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March 5, 2020
Leading global charity the Travel Foundation, EplerWood International, and Cornell University’s Centre for Sustainable Global Enterprise are joining forces again, a year after the publication of their landmark report Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism. In the age of climate change and overtourism, these organizations are coming together to equip the sector with the critical skills needed to manage tourism.
The partnership is also pleased to welcome a new addition, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), representing the region with the greatest projected tourism growth over the coming decade. Through this collaboration, the partners aim to develop new tools and educational content for PATA’s destination members which can then be applied globally.
Amongst its findings, The Invisible Burden report illustrated that destinations urgently require increased capacity and skills to manage the costs associated with tourism growth, to protect the world’s most treasured natural and cultural assets.
The partnership will build on its ground-breaking work with new research to better understand the skill gaps destinations face as they tackle critical management challenges.
EWI Welcomes O’Shannon Burns to the Team for her Harvard Extension Capstone
While working as National Geographic Expeditions’ Director of Sustainability, O’Shannon Burns is simultaneously pursuing a master’s degree in sustainability from Harvard University’s Extension School. For her capstone, O’Shannon is collaborating with EplerWood International (EWI) and the PERL Network, an NGO supporting climate resilience research and sustainability strategies in the Pacific Islands, to conduct a triple-bottom-line feasibility study and build a new enterprise plan for Symbiosis Resorts.
As a founding member of Nat Geo’s Sustainability Leadership Network and Green Impact Grants Program, O’Shannon says she has “always been interested in sustainability.” She was recently in Ireland to re-evaluate one of National Geographic’s sixty-four Unique Lodges of the World. Each hotel in the collection is founded on a deep desire to protect and celebrate cultures and ecosystems that surround them through sustainable tourism practices….
“The earth’s greatest treasures are cracking under the weight of the soaring tourism economy. New data-driven systems to identify the cost of managing tourism’s most valued assets are required to stem a growing crisis in global tourism management. With the right leadership, finance and analysis in place, a whole new generation of tourism professionals can move forward and erase the invisible burden while benefiting millions around the globe.”
Megan Epler Wood, Principal