Destination Assessment

Destination Assessment

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council has developed a destination assessment methodology, GSTC Destination Program, which was designed to introduce the destination management team to the core elements required to develop sustainable policies and practices by applying the GSTC Destination Criteria to the specific destination.

The method has been applied by Fair Travel and is a service offered to destinations. This assessment process allows for a destination to better understand its sustainability status against the GSTC Destination Criteria, and to identify areas for improvement which helps to understand how to systematically apply the GSTC Destination Criteria to improve the sustainability efforts.

The benefits of a Destination Assessment

The destination will benefit from an expert analysis and assessment of the destination, and get customized recommendations based on concrete actions necessary to comply with the GSTC Destination Criteria. The assessment will help build capacity among destination stakeholders, define roles and responsibilities, and sustainable destination management while also helping to understand which policies and practices that are currently working well. It will help improve destination governance, policymaking, stakeholder engagement, and performance in the areas of,

  • Sustainability management
  • Economic development
  • Community and cultural well-being
  • Energy and environmental conservation

The performance of the destination’s sustainability efforts will be evaluated, thus providing a current sustainability status according to the world’s leading destination sustainability standard — the GSTC Destination Criteria. Based on this, the destination can then prioritize urgent, important, and achievable next steps to address the destination’s sustainability risks.

The service is not a certification in itself, however should be seen as a preparation platform, to define roles, responsibilities and requirements, for a destination certification process.

Overview of the Destination Assessment

The Destination Assessment process is divided into five key phases,

  1. Informational meeting – A first step of the process is to gather all key stakeholders for an informational meeting of what is to be done, the requirements and key steps of the process.
  2. Desktop scoping and stakeholder survey – A stakeholder and document mapping is conducted to collect all necessary steering documents of the destination to understand its ambitions and how responsibilities are divided and defined on paper amongst the stakeholders. In order to get a sense of what the identified stakeholders feel about the sustainability ambitions and efforts in the destination, a survey is distributed amongst stakeholders where their input is collected.
  3. Onsite visit and roundtable workshop – It is of utmost importance for the assessor to not only “read about the destination” but to also experience it in person. Depending on the scope of the destination, a destination onsite visit is conducted over 1-3 days to better understand its challenges, highlights and requirements. In conjunction with the visit, a roundtable workshop is conducted where identified stakeholders of the destination are invited for a full day roundtable discussion and workshop to share opinions and highlight challenges in the destination, following the GSTC Destination Criteria.
  4. Assessment Report and GAP Analysis – With all gathered data and input from the previous steps, an assessment and evaluation is being conducted with the GAP’s of the destination being analysed. A report is produced, that highlights the strengths and the challenges, identified areas for improvement and customized recommended areas of action.
  5. Results Workshop – An onsite results workshop is conducted, where the findings are presented with recommended areas of action including a Q&A session.

 

The report and customized recommendations is then handed over to the destination management team, and based on these the destination can then prioritize urgent, important, and achievable next steps to address the destination’s sustainability risks and how to move forward with the process.

Fair Travel has conducted destination assessments on the following destinations,

Summary of 2021

Summary of 2021

 

A month has passed since 2021 turned into 2022, putting another crazy and unpredictable year to rest. Looking back, it was a very special year for everyone. We all hoped that the vaccinations would pave way towards a more normalized environment. Vaccinations came, they where delivered (with questionable fairness…) and they were injected. We all know that things didn’t normalize and still hasn’t. I’m not planning on getting into a guessing game on what the new normal is and when we’re seeing the end of the pandemic. It’s here and it’s here to stay, so we might as well get used to it!

Putting 2021 in perspective, I would say that it’s probably been the year with most assignments and the year where I’ve worked more than ever. I’m very happy about this and this shouldn’t be interpreted as me complaining. I’m very grateful and it’s been a proper challenge. A summary of the past year.

Putting 2021 in perspective, I would say that it’s probably been the year with most assignments and the year where I’ve worked more than ever. I’m very happy about this and this shouldn’t be interpreted as me complaining. I’m very grateful and it’s been a proper challenge. It becomes more and more evident that sustainability is now one of the guests at the head table.

