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Guiding Principle #11:

Diversify source markets

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In addition to international visitation, encourage robust domestic tourism, which may be more resilient in the face of crises and raise citizens' perceived value of their own natural and cultural heritage.

International travelers may spend more on average than domestic, but domestic travelers are more likely to be the first to begin traveling again after a crisis or catastrophe. What’s more, they can vote on public support for tourism-worthy historic and natural sites. 

Some commonly under-represented tourism segments have hidden value. Self-catering visitors (those staying in a holiday cottage, house, campground, etc.) may spend more with local merchants for groceries and supplies than guests in hotels with pre-established supply chains that may or may not be local. Backpacker tourists may spend less per day than an affluent resort tourist, but they often stay longer and spend more with local businesses. Most important, young travelers within these segments are an investment in the future. Travel memories etched in youth create the appetite for return visits later in life, with their families and their own incomes.


Further resources:

GSTC Destination Criteria

SECTION A: Sustainable management

A(c) Managing pressure and change

  A11 Risk and crisis management

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