Amplify community engagement & equity
  • Activate economic development
  • Drive sustainable growth
  • Protect public lands and recreation assets
  • Regenerate biodiversity and environmental resources
  • Celebrate diversity & cultural heritage
  • Manage visitor impacts


Program Toolkit

Assessment Tools

Complete the free self-assessment to evaluate your destination's performance of the Mountain IDEAL best practices. Once the assessment is submitted, we will provide destination with a report card. These results can help local stakeholders identify priorities and define a roadmap for improvement...

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Planning Services

Connect with our destination stewardship planners for mentoring, turnkey templates, and/or advisory services for any number of research, planning, development, and implementation projects such as Destination Management Plans, Carrying Capacity Studies, Sustainable Business Programs, and more...

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Recognition Programs

Participate in an international recognition program offered through our partners at Green Destinations. There are two options: 1) Top 100 Sustainability Stories for those destinations who are just starting out, and 2) Third Party Certification for those destinations who have made significant progress...

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Latest Sustainability Tips

Mountain IDEAL Celebrates Five Destinations on Green Destinations Top 100 List

Each year the tourism industry awaits in anticipation for the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories list. This annual competition is organized by Green Destinations and celebrates international destinations that have notably practiced sustainability best practices. Through these winning stories,...

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Vail Achieves Recertification under Mountain IDEAL Standard

(Vail)— Following a rigorous audit process in late 2020, Vail is celebrating the achievement of recertification as a Sustainable Destination under the Mountain IDEAL standard. This coveted achievement builds upon the initial certification in 2017 when Vail become the first Certified Sustainable...

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Mountain IDEAL's Transformational Model Shared At Events Around the Country

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Mountain IDEAL Celebrates GSTC-Recognition During Launch of Multi-Session Learning Series Designed for Resort, Rural, Recreation, and Gateway Communities

Recent Workshop Provided Practical Insights and Effective Steps for Communities Seeking Destination Stewardship Solutions; Participants Heard from Guest Speakers and Received Destination Assessment and One-on-One Coaching

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Breckenridge Certified as a Sustainable Mountain Resort Destination

Today, Breckenridge announced their certification as a sustainable mountain resort destination using the Mountain IDEAL standard. Breckenridge was certified by Green Destinations and is only the third destination in the United States to become certified through a program that is accredited by the ...

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