2021 also came with a promise of making Sweden a world leader on sustainable tourism by 2030, as the new strategy of our visitor economy was presented. We have eight years to make it happen people, so let’s join hands and work together towards this goal.

Thanks to all of you who made all of this happen, Kristin Lundén, Lena Flodin, Karolina Stockhaus, Hanna Anfelter, Ulrika Andersson, Caroline Staaf, Jessica Johansson, Sara Eriksson, Nahed Alwani, Frida Lundqvist, Anna-Lena Wallin, Chris Doyle, Elin Andreasson, Henrik Johansson, Linnea Johansson, Mats Rylander, Cecilia Eliaeson, Daniel Frey, Andre Russ, Karolina Davidsson and Christian von Essen.

A very special and warm thank you to Dan Jonasson for your inspiration, knowledge and mentorship!

If I could ask for one thing in 2022, it is more of the same which 2021 provided please!

I work in tourism. I declare a climate emergency

I work in tourism. I declare a climate emergency.

So there I was, on the train from Stockholm Central Station, heading towards Arlanda Airport for a flight to the Azores, when I read the blogpost from Jeremy Smith, Tourism, Climate Change (and why I feel like a fraud). I was on my way to the Azores to participate on a panel, with the title, Slow Travel and Changing Consumer Demands. I was to fly from Stockholm via Lisbon to Terceira Island and back, to speak and have an opinion on a subject, which I myself was the exact opposite of.

In the end I was to spend less than 48 hours in Terceira…Yes, I felt like a fraud too and a hypocrite. Especially since I had contemplated this a few times over before eventually deciding on going there in the end.

I work in tourism and I love to travel, while I’m also very passionate about sustainability. The simple way of looking at this is to say that it is a contradiction. How can anything be sustainable if it involves flying? The easy and short answer is that nothing can ever be considered sustainable when it involves some sort of emission of greenhouse gases. But from a holistic perspective on sustainability in tourism and travel, there is more sustainable tourism and there’s less sustainable tourism. Not all trips are bad, while a majority of trips certainly aren’t good. But this isn’t about justifying my own trips and love for travel. But I do love to travel and I won’t stop doing it.

Maybe it is the Viking blood flowing through my veins, that constantly want to explore new places, meeting new cultures, admiring new landscapes and animals? I identify myself with it and it is a big part of me. I can’t stop doing what I love and what I’m passionate about. But this isn’t a justification. I can still make a difference and I can make a change for the better, because even though I love travel and I’m passionate about it, I love my kids even more, and it is their future that I’m mostly passionate and care about.

I work in tourism. I declare a climate emergency.

In my line of work as an advisor and consultant on sustainable tourism development I’m spending a good deal of my work outside of the office, which requires me to travel. Thankfully most of my travel is within Sweden and the Nordic region, whereby train travel is many times a good and the best option, but not always.

I do my part to be as sustainable as possible. When it comes to everyday life where I ride my bike as much as possible, I’m careful with everyday purchases, choosing suppliers for services like renewable energy, I recycle thoroughly, do the composting and I cut out meat several years ago, I’m being a “pragmatic vegan”, being conscious about purchases of clothing and other gear. But I fly. I take more flights than the average person in Sweden does and this is my main challenge and obstacle, which makes me a bit of a hypocrite, which I’m very honest about.

The beauty of having the privilege to speak and educate the youth of today means that you’re constantly scrutinized and questioned. This is what you tell us, but what about yourself…What do you do? I fly too much and it is something that is eating at me, and I share this in class. My flying comes from work and I don’t really want to fly in my spare time as I associate it with work. My challenge isn’t cutting down on leisure flights, it’s related to flying through work. I try to tell myself that there might be some justification in flying, when I can actually do something good with it, such as educating, influencing and raising awareness in a room of students, travel and tourism professionals and consumers, to make better choices and to teach them on holistic sustainable tourism.

It’s about making something good of your travels and the emissions that you cause, but it’s not a justification and a free pass for binge-flying. I have to do more to reduce my number of flights and the emissions they cause. I work in tourism. I declare a climate emergency.

I accept the current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming.

