Practice: Transforming Learning into Action and Results


This developing community desires to contribute to…

“…vibrant communities who work to protect natural ecological diversity and conserve human heritage, make decisions that are inclusive of the people impacted by them, and make informed decisions about the impacts of development, all through tourism.” 


(McCool, 2022)

The Sustainable Tourism Community of Learning and Practice is guided by a Theory of Change that ultimately measures success by facilitating positive change on the ground in protected areas worldwide.  

The participants’ chosen projects and the Leadership Action Plan they create to implement these projects are critical to achieving the community’s vision.  


The building blocks for identifying an appropriate project and creating a realistic action plan are embedded in the program from the very beginning, from breakout group discussions to between-session assignments that all, when taken together, comprise the framework for each participant’s plan. 

However, it is during and in the follow-up to the U.S. site visit that the program emphasis shifts from participants learning concepts, to personally experiencing them, and on to them applying them in their home units.   Most of the site visits will be spent in the field visiting protected areas offering a range of tourism programs.

These forests, parks, and reserves include a wide variety of habitat types and cultural resources and are managed by federal, state, and local governments; non-governmental organizations; and private landowners. Visits to protected areas of different management categories, governance types, and types and levels of tourism activities will provide participants with unparalleled opportunities to learn about tourism planning and management approaches in protected areas and adjacent gateway communities.

Access to assigned mentors provides important support to participants or participant teams as they continue to develop, adapt, finalize, and begin implementing their projects.   

Additional specific technical support can be arranged via virtual conversations with community members, via webinars that focus on topics that pertain to a large number of the participants’ projects, and through use of the program’s digital platform to share ideas, case studies, questions, successes and challenges with their cohort colleagues.  With each passing year, this pool of potential professional support will also grow.   Ultimately, participants have the opportunity to evolve into leaders and mentors to those that follow, sharing case studies, presenting at virtual conferences, providing presentations and training to those in their home agencies, communities, and networks. 

U.S. Site Visit Dates:

September 7th – September 23rd, 2023

Arrival in Fort Collins, Colorado: September 6th, 2023

Departure from U.S.: September 24th, 2023