EplerWood International completed research on behalf of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s International Sustainable Tourism Initiative (ISTI) to review a new framework, the ISTI Framework, which will help local governments and national planning bodies to measure the Invisible Burden. The Invisible Burden is defined in the new report, Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism. This research helped to measure the Invisible Burden in Tunisia, via funding from GIZ. 

Download Report:  Tourism and Environmental Health in a Changing Climate

The framework helps local governments measure consumption of resources related to tourism activities and monitor progress towards a selected set of environmental strategies. It is designed to go beyond operational impact and include broader systems, such as the vital natural resources that need to be protected to improve resilience to climate change impacts.

Local authorities working with business can now determine more precise costs for properly developing local infrastructure related to the tourism industry.  This will allow for public private planning and data driven tourism management. The ISTI Framework is now ready for Beta testing and the approach to this will be dictated by the following goals:

  • Reveal the indirect costs of tourism growth, and the investment required to protect environmental health and local population well-being
  • Measure municipal costs for servicing tourism and guide decision making on policies and infrastructure
  • Help to develop strategic mitigation and adaptation plans to protect tourism economies and local populations when climate impacts worsen
  • Trigger international funding, subsidies, and impact investment for sustainable infrastructure projects, such as solar energy and alternative waste treatment for tourism areas
  • Create a new category of research based on empirical data to drive global research cooperation on destination planning

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