• Promoting Sustainable & Inclusive Tourism Strategy

Designing Community-Based Inclusive Tourism Programs

Environmentally and socially sustainable tourism initiatives change lives.

The Emerging360 team’s areas of expertise in inclusive tourism strategy and planning include:

Key sustainable tourism accomplishments of the Emerging360 team include:

  • In partnership with ASEAN, formulated a series of Guidelines on Hygiene and Safety for Workers and Communities in the Tourism Industry in Southeast Asia for inclusive recovery of the tourism sector in Southeast Asia. In parallel, we developed a range of bespoke tourism communication strategies and products — including animated explainer videos, branding for a healthy tourism and hospitality certification program, style guides, and other digital media solutions — to help ASEAN Member States reach vulnerable groups (women, informal and marginalized workers) and promote the safety of local destinations.
  • Formulating tourism destination visions and investment plans for the sustainable development of ecotourism in Cambodia’s Cardamom Landscape. In collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and the World Bank, and with extensive stakeholder consultation and validation research exercises, Emerging360 developed a detailed situational analysis report to be followed by a Regional Ecotourism Development Plan. This 6-year plan includes destination visions and investment plans with innovative, actionable, and market-based interventions for private sector and local communities (including CBET), infrastructure, destination governance, and environmental management.
  • Conducted 3 in-depth market studies for the World Bank and developed actionable inclusive tourism strategy and solutions to help integrate women, youth, and low-income men into sustainable jobs in tourism-sector value chains at key Buddhist heritage sites in India, and South Asia more broadly. Our formative research consisted of focus groups, surveys, expert interviews, and econometric analyses of demographic, economic, and sectoral data, which were converted into stakeholder mapping and analyses, gap analyses, and actionable recommendations. We developed and presented our policy recommendations to the Minister of Tourism, Government of India, and the heads of 6 State governments and achieved programmatic buy-in.
  • As part of the formulation of the Myanmar Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy, our team carried out an in-depth assessment on conservation issues and the status of ecotourism in and around national parks and protected areas and opportunities to expand ecotourism. This research looked at the environmental conditions of the protected areas as well as the social and cultural context and anticipated environmental and socio-economic impacts increased ecotourism would potentially bring, leading to a spatial mapping of the projected risks around 10 Government priority areas. Furthermore, we assessed capacities of local and State level government institutions (under the then Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Ministry of Hotels and Tourism) and provided recommendations for addressing knowledge and skills gaps to address the identified risks and challenges.
  • Led social and environmental impact assessments of tourism in selected suburban and rural areas of post-earthquake Nepal. The assessments revealed area-specific challenges due to earthquake and other local factors and identified ways to bridge gaps for the recovery of tourism and attraction of investors for enhancing sustainable tourism development in the next 3-5 years. The research informed several development programs aiming at recovering and enhancing local livelihoods and provided input to Nepal’s Post Disaster Recovery Framework.
  • Led an environmental and social diagnostic analysis of community-based tourism development in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces of Cambodia through a human-centered design approach, revealing strategic and practical actions towards developing tourism activities in a sustainable and inclusive manner. For one key growth destination (an island in the Mekong River) the study estimated social and financial costs of environmental and cultural changes that could result if tourism were to be developed in an unsustainable manner.
  • Performed a landscape-level environmental and social diagnostic analysis of Lemhi and Custer counties in Idaho for the Bureau of Land Management to reveal social and environmental impacts and potential risks associated with the expected rapid growth in visitor numbers. A special case study was conducted of Goldbug Hot Springs, an environmentally vulnerable site that is threatened by overcrowding, leading to recommendations for participatory action with local investors and home owners that live in the immediate vicinity of the site. Furthermore, our team facilitated public dialogue on key issues identified in the diagnostic analysis to reveal publicly acceptable solutions.
  • Designing tourist activity-specific criteria for global sustainability certification for the tour and travel industry, especially focusing on activities in coastal and marine areas (e.g. marine mammal watching, motorized water-based activities, snorkeling and diving, ATV riding, jeep safari, horseback riding, etc.).
  • Conducted numerous value chain studies across the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, including an analysis of the tourism value chains of Laos and Cambodia focused on export relations with European markets, and an in-depth analysis of informal employment in Nepal’s tourism and hospitality sectors with a focus on women and youth.