The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is an effective nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. CREST provides evidence-based research and analysis to governments, policymakers, tourism businesses, nonprofit organizations, and international agencies to solve the most pressing problems confronting tourism, the world’s largest service industry.
Founded in 2003 in the wake of the UN’s International Year of Ecotourism, CREST initially focused on the role of small-scale ecotourism in empowering communities and conserving precious resources. Over time, CREST’s work has evolved to consider how all tourism, including outdoor recreation, can be more responsibly planned, developed, and managed across all sectors and geographies.
Through innovative field projects, research, consultancies, and advocacy, CREST is a thought leader that moves the tourism and outdoor recreation industry towards true sustainability by providing cutting-edge analyses and by offering innovative, sustainable solutions for businesses and destination communities. When developed responsibly, tourism can support conservation and community services, foster cultural understanding, educate travelers, and provide economic opportunities to residents, including indigenous peoples.
CREST utilizes a network of experts and collaborates with academic institutions and other organizations around the world. Through its Consulting Services, CREST brings together tourism professionals with a wide range of professional and academic disciplines and geographical knowledge to assist with field research and project implementation in destinations.
CREST is now expanding its public lands and visitor use expertise and program portfolio in the USA. CREST will soon sign new cooperation agreements with the National Park Service and NOAA/National Marine Sanctuaries to help each agency better align their outdoor recreation and tourism priorities and best practices to meet current and future user expectations. CREST also has a new partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, to provide the best messaging and practices for tourism and outdoor recreation across public and private lands.