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

The tourism industry in resort, rural, recreation, and gateway communities is driven by outdoor recreation activities on public lands. Public lands provide refuge for endangered species, protect water quality, act as carbon sinks, and are increasingly popular with new and established outdoor recreation users. And this popularity is creating big city challenges in the small communities that surround these public lands. This includes: affordable housing and short-term rental dynamics; infrastructure, traffic and congestion; strained public and environmental resources; and under-funded land managers having to tackle overuse impacts and climate change realities. Now, more than ever, our community stakeholders need to reimage the purpose of tourism. Tourism can no longer be solely an economic goal; it needs to become a purposeful tool that invests in visitor experience, sense of place, and quality of life.

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 toolkit 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 & Two

November 2, 2022
9:00 - 10:45am MT
Destination Stewardship
with Mountain IDEAL

November 2, 2022
12:30 - 3:00pm MT
Guest Speaker
Case Studies

Session Three

November 16, 2022
9:00 - 10:00am MT
Mountain IDEAL
Deep Dive Q&A


Session Four

Nov. 29-Dec. 10, 2022

Destination Consultations

One-on-one meetings to discuss Destination Assessment
*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 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 & Past Guest Speakers

20210902_125905 (1)-1

Robert (Bobby) Chappell

Sr. Advisor Mountain IDEAL
President Tourism Impact Services



Kim Langmaid

Founder, Walking Mountains 
Mayor, Town of Vail
Dean of Sustainability Studies, CMC

Bill Wishowski Headshot 2 Oct 2021

Bill Wishowski

Director of Operations, Breckenridge Tourism Office


Clark Lovelace

Clark Lovelace

Executive Director, Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority


Beth Markham

Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, Town of Vail


Melissa Kirr

Sr. Programs Director of Sustainability, Walking Mountains Science Center


All Sessions

Individual rate for the entire training

  • 3 Training Sessions
  • Self-assessment & report card
  • 1hr one-on-one consultation
  • Reduced program fee for Top 100



All Sessions | Discounted

Discounted rates if you are a member of: Mountain Pact, Leave No Trace, Growing Outdoor Partnership, Certified Destination Staff or Actively Green.

  • 3 training sessions
  • Self-assessment & report card
  • 1hr one-on-one consultation
  • Reduced program fee for Top 100

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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 organizations (DMOs), tourism, town and county staff, and land managers.

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