Destination Stewardship

Take destination management to a deeper level

Destination stewardship planning goes beyond the usual focus on supporting increased visitation to make tourism-related businesses thrive

These plans also aim at balancing the needs of a community and the people who live there as well as the environment. And in some cases, these plans may even focus on restoring faith in the power of a tourism as an economic driver.

The 'Are You Colo-Ready?' Destination Stewardship Plan

Initially framed as part of the Colorado Tourism Roadmap, ultimately the STEWARD Pillar laid the foundation for one of the first statewide destination stewardship plans in the U.S. The Pillar's three objectives spelled out plans to disperse visitors in productive ways, invite travelers to embrace Colorado ethics while visiting and create alliances to magnify the impact of the state's responsible tourism initiatives.

To develop a powerful shared message for travelers, Cathy Ritter reached out to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in spring 2017 to establish a first-of-its-kind collaboration. The partnership resulted in creation of the well-known Care for Colorado initiative, with messaging shared in videos, brochures, downloadable posters and social messaging.

In recent years, efforts have focused on building out the Care for Colorado Coalition, with more than 30 organizations (including the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, the Colorado Association of Ski Towns and many more) poised to share stewardship messaging with their audiences each month without a dime of paid media.

Cathy Ritter has been on the forefront of identifying and understanding the need for sustainable recreation practices as paramount to the future of the tourism industry. Cathy has a keen understanding of the intersection between tourism, outdoor recreation, public lands and sustainable stewardship – one of the key reasons we united to form our critical partnership. Together we created a national, ground-breaking model with CTO maximizing its powerful communications platform to share the Leave No Trace message.

Dana Watts Executive Director Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

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Develop an inclusion initiative

Tackling concerns about inequity, Cathy Ritter in 2020 invited nearly 30 diverse leaders to create an honest report of ways to create a warmer welcome for all travelers. One outcome: a brand-new diversity offering for Colorado’s paid media co-op.

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