Through our almost twenty-year history, we have developed a wide range of resources on sustainable and responsible tourism. The below resources share outcomes from CREST projects that add to the general knowledge base of responsible tourism.

The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2017
CREST’s 2017 annual meta-analysis is a special edition, structured around the UNWTO’s five pillars of the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development: 1) inclusive and sustainable economic growth; 2) social inclusiveness, employment, and poverty reduction; 3) resource efficiency, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation and mitigation; 4) respect for cultural values, diversity, and heritage; and 5) mutual understanding, peace, and security. The report highlights the need for the success of tourism to be measured in increased retention of tourism revenue in the destination and the equitable distribution of tourism earnings to better economic, social, and environmental conditions. The report was prepared in collaboration with 25 leading tourism organizations and institutions.

A Directory of Sustainable Tourism Initiatives and Resources
Throughout the tourism industry, there are many initiatives and advocacy campaigns that promote best practices, codes of conduct, and certification programs, all designed to help deepen our understanding of, and commitment to, sustainable travel. In 2017, CREST, with the assistance of the UN Environment Programme produced a resource package containing valuable information for tourism-related businesses and travelers. This directory has fact sheets on a number of topics including cultural heritage preservation, local employment & fair wages, marine litter, food waste, the illegal trade in wildlife, and more.

Sinaloa Sur Initiative for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism
This project in Mexico began in 2013 and consisted of three phases: 1) assessing the impacts of a massive new government resort and vacation home tourism project and proposing economically viable and sustainable alternatives; 2) preserving critical wetlands and cultural heritage in Southern Sinaloa; and 3) carrying out a GSTC destination-wide assessment of Southern Sinaloa to create a strategic sustainable tourism plan and a destination management organization. The third phase was completed in 2016.

The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2016
This 2016 version of CREST’s annual study demonstrates that the growth of responsible tourism continues to outpace the growth of the tourism industry as a whole. In addition, it concludes that “the social and environmental imperative for responsible travel” is being spurred, in part, by the twin crises of wealth inequality and climate change. “Doing sustainable tourism business in the era of climate change is not just politically correct, it is a comparative advantage,” states to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The report was prepared in collaboration with 16 leading tourism organizations and institutions, including UNEP, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, IUCN, and the Global Wellness Institute.

The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2015
The 2015 version of CREST’s annual study includes a meta-analysis of consumer and industry demand for responsible tourism, drawn from surveys, polls, and market studies over the last five years. It is endorsed by the following leading tourism organizations and institutions: United Nations Environment Programme, Global Sustainable Tourism Council, International Institute for Peace through Tourism, The George Washington University International Institute for Tourism Studies, Tourism Cares, The Ocean Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, International Ecotourism Club, The International Ecotourism Society, The Travel Foundation, and Sustainable Travel International.

Alternative Development Models and Good Practices for Sustainable Coastal Tourism: A Framework for Decision Makers in Mexico
This 2012 ‘Framework for Decision Makers’ compiles existing good practices for sustainable, large-scale coastal tourism in Mexico. In light of the Calderon administration’s re-invigoration of tourism, and the emphasis on competitiveness and sustainability in the National Tourism Accord and General Tourism Law, CREST has compiled existing good practices for resorts, vacation homes, marinas and golf courses in a clear, user-friendly format in Spanish and English.

Impact of Tourism Related Development along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast (2010)
This multi-dimensional study, carried out over two years by researchers in Costa Rica and the U.S., assesses the growth, trends, and impacts of tourism and related development along Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. It compares the increasingly dominant models of coastal and marine tourism – characterized by large resorts, vacation homes, and cruise tourism – with Costa Rica’s widely acclaimed model of ecotourism and sustainable tourism which has evolved over the last two decades.

Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? 2nd ed. (Island Press, 2008)
Around the world, ecotourism has been hailed as a panacea: a way to fund conservation and scientific research, protect fragile ecosystems, benefit communities, promote development in poor countries, instill environmental awareness and a social conscience in the travel industry, satisfy and educate discriminating tourists, and, some claim, foster world peace. Although “green” travel is being aggressively marketed as a “win-win” solution for developing countries, the environment, the tourist, and the travel industry, the reality is far more complex.

Global Trends in Coastal Tourism (2007)
CREST was commissioned by the Marine Program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to analyze the current global trends in coastal tourism. The goal was to test WWF’s working hypothesis about the main drivers behind coastal and marine tourism and to propose interventions that would be most useful, should WWF develop a new tourism program to address the threats that coastal tourism development poses to biodiversity conservation and the well-being of destination communities.