EplerWood International
January 10, 2019 · Burlington, VT
Press release: Tourism’s “Invisible Burden” - Major New Report Due March 2019 »

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Exploring How Tourism Can Benefit Protected Areas »

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June 28, 2014 · Burlington, VT
Megan Epler Wood interviewed by Radio Vermont  »

April 29, 2014 · Ithaca, NY
Megan Epler Wood and Sustainable Travel International Lead Cornell University Ecotourism Project »

April 29, 2014 · Cambridge, MA
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April 29, 2014 · Ithaca, NY
Megan Epler Wood and Sustainable Travel International Lead Cornell University Ecotourism Project - clone_001 »

September 26, 2013 · Nairobi, Kenya
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Top Ecotourism and Community Development Experts Offer Online Professional Learning Series  »

February 19, 2013 · Burlington, VT USA
Epler Wood Named Senior Professional Fellow at Cornell »

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Planeterra Foundation launches major initiative in Latin America »

Press release: Tourism’s “Invisible Burden” - Major New Report Due March 2019
January 10, 2019 · Burlington, VT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Press Release - Press release: Tourism’s “Invisible Burden” - Major New Report Due March 2019

The Travel Foundation has partnered with Cornell University and EplerWood International to analyse how the more damaging impacts of tourism's rapid growth can be better understood and managed globally.

After decades of steady growth, international tourist numbers surpassed 1 billion for the first time in 2012. The report shows that destinations across the world are not prepared for the unprecedented demands this has placed on them, leading to alarming reports of overtourism. With growth set to continue exponentially, reaching 1.8 billion tourists by 2030, a global crisis is looming.

While overtourism is an important symptom, the use of vital natural, social and public assets without recompense is highlighted as the core of the problem.  The report suggests that, wherever it exists, tourism places an "invisible burden" on destinations and their residents. The invisible burden leaves inadequate revenue to provide a sustainable foundation to manage the rapid growth of tourism worldwide.

Examples of the invisible burden of tourism include the costs of:

  • expanding local infrastructure to meet growing tourism needs;
  • high demand for scarce land and valuable urban resources;
  • managing increased exposure to climate change risks, especially with coastal tourism; and
  • protecting historic public spaces and monuments.

It's clear that the failure to properly account for the full cost of tourism growth is preventing action. Therefore, new accounting mechanisms are necessary to protect the very assets on which national economies and businesses worldwide depend.

The report explores innovations in both policy and finance to manage the invisible burden of tourism. It makes a case for public-private cooperation in the design of data-driven mechanisms for managing, monitoring and financing destinations worldwide.

The analysis began with in-depth interviews with academic, business, and global experts and a roundtable at Cornell University. It was followed up with research into current academic and case literature and sustainability studies from relevant fields such as urban planning, protected area management, environmental economics, and the digital economy.

The report will be published in March 2019. Click here to get on the mailing list.


Report authors:

Megan Epler Wood (Managing Director, Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program at Cornell University; Owner and Principal of EplerWood International); author of Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet

Dr. Mark Milstein (Clinical Professor of Management at Cornell University)

Kathleen Ahamed-Broadhurst (Senior Researcher, EplerWood International)

With editorial support from, and consultation with, the Travel Foundation

-ENDS-


Notes to editors

For more information contact: Tanner Knorr, EplerWood International, [email protected] 

The Travel Foundation is a charity that works in partnership with leading tourism organizations to improve the impacts of tourism and shape a positive future for destinations. Since we were set up in 2003, we have worked in 26 popular holiday destinations around the world.  Our head office is in the UK and we have a global network of project managers. www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk

EplerWood International provides market-based approaches to sustainable tourism development in response to the rising global demand for sustainable tourism projects that meet economic development needs while respecting and preserving social and environmental capital. The firm provides innovative systems for business, NGOs, and governments to build competitive resource efficient economies that benefit all members of society.

The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise is part of the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. The Center's work focuses on the vital role that businesses play in solving social and environmental issues through innovation, market development, and entrepreneurship. Faculty who work with the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise are at the forefront of research, teaching, and engagement related to helping businesses address these problems. The Center provides students distinctive experiential learning opportunities and collaborate with organizations to help to tackle the grand challenges of our time, such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, and poverty.