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Mountain IDEAL Sustainable Destination Training

Practical insights and effective steps for building a destination stewardship framework.

** This event took place in November of 2021. If you would like more information about Mountain IDEAL, or, would like to be informed when we schedule the next destination training event please contact  Melissa Kirr **

The last year-and-a-half handed the tourism industry every type of disruption possible:  being unexpectedly shuddered for months then a massive 80% drop in international arrivals compared to 2019; but at the same time having city-centers, national parks, and popular trailheads at full (or well beyond) capacity long into the shoulder season. This only added to the list of unique challenges that resort, rural, recreation, and gateway communities face which includes:  finding ways to accommodate housing issues like affordable housing, workforce housing, and short term rentals; addressing resident frustration with traffic and a growing anti-tourist sentiment; struggling to protect outdoor resources that are being loved to death; and preserving a sense of place and authenticity unique to the destination.      

For nearly twenty years, sustainable tourism has been a concept for private industry to balance their triple bottom line.  More recently, there is a call for tourism to do more than just sustain, highlighting a growing need for regenerative best practices.  In destinations around the world, tourism stakeholders are convening with municipality managers, land managers, civic groups, and local residents to address issues around common pool resources which, if diminished, impact the entire community.  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.  

The Mountain IDEAL Program is a destination stewardship guidebook based on international best practices for sustainable destination management.  The learning sessions will focus on how to incrementally install best practices that can help your destination meet these challenges.  

Session One: Destination Stewardship with Mountain IDEAL.  November 3, 2021 @ 9:00-10:45 AM MT
Session Two: Guest Speaker Case Studies.  November 3, 2021 @ 12:30-3:00 PM MT
Session Three:  Mountain IDEAL Deep Dive Q&A.   November 16, 2021 @ 9:00-10:00 AM MT
Individual Consultations: One-on-one meetings to discuss Destination Assessment. November 29 - Dec 10, 2021 by appointment

Learning objectives
At the conclusion of all sessions, participants will be able to:

  • Give examples of challenges in outdoor recreation communities
  • Explain why sustainability in destinations is an important concept
  • Recognize the critical intersections of sustainable tourism, responsible travel, and destination stewardship
  • Describe how destination stewardship can leverage community connections
  • Identify recurring themes from successful case studies presented by guest speakers
  • Outline Mountain IDEAL’s program toolkit for communities to steward, sustain, transform, and regenerate their common pool resources.

The learning sessions are offered through Walking Mountains Science Center, a world-class environmental education center and Tourism Impact Services, a global leader in sustainable destination planning. Guest speakers will offer first-hand experience and advice through engaging case study presentations.


Moderator and Guest Speakers



Join the Guest Speaker Session at no cost.  Just register for the training and select the Guest Speaker Session option.


Individual Rate for entire training:

  • $200
  • Includes three training sessions, access to the Mountain IDEAL Self-Assessment and Report Card, 1hr one-on-one Consultation, and reduced program fee for Top 100 


Discounted rates if you are a member of the following; Mountain Pact, Leave No Trace, Growing Outdoor Partnerships, Certified Destination Staff, or Actively Green Business


Group Rate Pricing

Destination Stewardship is about collaboration so we recommend joining the training as a group. Build your team with stakeholders that make up the destination, such as; destination management organization (DMOs), tourism, town and county staff, and land managers.