International Sustainable Tourism Initiative (ISTI)


We train current and future leaders to rigorously evaluate the travel and tourism economy and how it affects environmental health and social well-being.  Our research looks at the metrics required to manage tourism in an age where climate change will transform our landscapes, a public health crisis has devastated our economy, and governments are struggling to develop responses which not only manage markets but finance local measures to mitigate impacts.  

Working closely with national government, local authorities, universities, and corporate leaders in tourism destinations around the world, ISTI strives to equip decision makers with the interactive, evidence-based management approach needed to protect and improve natural and cultural capital and deliver on long-term business and local well-being.   Our course work explores travel and tourism's vibrant sectors—including cruise lines, hotels, tour operators, and aviation—and the solutions required to bring them into alignment with both the Paris Agreement and SDG goals together with local and national governments.

Through ISTI, we are laying a foundation with new, science-based metrics which can be utilized to understand the cost per tourist in destinations, the required infrastructure systems to secure public health, and the open source tools that can revolutionize how we gather data both locally and globally. 

Research on Smart Destinations is leading to more advanced means to manage the vital resources that support tourism, including fresh water, coastal landscapes, ecosystems including beaches, wildlife, and cultural and social capital that require on-going monitoring using GIS systems.

Research on Tourism & Climate Change is leading to an advanced, science-based framework, the ISTI Framework, to monitor the cost of maintaining destinations and managing the future impacts of climate change. 

Research on Governance is leading to full collaboration with policy experts on how taxation, sustainable financing, and public private collaborations can be designed to respond to the pressures on destinations in the 21st century.

Invisible BurdenJoin us in this effort to develop and manage the systems required to manage tourism’s invisible burden, and be sure to read the new report:  

New Report ~ Destinations at Risk: Tourism’s Invisible Burden