Sustainable Tourism Plans & Audits

Our background in local economic development and impact assessment helps us to work with communities to find sustainable tourism options that both benefit the local economy and protect important ecological, cultural, and community values of the local area. We help communities and developers to generate market driven tourism that promote greater economic benefits for local people and enhance the well-being of host communities. We have developed effective processes for involving local people in decisions that affect their lives, builds local pride and confidence and improves the general quality of life. Tourism can help diversify a local economy and make a positive contribution to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. We help to develop more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues. Done well, tourism is culturally sensitive and builds respect between tourists and hosts.

Our sustainable tourism work has included:

• Sustainable tourism strategies and development plans
• Arts, culture and recreation plans
• Attraction/business feasibility studies
• Project impact analyses including social, cultural and ecological values
• Site concept plans and designs
• Trail Planning, wayfinding and signage development

 Interested in training or capacity building? Contact us.

Our Approach

Driven by Community Values: Every community is different. We start by listening to community members to find out what is important. Then, we use the values that we identify through this process as a framework to prioritize actions that are appropriate, feasible, and broadly supported. 

Based on Local Knowledge: We work with local people who know their communities and regions and are well positioned to generate practical ideas that make the best use of local assets. We then tap into, organize, and evaluate this local knowledge, using methods and tools from structured decision making to focus investment and energy where it will have the strongest impact.

Expert Supported: We step in where expertise is needed by providing rigorous analysis, cutting-edge research, innovative ideas and over 20 years of experience in the field. We have found that top-down, expert-directed planning approaches work only in unique circumstances and typically do not produce the results communities and clients need for success.

Pragmatic and Effective: Great strategies are strategies that get implemented. We hate to see strategies that are nothing more than laundry lists gathering dust on a shelf. Our approach ensures that the people who will be implementing the plan are involved throughout its development, and that the plan lays out the implementation architecture (i.e., who will be doing what, when). We can also provide supplementary services during implementation, such as project management and coaching. We call this “surge capacity”.

Guidebooks, Toolkits and Publications

Appropriate Tourism Impact Assessment: A Case Study of Kaniki Point Resort Palawan, Philippines
Trousdale, William. Hosts and Guests Revisited: Tourism Issues of the 21st Century. Editors: Valene L. Smith and Maryann Brent. 2001

Appropriate Tourism Impact Assessment
Trousdale, William.  Hosts and Guests Revisited: Tourism Issues of the 21st Century. Editors: Valene L. Smith and Maryann Brent. 2001

Value-Focused Thinking in a Difficult Context: Planning Tourism for Guimaras, Philippines
McDaniels, Timothy L. and William Trousdale. Interfaces-Journal of Operations Research and Management Science. 29(4) 1999.

Governance in Context
Trousdale, William. Annals of Tourism Research. 26(4). 1999

Impact Assessment in the Developing World
Trousdale, William. Travel and Tourism Research Association. Halifax, NS. (1999)

Tourism Develoment Control
Trousdale, William. Pacific Tourism Review. V.2, pp. 91-96. 1998.

Carrying Capacity Considerations: The Need for Managing Change in a Unique Tourism Destination: Boracay Island, Philippines
Trousdale, William. Canadian Urban Institute. Toronto. 1997.


Travel and Tourism Research Association Boeing Award
EcoPlan received this award for “Sustainable Tourism Planning with Multiple Objective Decision Analysis: A Case Study of the Guimara Farm Tourism Pilot Project.”

EcoTourism Showcase Award
The EcoTourism Showcase award recognizes excellence in organizations supporting ecotourism in the Americas. EcoPlan was a contributor to the project which one this award for work in the Maquipucuna Reserve, an 11,000-acre private reserve founded in 1988 to protect one of the last remaining patches of cloud forest in northwestern Ecuador. This ecotourism project was implemented in association with the Fundación Maquipucuna, a local conservation organization, as an alternative to resource depletion.