This is my Climate Emergency Plan for 2020,

  • I will continue to take flights for work when needed, but I will reduce these, with the aim of reduction to at least 25% less flights in 2020.
  • I will continue to offset all flights for work, which I’ve done since the start of Fair Travel, but where I aim to double offset these flights in 2020.
  • I will travel by train as much as possible through work when time permits and it is a possibility.
  • I will try to conduct more presentations and educational assignments through online video tools in order to avoid unnecessary flights.
  • I will continue to educate and raise awareness on climate change and advocate for sustainable tourism that has a positive effect, in lectures, keynotes, interviews and talks.
  • I will encourage my industry contacts to also declare and publish their Climate Emergency Plans, starting now…

If you’re reading this, and you work in tourism, please visit Tourism Declares. Over the course of 2020 we’re aiming to encourage and enable as many travel businesses, organisations and individuals as possible to declare a climate emergency, develop and publish their Climate Emergency Plans.

The responsible travel commitment

Our responsible travel commitment

We are committed to taking responsibility for our direct and indirect impact on the environment, people & wildlife.

Tourism is dependent on transport, food & beverage consumption and waste, all of which can have a very negative effect on people, wildlife and nature. Fair Travel aims to be transparent about what we do to address these impacts.

Handpicked partners and suppliers

We work with handpicked partners and suppliers, all of whom are required to comply with our policies and Code of Conduct on sustainable development. Find out about the Fair Travel Code of Conduct and Sustainable Development Policy.

Fair Travel recommends this code of conduct and policy as guidance for other tourism businesses.

I work in tourism. I declare a climate emergency.

In 2019 Fair Travel signed the pledge "Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency" and accept the current IPCC and state the need to cut global carbon emissions. Read the more about the pledge here.

Jeppe Klockareson

Jeppe Klockareson
Sustainable Tourism Advisor

Jeppe's experience spans close to 20 years working with sustainable tourism in different positions and organizations in Sweden and internationally. In 2008 he founded Fair Travel and has worked full time with the company since 2010, offering advisory, auditing and coaching within sustainable tourism development. He's the official Nordic Training Partner of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), where he also acted as Country Representative Sweden between 2018-2020. Jeppe is a driving force in spreading application and awareness of the GSTC criteria in Sweden amongst destinations, individual businesses and educations. In 2022 Fair Travel became a partner with EarthCheck where Jeppe qualified as an auditor during 2023. Jeppe is also a brand ambassador of the Swedish outdoor clothing company Tenson and part of their Community with Purpose program since 2021.

ABOUT ME

Travel defines who I am and it's something I love doing. I will continue to explore the wonders of our world. For me, travelling has been the best education of my life.

Fair Travel is owned by me, Jeppe Klockareson. My understanding and passion for responsible tourism comes from many years of travelling and a collective experience of operations, theory and development.

I was born and raised in Ystad, and have the Scanian blood running through my veins, although I've been based in Stockholm since 2005. I'm passionate about travel, nature and sustainability issues and has worked in tourism since 2004, focusing on ecotourism and responsible tourism. I've held previous positions with Basecamp Explorer and STA Travel, as Managing Director and Product Manager, and sat on the board of the Swedish Nature & Ecotourism Association for six years, which I left in 2020.

I've been instrumental in developing specialized sustainable tourism training programs for travel trade professionals in cooperation with higher vocational educations in Sweden and I'm a returning teacher and speaker both in Sweden and beyond, on training workshops and capacity building for sustainable tourism development.

I was employed as Country Representative Sweden of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) between 2018-2020, an organization that I'm also certified by since 2017 in sustainable tourism.

Of all the many experiences around the world that have most influenced me, my favourites would have to be: visiting the gorillas in Rwanda; swimming with whale sharks in Mozambique; the magnificent wildlife of the Galapagos; lurking over the edge of the magnificent Kaieteur Falls in Guyana; witnessing the mystique of Easter Island; experiencing in the hospitality of Dominica and the atmosphere in Old Havana. As a result of my many travels, my most in depth knowledge (beyond Scandinavia) covers South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

Travel defines who I am and it's something I love doing. I will continue to explore the wonders of our world. For me, travelling has been the best education of my life.

If I could sum my approach to travel and tourism up in one phrase, it would be this:

Minds are like parachutes. They work better when they're open.

Jeppe holds a Certificate in Sustainable Tourism (GSTC STTP) and another Certificate in Project Management for Sustainable Development (PM4SD).

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