The tourism industry, despite its size and importance, has historically lacked strong standards, careful scrutiny, and oversight. There has also been a lack of insightful research to assist travelers, tourism businesses, and decision-makers in responsibly developing this huge, widely-scattered industry. 

Founded in 2003 as a bi-coastal research organization in conjunction with Stanford University, CREST was created to counter this deficiency in meaningful data and analysis, and to advocate for responsible tourism.

Our Approach

Through rigorous research and an academic approach, we provide evidence-based analysis and guidance to address the industry’s most pressing issues.

Project partnerships with renowned academic affiliates

To diversify and internationalize its university partnerships, we created the Academic Affiliates program. This model allows us to collaboratively conduct research with institutions and faculty across a range of disciplines and geographical regions.

In 2021, CREST and Arizona State University’s Center for Sustainable Tourism released a joint report. Organized around the Future of Tourism Coalition’s 13 Guiding Principles, the report offers insight from the distinguished World Tourism Day Forum speakers on:

  • Destination management collaboration
  • Choosing quality over quantity
  • Mitigating climate impacts
  • Diversifying source markets
  • Operating business responsibly

Annual industry meta-analyses

Our industry report, The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics, has been released every year since 2013. In addition to the general consumer, business, and destination trends that support the case for a sustainable tourism approach, the annual reports spotlight a pressing theme for the year.

In the 2020 report, we share key studies centered around the growing threat of COVID-19 and climate change. Over the years, countless researchers, students, industry practitioners, destination managers, and more have come to rely on the Trends & Statistics report for its investigative rigor and comprehensive research.

Impact assessments

We work with destinations, businesses, NGOs, and other stakeholder groups to conduct impact assessments. Depending on the needs of the project, these impact assessments include primary and/or secondary data collection, analysis, findings, and recommendations.

Examples of impact assessments conducted by CREST include:

  • Environmental, social, and economic impacts of cruise tourism in various ports
  • Economic impact assessment of the St. Kitts Music Festival
  • Economic impact assessment of bear hunting versus bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia.

We seek to provide policy-makers with rigorous, unbiased research reports to assist with decision-making.